Great Lakes Circle Tour

by Arlene Schneller

As you travel along the shores of Lake Gogebic you may on occasion read a sigh that says “Lake Gogebic Loop”. The loop is part of the Great Lakes Circle Tour. This tour extends along 1300 miles of Lake Superior coastline, which runs through the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and the province of Ontario, Canada.

Marked with distinctive green and white Circle Tour signs, the Lake Michigan Circle Tour and Lake Superior Circle Tour are part of the 7,000 mile Great Lakes Circle Tour that now circumnavigates all five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Sea-way. Welcome to the shores of the Great Lakes – America’ Freshwater Coast and beautiful Lake Gogebic! On the scale of geologic time the Great Lakes are very young – about 20,000 years old. They were born when mile-thick glaciers moved up and down the continent, gouging huge basins in the earth over thousands and thousands of years. As the last glaciers retreated, the basins filled with melt water and rain and after many more thousands of years, became the Great Lakes of today.

Together, the Great Lakes stretch a thousand miles across the continent, covering an area larger than New England. They contain one-fifth of all the surface fresh water on the planet, and flow eastward through the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. Extending 350 miles east to west and 160 miles north to south. Superior has a surface area slightly larger than the state of South Carolina. The lake is 600 feet above seas level, with an average depth of 489 feet and a maximum depth of 1,333 feet.

Much of Lake Superiors shoreline remains wild and remote. Superior’s waters remain the most pristine of all the Great Lakes. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is just an hour’s drive from Lake Gogebic and worth the visit. Twenty-one of the 22 Apostle Islands are included in the national lakeshore. Several islands have lighthouses, and camping is allowed on some islands.