Paddleboard Compressed

Where to SUP around Ironwood, Michigan

When it comes to Stand Up Paddle Boarding, there is no a shortage of lakes, rivers, and shorelines to explore in the Ironwood area. Whether you are new to this popular sport, a pro, or somewhere in the middle, there are beautiful places to paddle in the Western Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin area.

As with any outdoor recreation adventure, make sure you check the local forecast, have the proper gear and attire, remember most of these places have little to no cell phone service, so let someone know where you are, or paddle with a partner (buddy systems are always a win win!) If you are paddling the Big Lake A.K.A Lake Superior, check the local marine forecast Marine Forecasts for the Open Waters of Lake Superior (weather.gov)  and observe the conditions to asses if it’s a level you can handle.

Here are the TOP 10 Places to Stand Up Paddleboard in Ironwood.


#1 Black River Harbor Recreation Area

This place has it all! A short walk to the dock will bring you to the Black River. Paddle upstream until you reach the last of the 5 waterfalls- Rainbow Falls. Depending on water levels, you can paddle close enough to maybe catch a rainbow in the waterfall! Make your way back and float downstream as you take in the amazing cliffs, and wildlife. Keep going under the iconic suspension bridge into the harbor. Paddle past the break wall to the open waters of Lake Superior. Take a right to paddle along the beach (which has been compared to beaches in Hawaii.) Stop for a swim, a snack, or hunt for some agates. This is a breathtaking paddle!


#2 Little Girls Point

Next is another beautiful place to paddle along the shores of Gitchee Gummi. Park on the east end, west end, or in the middle of the park and paddle along the shore. Either direction is stunning! Paddle east and you’ll see the old ice house in the water- a favorite place to jump off of. Keep going to view clay cliffs and see if you can spot the dinosaur tree. Stop anywhere on these shores to hunt for agates or the famous Yooperlites. This beach is known as a rock hound’s paradise! Paddle west to see the iconic Oman’s Blue house and keep going around the Point. Paddle along the shore to see interesting rock formations. Oh, and this is the perfect place to catch an LGP Sunset.


#3 Saxon Harbor

Just over the boarder about 8 miles west of Little Girls Point is Saxon Harbor in Wisconsin. Put in just to the left of the harbor and paddle west to see amazing clay cliffs, crystal clear water with sand bars. Paddle east from the harbor and you can Paddle up the Montreal River (depending on water levels and time of year) to view the amazing Superior Falls! One of our top waterfalls. Continuing east there are some spectacular cliffs to take in that have been compared to Pictured Rocks!


#4 Gile Flowage

Located just over the boarder in Wisconsin,  is Gile Flowage, an over 3,000 acre lake with multiple boat launch access. With it’s rocky shores, and bedrock islands, the Flowage is one of Northern Wisconsin’s  last underdeveloped, large bodies of water. This tranquil and scenic lake is full of islands, wildlife, and peaceful moments.  Because of its size, there are many places to explore. Also, it can get windy and wavy so be aware of conditions.


#5 Sunday Lake

Located in Wakefield, MI just a few towns east of Ironwood, Sunday Lake is a great smaller lake that is close and has easy access. There are many places to paddle from along the shore. Take in the park, small town, and nature as you explore. There is also a park, swimming beach, and events throughout the summer. A nice popular and easy lake to paddle.


#6 Cisco Chain of Lakes

Just beyond Ironwood to the east is the Cisco Chain of Lakes. Hours and hours could be spent exploring these wilderness lakes, these are true hidden gems. These are remote, so preparation is a must along with wilderness experience.

The Cisco Chain of Lakes is located both north and south of the Upper Michigan/Wisconsin state-line border and consists of fifteen separate lakes with approximately 270 miles of shoreline. Measured by acreage, the Chain ranks as one of the world’s largest connected water chains. The individual names of the fifteen lakes are: Cisco, Big, Morley, East Bay, West Bay, Mamie, Indian, Poor, Fishhawk, Lindsley, Thousand Island, Clearwater, Big Africa, Little Africa and Record Lake.


#7 Lake Gogebic

Lake Gogebic is another popular lake located within Gogebic and Ontonagon County. This lake is the largest inland lake in Michigan. There are boat launches, a campground, and a public beach to paddle from. This lake is known for fishing and the peaceful scenery and is also very popular for locals and visitors alike!


#8 Sylvania Wilderness

The Sylvania Wilderness and Sylvania Recreation Area, is located near Watersmeet, Michigan and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System and within the Ottawa National Forest. Combined with the adjacent Recreation Area, this 18,327 acre wilderness offers an outstanding experience for those who want to camp, fish, hike, canoe, ski, or enjoy the solitude of a wilderness experience. Few Wilderness compare to Sylvania. Here you will find 34 named lakes – some with sandy beaches, others surrounded by record-sized red and white pines. This large natural area with its old growth forest and pristine lakes provides habitat for a wide range of living things. While exploring Sylvania you might see threatened or endangered plants and animals.  Clark Lake is a beautiful clear, white sand lake with a swimming beach. This is also a remote region, so preparation and experience are highly recommended. Camping is permitted at designated sites by permit only. Permits can be obtained on a walk-in basis at the Sylvania Entrance Station or can be reserved by selecting “Sylvania Wilderness BCTRY Camp” through Reserve America on line at www.recreation.gov.


#9 Webber Lake

Located in Wisconsin next to Whitecap Mountain Ski Resort is Webber Lake. This is about a 20 minute drive west of Ironwood. There is a public boat launch, swimming beach, and campground. A nice easy lake to access and paddle with beautiful view of the Whitecap Ski Resort!


#10 Pine Lake

A few miles south of Ironwood is Pine Lake in Wisconsin.  A smaller inland lake with a public park and boat launch. A perfect place for a peaceful evening paddle!

 

There you have it! The Top Ten Places to SUP when you visit Ironwood!

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