Rossport on Lake Superior

by Phil Rowe

There are probably not too many folks who drive around Lake Superior. But those who do will enjoy some of North America's greatest scenery. The roads are pretty good, two-lane paved, and many miles are close to the shoreline. You will find yourself surprised at many waystops along the way. One that delighted us was Rossport.

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Now Rossport is not big. In fact it's so small that there are only about a dozen buildings, many of them between the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks and the shore. I don't think they even have a gas station. It's west of Marathon and near Rainbow Falls.

We were pleased to find an attractive small lodge with a dining room. The Rossport Inn overlooks the lake and a cluster of off-shore islands that protect the harbor. It's a scenic spot. We enjoyed breakfast there one morning, though we were camped in our trailer in a nearby provincial park. Good food. Scintillating conversation and a warm welcome for all. (Rossport Inn 807-824-3213)

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When we visited we discovered two interesting things about the owner/operators (Ned and Shelagh Basher) of the Rossport Inn. Firstly, we learned that the owner's wife is an avid sea kayaker and frequently paddles along the lake and amongst those sheltering islands. She gave me some helpful hints for my own paddling excursions there. I launched from in front of the Inn one day and later from our campsite a few miles to the east.

Secondly, I learned that the owner was a former USAF pilot who flew the RF-4C's that I did. We had a great time sharing "war stories" and recollections of our common experiences. In fact, he joined us for breakfast that morning and chatted whilst we ate. Great fun.

That campground, a small 40-space provincial park, is truly delightful and a gem we learned about from the Rossport Inn folks. Sixteen of the waterside campsites have electric hookups, though we opted for an especially attractive one right at the water's edge that didn't have hookups. It was just the right size for our 25' trailer and pickup truck. And you couldn't ask for a more scenic place to camp. Absolutely terrific.

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The waters of Lake Superior ( way up there in the north country ) are crystal clear and clean. It was a delight to paddle along the rocky shores, in and out of the small islands and rocky shoals.

It was uncrowded during that September visit, quiet and peaceful. That's a wonderful place to relax, paddle, camp and generally enjoy the great outdoors.

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