Lake Superior

I will be camping for 2 weeks at Gooseberry

Falls on the north shore. Can anyone give advice as to where I might paddle my 9’ recreational kayak on lake superior for afew hours. We are intermediate paddlers and are very aware of the perils of cold water boating having sailed on Lake Michigan near the Milwaukee Breakwater for years and have made several trips to Superior but not with the kayaks. Is the south shore a calmer paddle than the north shore?

North Shore
First, let’s correct some information.

Gooseberry is on the west shore. I don’t know

why people call that the North shore when

the north shore runs from Thunder Bay to around Wawa.

Anyway, there is a put-in at Tetagouche and

you can paddle down a small river out on to the

lake. Tet. is worth a look. I also really

like the area around Grand Portage. I think

there is guide book/reports for paddling that shore. Try the minnesota canoe association.

Enjoy the west shore.


I’ve heard people refer to the area north of Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie as the north shore, including all of MN. But geographically, it’s probably more accurate to call it northwest shore.

I haven’t paddled in that particular area, but as far as the water being calm it can vary so much that I think it’s hard to generalize whether the north or south is calmer. Seems like July and August are usually pretty calm but that can (and does) change at any moment. Glad to hear that you understand the effects of cold water, because it’s always cold up there. Two years ago I spend a few days near Two Harbors. It was in the 90’s and calm (unusual) and the lake was so cold where I was that you didn’t even want to wade in it.

I Hope You Feel Better Now

– Last Updated: Jul-19-05 7:37 PM EST –

If you're done ranting 314159;look at a map. You can draw a horizontal line from Duluth to Sault Ste Maries. Then you should clearly see that this IS the NORTH SHORE of Lake Superior. Hope you had a good time Scrubby, it's a beautiful area. WW

I just looked at a map. I drew a line

from Black Bay to Marathon, and what do you

know - it’s actually the south shore!

So enjoy the south shore.

Btw, at least I tried to be helpful.

Lake Superior
The winds are predominetaly out of the W/NW. So the waves can have a long fetch to the South Shore. On the Minn. shore there are quite a few places to put in and paddle out and back for a few hours weather permiting. If the wind is expected to shift to the NE. probably better to stay off the lake. There is little refuge and most of the shoreline is private. If you are in the area Grand Marais is a nice visit, especially if it is the weekend of Fisherman’s festival. A nice little paddle would be from there north and back.

Gooseberry is one of the nicest State parks on the American side.

Have fun, be safe,


Copied from the MN DNR website
the first paragraph for Gooseberry Falls states:

Gooseberry Falls is the gateway to the North Shore. It is known for its spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, Lake Superior shoreline, Civilian Conservation Corps log and stone structures, and north woods wildlife.

Lake Superior
Well, we went on our adventure to Gooseberry Falls State Park MN, which, by the way, the locals and anyone from Minnesota or Wisconsin would refer to as the North Shore…but this wasn’t a post for a geography lesson, but thanks anyway… We were able to kayak a short distance up the mouth of the Gooseberry river and a 3 hour paddle along the Lake Superior shore after waiting 3 days for a lake w/out whitecaps or storms in the forcast. Also were able to paddle inside the breakwater in Two Harbors alongside the ore ships. Impressive. Air temps 74 day-50 night. Water temps 45-50. 1 hour thundersorm every afternoon-evening 6 out of 7 days. Great agate hunting.

Stayed second week Amnicon Falls State Park WI (on the “South Shore”). Weather much better. Temps 80/65 with one 2 hour rain. Paddled Superior 2 full days along shore. Much more suited to our 9’ kayaks. Calm lake without bluffs and bolders for miles. At town of Superior - Wisconsin Point is the largest freshwater sandbar in the world! Great beaches!! Also did 16 miles down the Bois Brule from Stones Bridge landing to town of Brule. $25 for transport for 2 kayaks with landings at 2 State Forest campgrounds. This would be a fun 2 day trip with day 2 being Brule to Lake Superior (Class III). Will plan that trip for spring when water levels are higher.

Lake Superior.
Good to hear you enjoyed Gooseberry.

Read some of the recent threads,

for example on the Slate’s,if you want learn

a little bit about the real north shore.

Follow the thread on paddling from Sibley to Rossport

If you ever manage to get to the real north

shore of Lake superior you will understand why I disagree with the term used by people from Minnesota and Wisconsin for the other shore. (It is insulting and self centered to use the term

North shore for the western shore.)


– Last Updated: Aug-12-05 8:19 PM EST –

314159 ....scheesh..get over it...we also call the United States "America" even though Mexicans, Canadians and everyone in South America could also call their countries THAT'S arrogance on the part of those from the USA, IMHO...I know a lot of South American's who get pissed if you tell them you're from "America" and not the USA..meanwhile, Minnesota's North Shore is not Canada's North with it, deal with it, get over it....

North Shore
I happen to live on the North Shore in Grand Marais, MN, and not only do people from MN, WI call the North Shore, the North Shore, but people I know from IA, ND, SD, IL also call it the North Shore. As a matter of fact, I know someone who wrote the book Nina’s North Shore Guide about the Superior shoreline in MN.

And you’re probably correct in calling the shore the west shore, it has traditionally been called the North Shore. It reminds me of a town called West Liberty, which is actually east of Liberty and not any further south than North Liberty. All these towns are only 30 miles from each other. I think, but can’t confirm, that the reason it is called North Shore is because it is the shore of Lake Superior that is in northern Minnesota. I find place names pretty interesting, and now that you mention this west thing, the name North Shore takes on whole new meanings to me. Thank you.

BTW, in Grand Marais it is east north east to Grand Portage, but most of the people traveling would call it north to Grand Portage. And highway 61 travels through town east to west. Superior is to our south and the BWCA is to the north. So, I guess in Grand Marais it would be our south shore. It gets real confusing when you try to give directions to someone visiting the town.

North,South and anywhere in between
I have always called the Minnesota reach the North Shore and the Canadian Reach the “Heritage Coast”, Pukaskaw Coast or the Superior Highlands. Who cares, it’s all great paddling.

BTW, I’m from Indiana, where South Bend is up north, North Vernon is down south, and French Lick ain’t nothing like it sounds…