This 10-day summertime tour involves renting an RV which can be more economical than staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants during a trip. The RVs sleep 3-7 people, and the rental fee in the summer for 1 week is $1100-1300. This tour gets you out into the wilderness areas of Minnesota, the UP of Michigan and Ontario, Canada. You will need a passport for this tour. Make as many campsite reservations as you can ahead of time, and the RV will also need to be reserved.
Fly to Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and take a taxi (or drive) to CruiseAmerica located in West St. Paul. Plan to pick up your RV between 1:00 and 4:00 PM. (You can start and stop this tour any day but Sun. since the RV rental company is not open on Sundays.)
Stop for groceries and other needed supplies and drive toward Duluth, MN (2 ½ hours).
Camp tonight at the Jay Cooke State Park located on the St. Louis River. This park has a visitors’ center, a historic cemetery, a swinging bridge, hiking trails, fishing, etc. White water rafting is available close to the park, but children must be 12 years or older for this activity.
Finish visiting the park then drive through Wisconsin into Michigan to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (3 hours) and camp at the Union Bay Campground. Visit the scenic overlooks along the way. This state park has a visitors’ center, fishing, and hiking along with canoe, kayak, and mountain bike rentals.
Finish visiting the park then drive to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (3 ½ hours). The campgrounds within the park do not take reservations, so a mid-morning arrival is necessary during the summer peak times. (These are in-park campsites located on the lakeshore.) There are several additional nearby campgrounds as well as camping close to Munising. Today take a 3 hour boat tour of the Pictured Rocks leaving from Munising.
Explore this large national lakeshore park by:
- Hiking, particularly to:
Interpretive programs are available in the park daily throughout the summer. Check the park website for the schedule.
Get an early start today and drive to Tahquamenon Falls State Park (1 ½ hours). See the falls and visit the visitors’ center.
Continue on to Sault Ste. Marie (1 ½ hours) and take a boat tour of the locks. This attraction has tours throughout the day in the summer.
Drive into Canada, stop at the Ontario Visitor Center to obtain some Canadian money, and then go on to Pancake Bay Provincial Park, ON (1 hour). This park has a scenic viewing platform, a sandy beach, ranger programs, hiking, etc.
Finish exploring this park then drive toward Pukaskwa National Park (4 hours) along the Lake Superior Circle Tour.
Pass through the Lake Superior Provincial Park where you can stop at the visitors’ center, see the Agawa Pictographs, stop for scenic views, and stop for lunch.
Continue on to Pukaskwa Park and stay at the Hattie Cove Campground. Visit the Anishinaabe camp and hike the coastal hiking trail while you are here.
Continue on to the park and stay at the Marie Louise Lake Campground. The campground has canoe, kayak, and fishing tackle rentals available. There are many hiking trails within the park ranging in length (0.8-40 km).
Drive through Thunder Bay stopping near the lakefront and doing some shopping in the downtown area (Main and Fort William Rd).
Drive into the US and to Duluth, MN (3 ½ hours). Stay again at Jay Cooke State Park or continue on to Moose Lake State Park.
Return the RV today by 11:00AM. (You cannot end this tour on a Sunday.)
Take a taxi or drive to your hotel near the airport and the Mall of America. These hotels offer shuttles to the mall and airport along with other special packages and rates.
Spend the rest of the day at the Mall of America.
Fly or drive home.
-You can visit the unique national park island of Isle Royale starting on Day 8. Drive into the US after visiting Thunder Bay and camp in Grand Portage. On Day 9, the ship leaves Grand Portage, MN at 7:30AM (M,W,Sat only), sails half-way around the island, and docks at Rock Harbor at 3:00PM. There is lodging available at Rock Harbor. On Day 10, the boat leaves the next morning at 8:00AM (T,Th,Sun only), sails the rest of the way around the island, and arrives back at Grand Portage at 3:00PM. Upon landing, continue on to Duluth (3 hours). This detour will add 2 days to your tour and be aware that weather may affect the boat schedule.
-Alternatively, you can visit Isle Royale starting on Day 3. Drive from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park to Copper Harbor (2 ½ hours) and camp at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. This park has a beach, historical interpreters, and a lighthouse. On Day 4, the ship leaves Copper Harbor at 8:00AM (most days, check the schedule) and docks at Rock Harbor at 11:15AM. There is lodging available at Rock Harbor. On Day 5, the boat leaves at 2:45PM (most days, check the schedule) and arrives back at Copper Harbor at 6:00PM. Camp again at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, and then continue on to Munising (4 hours) on Day 6. This detour will add 3 days to your tour and be aware that weather may affect the boat schedule.