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Sea Kayak Lake Superior Highlands

Sea Kayak Lake Superior's Forgotten Coast

FAST FACTS
Description: Guided and partially outfitted sea kayak trip–seven days kayaking, seven nights camping, half-day group skills workshop
Skill: Intermediate to advanced paddling skills and backcountry camping experience
Pace: Moderate with occasionally demanding portions
People: 1:6 guide/pax ratio, max 8, min 18 yrs, mostly single sea kayaks
Distance: 95 km (average paddling speed of 4.5 to 6 km/hr)
Dates: Not offered in 2014 except as a custom trip.  See Sea Kayak Pukaskwa to Michipicoten to include this section.
Cost: n/a
Includes: Full guiding, group safety and communication gear, tarps, vehicle and boat shuttles, pre-trip group orientation dinner and breakfast
Additional: Meals and snacks on trip $25 day
Fully equipped sea kayak roto/glass $20/25 day, tent $5 day
kayak superior highlands
superior highlands by kayak
denison falls
superior highlands by kayak

This paddling expedition explores the uninhabited, infrequently paddled shore between Pukaskwa National Park’s southern boundary and Michipicoten Bay near Wawa, Ontario. It’s completely undeveloped and inaccessible by road. Recently it was designated as the Superior Highlands Conservation Reserve and the Nimoosh Park by the Ontario Government. Our base on Lake Superior is at the southeastern access to this spectacular section of coastline.

Your trip begins with an afternoon of individual and group sea kayak safety coaching from our base on Lake Superior near Wawa, Ontario. Later we’ll enjoy a trip orientation following a home cooked meal in the front room of Rock Island Lodge with its spectacular view of the lake. Trip fee includes tent site on our beach or alternatively in the lodge at a trip guest discounted rate.

Following breakfast the next morning we shuttle north to Heron Bay near Pukaskwa National Park where we meet Captain Keith McCuaig. The “Melissa June” is a 30-foot aluminium landing craft catamaran, designed and built to Transport Canada and US Coast Guard standards as a small passenger shuttle vessel. With a 25 knot cruising speed she’ll ferry us to Pukaskwa Depot at the Park’s southern boundary.

This 90-kilometre-long sea kayak trip contrasts rugged, spectacularly beautiful headlands with Caribbean-like beaches. Highlights include the abandoned logging village of Pukaskwa Depot and a day hike to the 40-metre-high Denison Falls. We'll also paddle along the notorious cliffs of Point Isacor, a 5-kilometre-long stretch of spectacular 150-metre granite cliffs and scree slopes.

The trip takes us past a number of short exposed headlands but involves no significant crossings. It is a trip for paddlers in good condition with previous paddling and wilderness camping experience. Daily paddling distances range from 10 to 26 kilometres (average 19 km) with a day included to accommodate rough weather or a more relaxed or exploratory group pace.

The lake is mostly calm in summer, but when it gets rough we enjoy the view from shore. Although each group will travel according to its own pace, we tend to spend most of the day on the water leaving lots of time for “covering the distance” and exploring the coast.

On this trip, paddlers choose between packing and preparing their own meals or joining in with our hearty and healthy meals/snacks packed and prepared by your guide(s).

Most participants paddle single sea kayaks although occasionally we open trips to less experienced paddlers in double sea kayaks. You’ll be responsible for carrying a portion of the group gear in your kayak, along with your tent, sleeping bag, personal gear and food.

If you’re bringing your own sea kayak it must be sea worthy, at least 16 ft long with two sealed bulkheads, deck-lines and closed cockpit. You’ll need to come equipped with a PFD and signal device, bailer and 20m/55ft of floating rope. A detailed packing list is provided following registration.

Our Guides are drawn from outdoor adventure/recreation programs or they are teachers and outdoor professionals. They are certified with Wilderness Advanced First Aid (40 hrs), our own established Sea Kayak Guide Course and sea kayak advanced skills and instructor programs certified by Paddle Canada. Many return to work for us year after year. They are all great paddlers with a love and appreciation for Lake Superior’s heritage, history and ecology.

Naturally Superior Adventures was established in 1994 with a focus on Lake Superior and silent sports. Sea Kayaker Magazine readers have kindly voted us as Eastern Canada’s best company for guided tours by sea kayak, since 2009.

Check out more photos of this trip in our Photo Gallery.

Download the  PDF to read later.

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What others are saying

" The Gales of November was a wonderful photographic retreat. Naturally Superior, indeed! It seemed like a long journey to this awesome destination but I was definitely not disappointed in the splendour it offered. "

Debbie Bradley, Dwight, ON