Located above Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world.
‘Superior’ describes not only its size and volume, but also its setting. The Ojibwe called it Kitchigami, meaning “great lake.” In the 1600s it was called Le Lac Superior, or “upper lake,” by the French missionaries, denoting its location at the top of the Great Lakes region.
Lake Superior's surface covers 31,700 square miles and its cold waters reach a depth of 1,332 feet. It has long served as an important waterway for trade and shipping due to the accessibility of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie that connects Superior with the lower Great Lakes. However, its history of storms and strong winds have made it infamous for sinking many ships, including the iconic Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. Many wrecks can be found off of Whitefish Point which is home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Lake Superior's oldest operating lighthouse, Whitefish Point Light Station. Over 30 lighthouses still stand along the Lake Superior beaches, some of which offer unique bed and breakfast experiences.
East of Whitefish Point is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which features the stunning, multi-colored sandstone cliffs that stretch 42 miles along the shore from Grand Marais to Munising. The lakeshore is also home to spectacular hiking trails, beaches and waterfalls.
Lake Superior is also home to Isle Royale National Park, an archipelago of more than 200 islands accessible only by boat or seaplane. On Isle Royale, the largest island, you can explore more than 165 miles of hiking trails immersed in untouched, incredible wildlife. Wolves and Moose call the island home, and you can wake up to a spectacular sunrise and the call of a loon.
Lake Superior is home to over 30 lighthouses in Michigan. No matter your Lake Superior destination, there are a plenty of lighthouses waiting to be explored.
Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to dozens of beautiful beaches. Travel Marquette shares a few top spots to add to your UP adventure.