Michigan's Keweenaw Water Trail is located on the US mainland's northernmost shoreline of Lake Superior. Circling the tip of the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula, it gives the paddler the opportunity to experience the grandeur of Lake Superior with an extended margin of safety provided by the ability to move to the alternate shoreline when wind and waves threaten. With plenty of access along both sides of the peninsula, calmer water can be found within 20 miles. This unique advantage can also be used to escape the biting insects that make their presence known from May to mid-June.
The trail is a complete loop allowing the paddler to return to their embarkation point with no backtracking.
The many moods of Lake Superior can change in short order. Although the Keweenaw receives a strong signal from NOAA weather radio at 162.4 Mhz., beware of strong winds that can arise with no forewarning. Cold water temperatures cool the air in the summer so a 10 degree F difference from the inland temperature can be expected. The cold water creates even more of a need to wear a PFD while paddling, as the frigid water can quickly deplete motor skills in an upset. Many paddlers wear wet suits for added protection.
The Keweenaw Water Trail also has many moods. Secluded expanses of rugged shoreline are interspersed with small towns providing the wilderness traveler with the option of a prepared meal and a hot shower. The trail's wild areas provide the opportunity to observe unique wildlife or perhaps catch the evening meal with rod and reel.
Much of the Keweenaw's shoreline property is registered as Commercial Forest Reserve and open to public hunting and fishing. This land is valuable to the owner and their generosity should not be infringed upon by reckless use of the land. The wilderness traveler who practices "No Trace Camping" ethics helps to ensure that this land stays in it's present status as well as helping to keep the ecosystem healthy.
Private land is encountered all along the peninsula. Please respect private ownership by not camping without getting direct permission from the owner and by obeying sign postings. It is recommended that the paddler camp only at the areas indicated on these maps.