There’s a palpable sense of looming change when autumn time nears on Lake Superior’s north shore. The days become shorter, the weather becomes windier and the first hints of frost coats tents and boats in the first hour of morning. After a summer of calling, songbirds become noticeably silent. Loons gather in huge rafts on calm mornings on Michipicoten Bay. Bald eagles perch in the treetops as spawning salmon fight upstream on the Michipicoten River. Cherry-red of mountain ash berries brighten the Superior Highlands coast and the shoreline birches turn russet on Driftwood Beach.
At this time of transition we also notice a change in our visitors at Naturally Superior Adventures and Rock Island Lodge. Families are replaced by young or retired couples; novice paddlers are replaced by advanced sea kayakers seeking solitude or surf; and summer student staff trickle back to school, outnumbered once again by familiar local faces. It’s at this time of year that things slow down for staff and guests. We linger around the breakfast table in the morning and gather by the fire in the evenings, as if becoming more deliberate and unhurried will prolong these glorious last days of summer.
Using Rock Island Lodge as your base, there’s much to do to experience the best of the shoulder season in Northern Ontario. Canoe with the salmon on a daylong float trip on the Michipicoten River or troll a line at the mouth; dayhike the challenging Bridget Lake Trail or walk to Scenic High Falls on the Voyageur Trail; on calm, sunny days, swim in the warmest water of the year or sea kayak the crystalline waters of Michipicoten Bay; and on wild, windy days, soak in the power of Lake Superior from the warmth of the lodge, capture it in photos, or experience it first-hand by surfing a sea kayak. These are moments you’ll be sure to remember in the long winter months ahead.