Did you know that Lake Superior, largest of the five Great Lakes, is home to nearly three dozen lighthouses? That should be enough to get your RV out of storage and headed north to explore beauty and maritime history on an RV vacation to visit Lake Superior lighthouses!
Michigan Upper Peninsula Lighthouses
One of the most scenic spots on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is also the place to see a well-restored lighthouse built in 1871. Point Iroquois Light near Brimley features the original lighthouse tower and a picturesque two-story keeper’s dwelling. Just west down the shoreline, you can visit the site where the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald was lost. Skeleton-style Whitefish Point Lighthouse stands tall above the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum housed in the keeper’s quarters.
An additional thirteen lights have kept the shores of the Upper Peninsula safe over the years. Of special interest are Crisp Point Lighthouse, Au Sable Light Station on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, also home to an excellent maritime museum. When you need a rest from lighthouse viewing, Whitefish Hill RV Park near Rapid River comes well-recommended.
And we haven’t even mentioned the amazing collection of lights on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula! Many of these are on private property or in the process of restoration, and are best seen from the water via local charters. Two you can tour on land are Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and the Jacobsville/Portage River Light.
The truly intrepid RV traveler can park the RV for a bit and take a five-hour cruise from Houghton or Copper Harbor to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. This rugged park, known for its backcountry hiking, boating and wildlife viewing, includes views of four historic lighthouses.
Wisconsin Lake Superior Lighthouses
Where the waters of Lake Superior wash against the Wisconsin shoreline, you’ll find a collection of lighthouses standing guard over Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Nine great lights stand in varying degrees of operation, restoration or restored glory and some are open to guided tours. On shore, you can also see Ashland Breakwater Light standing out in Chequamegon Bay. An important RV camping tip: the City of Ashland offers very affordable RV camping at Kreher Park.
Minnesota Lake Superior Lighthouses
In the Duluth, Minnesota area on Superior Bay, six lighthouses are clearly visible. From Canal Park Drive in Duluth, you’ll be able to see Duluth South Breakwater Inner Light, Duluth North Inner Breakwater Light, Duluth South Breakwater Outer Lighthouse and the ruins of Minnesota Point Light on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport. As if that weren’t enough for lighthouse lovers, a short drive north to Two Harbors yields view of two more historic lights – Two Harbors Breakwater Light and the picturesque red brick Two Harbors Lighthouse.
As you continue your lighthouse tour of Minnesota’s “North Shore,” plan time for a stay at Lamb’s Resort in Schroeder, MN, right on the shores of Lake Superior. That positions you perfectly for a visit to breathtakingly scenic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. You can then venture a little farther north to visit Grand Marais Lighthouse before turning back for home.
Three states, three dozen lighthouses and many excellent RV camping adventures… it’s the perfect formula for some serious travel fever! An RV vacation to visit at least some of Lake Superior’s lighthouses should be on the agenda of every maritime-history-loving RV camper.