Few places on Lake Superior have the same mysterious appeal as Michipicoten Island. Maybe it’s the “floating isle” chimeric tendencies, appearing and disappearing at the whims of the weather. Ojibwa revered the island for its shiny lodes of copper and abundant populations of beaver and woodland caribou, and feared the fickle gulf of water that separates it from the mainland. When the swell rhythmically collides with the red gravel beach on Michipioten Island’s western tip, there’s a palpable sensation of being close to Lake Superior’s beating heart.
The lucky paddlers who have explored Michipicoten Island will tell you that sheer isolation is at the core of its intrigue. Making the 16-kilometre crossing to Michipicoten by sea kayak isn’t for the inexperienced. Naturally Superior Adventures self-supported Michipicoten Island expedition puts this enchanting place within reach of strong intermediate sea kayakers, or experts who prefer travelling in the safety of a group. We’ll take a boat shuttle to Michipicoten Island’s East End lighthouse, circumnavigate the island and then cross back to the mainland and follow the Superior Highlands coast to Michipicoten Bay.
Do you have what it takes? Paddlers should be comfortable paddling in one-metre seas (3-foot waves) and winds of 20 kilometres per hour (15 mph); have refined and well-practiced group and individual rescue skills (an eskimo roll is an asset; and have the stamina to sit comfortably in their boat and paddle up to 20 kilometres without a shore rest. You’ll also be responsible for your own menu planning and meal preparation, so be sure to polish these skills in advance. It follows we assign this trip to our most skilled and knowledgeable guides—veteran Paddle Canada instructor-trainers with extensive open water experience. The result is paddling skills mentorship, great camaraderie and a one-of-a-kind experience in some of the most isolated coastlines on the entire Great Lakes.