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7 Best Camping Spots for a Motorcycle Tour Around Lake Superior

Rolling up to the Agawa Bay Campground - Photo by Alexandra Sawicki

#ontariomotoroads

If you're going to do something as incredible as looping the world's largest lake, you may as well go whole hog and camp it too.



Recently a friend asked me where the best camping spots were along Lake Superior. I’ve ridden the north shore about 10 times and a couple of those with a pop-top trailer or RV. I’ve had the pleasure of watching incredible thunderstorms roll in over lightly populated beachfront campgrounds, and catching pike and walleye off a dock while gazing over the Sleeping Giant, and while I love a nice clean comfy hotel room, there isn’t much that can compete with the intimacy one feels with nature when camping—especially in Northern Ontario.

If you’re a rider who has done any kind of camping before, these campgrounds will provide all the amenities you’ll need—and often for a very reasonable price. If you’re planning on staying for more than a night, most offer some short hiking trails with killer views. 

Ontario’s official provincial parks have paved roads into the park—and more often than not, they are incredible. My personal favourite is the Sibley Road just outside of Thunder Bay, but Neys Provincial Park road is pretty great too. 

Once you’re into the campground sections of the parks you’ll find roads with hard packed gravel or dirt. Most bikes should have no problem navigating this territory as long as they are navigated slowly, but if it rains you might want to navigate the campgrounds a bit more carefully. 

Easily one of the most breathtaking sunsets on the list, Agawa Bay is an absolutely stunning campground with campsites situated between tall pines mere metres from the beach. The beauty here is truly ethereal. The beach is sandy on shore, and large smoothed rocks just past the water’s edge. Superior is a chilly lake, but in the heat of mid-August, anyone can muster the courage to face the cool, crisp, clear waters.

Neys Provincial Park, Outside Marathon, On

A former POW camp during World War II—a location so remote there were no walls or locks here as anyone who “escaped” would surely die—Neys is another spectacular campground located very close to the beach. The sandy beach is framed in its cove by wind and water-worn rocks like you might expect in Georgian Bay. Storm watching here is incredible and water in the shallow protected bay is a bit warmer that the rest of Lake Superior. 

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Outside Thunder Bay, On

The park is great. The hiking trails are great. Views of the “sleeping giant,” a massive rock formation that looks like a... sleeping giant are great. The road in (known as the Sibley road) is really great. It’s tough to stick to the speed limit, but with the population of deer in the area, we highly recommend it.

Thunder Bay KOA, Thunder Bay, On

While not directly on Lake Superior, this campground is clean, calm and close to the city—close to Uptown Cut (New York Times said this was possibly the best steak in North America), The Sovereign Room, and The Hoito. And if you absolutely need to get out on the lake, you can ride over to Sail Superior Charters for a day out on the bay.

Fort Wilkins State Park Campground - Copper Harbour, Mi

Fort Wilkins is doubly enjoyable—with a pioneer village and historic relics as well as its great location on the most northerly part of Michigan’s upper peninsula. The ride up to Copper Harbour is an essential part of any trip around Superior. You’ll catch incredible views of the lake through pristine forests, but the crown jewel is the road that crests on one of the mountains here, overlooking the sleepy town and harbour.

Brimley State Park, Brimley, Mi

Magnificent sand dunes and beaches with full-service campgrounds and killer sunsets. This park is very family friendly, so if you like to stay up late, try to make it to the next one!

With both campsites and cabins, this state park allows visitors to experience a higher level of roughing it. Scenery includes incredible cliffs, majestic waterfalls and some historic places listed on the US National Register. Check out High Falls of Baptism River and Shovel Point Palisades for picnic locations. 

There you have it! If you’re looking for further advice on where to camp while riding in Ontario, don’t hesitate to ask us at the What A Ride Facebook page!

A final note: please consider the impact that engine noise has on other campers. While most campers won’t be bothered by the sound of a V-twin making it’s way to its site, running your engine unnecessarily breaks the calm that people are seeking when going camping. 

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