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Old 06-25-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
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Circuit du lac Superieur Suggestions

We are planing to do a trip around lake Superior late July- early August. Would it be advisable to book camping and plan every day of the trip, or can we wing it not knowing how much time we may want to spend in each spot? We hate to be too scheduled but don't want to hunt all night for a place to park. Are the state and provincial parks overtly busy or easy to get a site is the question?

A second needed suggestion is should we go clockwise or counter clockwise around the lake. We have visited the southern side from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie numerous times and could easily go either way over the top of the lake. We would prefer to go in the direction where the trip may get better and better. Thoughts?
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #2
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We are driving and camping from Deluth to Grand Portage, otherwise known as the North Shore Drive. I made our camping reservations a year ago at Gooseberry Falls and Judge CR Magney State Park. At the time I was unable to get the campsites that I wanted because the parks were already filling up. Not sure if it is like this in other areas or just the State Parks, but my impression was that campgrounds are full that time of year.

There is a great website that tells you mile by mile the things to see and do along the North Shore drive, so I'll try to link it here. You could simply reverse it if you find yourself coming from the other direction.

Things To Do on the North Shore, A Mile by Mile Guide
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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'North Shore of Lake Superior' ?

From Duluth, The 'North Shore of Lake Superior' route has spectacular views all along Highway 41 north-east to Grand Portage, and then enters Ontario south-west of Thunder Bay, and continues easterly on the Trans-Canada Highway #17 through Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Marathon, White River, and Wawa, to Sault Ste. Marie, where you could reenter the USA; or, continue easterly around the 'other' Great Lakes along the 'Trans-Canada' highway through Southern Ontario.
We both lived, and taught school, on the 'North Shore of Superior' for 35 years; and still truly believe it is one of the most scenic portions of North America, especially with the views of this largest of the 'Great Lakes'. There is plenty of 'camping' available at several 'Provincial Park Campgrounds', as well as near most of the communities you'll be passing through. You'll never regret taking this route. Be sure to visit the 'Big Goose' !
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
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I was looking up camping and had difficulty finding much besides private camping, with mixed reviews. Do the Provincial Parks have good camping? Do I need to reserve ahead or are sites easy to come by?
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vtec View Post
I was looking up camping and had difficulty finding much besides private camping, with mixed reviews. Do the Provincial Parks have good camping? Do I need to reserve ahead or are sites easy to come by?
Here is a link to the North Shore State Parks. This might be helpful.
http://www.northshore-stateparks.com/
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:24 PM   #6
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The previously suggested web site is for the USA portion of the 'Superior's North Shore' at the western end of the Lake Superior Circle Route. You may also wish to try <ontarioparks.com> or <lakesuperiorpark.ca> for camping suggestions throughout the entire Ontario Provincial Park system. Or, perhaps contact the various 'Chamber of Commerce' for camping suggestions near any of the communities close to your own chosen camping destinations along the Ontario portion of the 'North Shore of Lake Superior'. Enjoy our wilderness !
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:19 PM   #7
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I travelled north of lake Superior route 2 or 3 times. I never had a problem with finding a camground to spend a night. I never make a reservation for a simple reason - I never know where will I spend my next night.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vtec View Post
We are planing to do a trip around lake Superior late July- early August. Would it be advisable to book camping and plan every day of the trip, or can we wing it not knowing how much time we may want to spend in each spot? We hate to be too scheduled but don't want to hunt all night for a place to park. Are the state and provincial parks overtly busy or easy to get a site is the question?

A second needed suggestion is should we go clockwise or counter clockwise around the lake. We have visited the southern side from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie numerous times and could easily go either way over the top of the lake. We would prefer to go in the direction where the trip may get better and better. Thoughts?
For that time, you might just want to give a place a call a day or so before you expect to get there and check the situation. Much of the area may not have the usual only-weekends booked because people tend to go up there for weeks and months. Grand Marais, MN has a nice city campground with pool but costs. The reservation at Grand Portage costs much less but there are few spots. There are the state parks along the way and some private that you can google for. You should be okay but it could get a little iffy then.

Yes, this is some of the best Great Lakes and U.S. scenery you will ever see. Also, can't miss the dining room at the Naniboujou Lodge (do not take trailer there).
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:43 PM   #9
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I think I like clockwise.

We go every year to the community campground at Grand Marais, MN. You can walk into the village, over to the coast guard station, out to Artist Point. From your campsite walk out to the rocks to watch the sunset. The pool is no longer across from the campground.

I suggest spending a few nights at Grand Marais. You can take a day drive up to Naniboujou for breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner (open at certain times during the day) The dining room really is great. If you don't want to purchase a meal maybe you could stop for a desert. Or just stop to see the unique decor.

The only problem we ever had was an empty gas tank coming back into the states. We were bridged on top of the bridge for at least 45 minutes. Now I will be sure to do a pit stop before getting on the bridge to come back!

Have a good trip.

Nancy
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:06 PM   #10
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Campgrounds in Canada for Lake Superior circuit

We drove west across the north shore of Lake Superior 8 years ago en route for BC from Toronto. It is a beautiful and amazing trip and we really enjoyed it. Some recollections at random:-

- the road is twisty and you will encounter some reasonably steep hills. Also a fair amount of truck traffic. Don't expect to make a high average speed.

- the Provincial Park camp grounds in Ontario tend to offer more privacy and space than the private operations, more focused on enjoying nature. You can do your research on them at Ontario Parks Well equipped parks like Pancake Bay will be busy during peak summer months of Jul and Aug.

- the private campgrounds range from the truly awful to the good, just like in the US!

- bring bug repellent

- be bear aware if you stop in a lonely spot

- don't expect to find cheap gas (or anything else) up there. Delivery routes are long.

It's well worthwhile, enjoy a once in a lifetime trip.
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