Great Lakes Road Trip: Lake Superior Circle Tour, Thunder Bay to Tofte Minnesota USA

Thunder Bay weather wasn’t kind to us on our first day. Between downpours

we explored the Marina Conservation Area,

which was situated on Mission Island Lake Superior.

Surrounded by industrial areas its a haven where we were able to stretch our legs a little.

We spotted a beaver,

and heard a very noisy woodpecker!

The next day was glorious sunshine and we headed to Kakabeka Falls.

The falls were stunning,

and we followed the trails which took us through the woodlands, fairly steep in parts,

where we found another pretty waterfall and back along the bank of the river.

By the time we finished our legs knew they had had some exercise at last!

Clouds were back this morning as we continued our journey southwards now towards the USA. We had our fingers crossed that Fort William would be open, but alas it was not. So our next stop was Pigeon River, where the visitor centre was actually open! Apparently the late opening of parks, visitors centres etc has a lot to do with weather, and cutbacks, some parks apparently will not open until June.

We enjoyed a short walk to the lake,

then so far along another trail

until the way became waterlogged and we turned back.

Passing through to the USA we were detained for some time, on the premise that they were checking hire cars today we got the ‘nth’ degree of where we had come from where were we going, (above and beyond the usual questions) why where we doing it, why did we have stamps from Egypt in our passports…… they read through my travel planning file in detail, and explored every inch of the car and it’s contents. Removing grapes and an orange which we had forgotten we wouldn’t be able to take through, although no one bothered when we crossed from the USA to Canada. Anyway eventually they gave us the all clear to proceed.

We stopped at the visitor centre and walked the waterfall trail.

In full flow the falls were fabulous, we got soaked just watching them,

and the rainbow across the spray at the bottom of the falls.

The road now hugs the lakeside and there are lots of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view.

We took advantage of many of the stops along the way.

Stopping in Grand Marias we went into the visitor centre and had a nice chat with the lady there, and got our first stamp for the Circle Tour. Guess we won’t get the certificate as none of the Canadian visitor centres were open to give us a stamp.

We then walked to the shore,

past the Coastguard Station and along the rocks and walkway to the lighthouse.

The wind was bracing

and the sun was playing cat and mouse with the clouds!

Walking round the town it’s a nice small town with a mix of shops

and restaurants we were beginning to wonder why we had not booked accommodation here for the night.

At Cascade River we walked the trail to the falls,

you walk up one sided the river,

cross above the falls and back down the other side.

We had booked the Cliff Dweller on the Lake, first for the name and second for the views, and we weren’t disappointed the room is directly on the lake

and so calm and peaceful sat listening to the waves lapping the shores.

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