Michipicoten Island

The Mysterious Floating Island off of Lake Superior

Trip Description:

Guided and partially outfitted sea kayak trip–seven days kayaking, seven nights camping, half-day group skills workshop.

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Michipicoten Island, the mysterious “floating Island”, is one of Lake Superior’s largest yet most remote and inaccessible islands. Approximately 20 x 40 km in size, her past is rich with Ojibway spirits, copper mining rushes, lighthouses and shipwrecks, wacky sea beavers and, most recently, a growing woodland caribou population.

Your sea kayak trip begins with a half-day group safety and paddling skills workshop at our paddling centre on Rock Island Lodge located on Lake Superior at the mouth of the Michipicoten River. A hearty meal and trip orientation will take place in our front room facing west towards Michipicoten Island. The next morning we’ll shuttle to Hattie Cove in Pukaskwa National Park to meet Captain Keith McCuaig and charter the Melissa June, a 30 x 11 foot aluminum landing craft catamaran, for the trip out and later return from Michipicoten Island.

This island circumnavigation captures the remote, forgotten nature of Michipicoten. Once shunned by First Nations peoples as a place of malevolent giants, Michipicoten became one of Ontario’s most promising sources of copper and provided easy access to Lake Superior’s seemingly endless bounty of fish in the early 1900s. Since then, the copper mine and fishing village have been abandoned. All that remains are old mine shafts, ramshackle buildings and flourishing populations of woodland caribou and beaver. Throw in a couple of lighthouses and a few shipwrecks and you’ve got everything all wrapped up in this island expedition.

This trip is designed for intermediate paddlers. Your enjoyment will be enhanced if you are in good physical condition and comfortable with wilderness camping. Lake Superior is mostly calm in summer, but when it gets rough we enjoy the view from shore.

You will be responsible for carrying a portion of the group gear in your kayak, as well as your tent, sleeping bag and personal gear.

Equipment and Services

We provide: Professional instruction and guiding; dinner on Saturday evening, breakfast on Sunday morning; all vehicle and boat charters; group safety, camping, sanitation gear; farmer John/Jane wetsuits and paddling jackets if required. Meals on trip can be packed & prepared by your guide and we have trip-quality sea kayaks available, both at an additional cost.

You provide: Personal gear, sleeping bag, properly outfitted sea kayak, meals and cooking/eating gear (if you are not going with our meal plan) and a sense of adventure. A detailed list of recommended items is provided on registration.

Typical Trip Itinerary

DayActivity/CampsiteDistanceSights
1Arrive. Group skills workshop, trip preparation and whitefish barbecue. Rock Island, Government Dock Beach, Michipicoten River
2Morning van shuttle to Hattie Cove and boat shuttle to Michipicoten Island’s East End Lighthouse5kmPukaskwa National Park and Pukaskwa coastline, East End Lighthouse
3Camp on north coast15kmBridal Veil Falls, Steep cliffs
4Camp at Quebec Mines area15kmAbandoned copper mines
5Camp at Junction/West Sand Bay area15kmShipwreck, gravel tombolo
6Camp at East Sand Bay area20kmQuebec Harbour, Davieaux Island, Agate Island
7Camp at East End Lighthouse area10kmCozens Cove
8Boat pick-up and return to Rock Island Superior’s Pukaskwa Coast

Here is a blog posting by some recent trip guests.

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Cozens CoveDavieaux IslandQuebec Rocks Sea Cave

Trip Route Map