about the destination
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a group of 22 islands on Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake. It is heralded for its awe-inspiring beauty, rich history, and amazing opportunities for exploration and adventure.
And we can take you there like no one else… in a 34′ Montreal Canoe.
This trip typically goes 6 days (5 nights). On the first day of the trip, you’ll arrive at Amnicon’s Base Camp (just 30 minutes outside Duluth) in the afternoon. You’ll meet your guides for the week and spend the afternoon preparing for your trip and learning everything you need to know before hitting the trail. We’ll close out the evening with a big campfire on our sandy beach on Lake Superior.
Early the next morning you’ll pack your bags, load up the trailer, and head to the Apostle Islands! Each day you’ll paddle from island to island, singing songs and playing games in the boat to keep everyone paddling in time together. The days begin with First Word, a brief devotion designed to get the group on the same page and focused on God, and end with a Bible discussion around the campfire. There’s time to swim, play, and explore. We try to give each group a “layover day” where you sleep 2 nights on the same island, which gives you extra time for things like visiting sea caves, lighthouses, and beaches.
You’ll dig deep into life together, and be awed by the beauty of creation. You’ll learn that you’re capable of more than you knew, and that God is always with you.
On the last day of the trip, it’s a short paddle to the mainland where we’ll pick you up and drive you back to base camp. After a few clean-up chores and a final final blessing, you’ll be ready to head home in the late afternoon with memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
frequently asked questions
What COVID precautions are you taking?
We’ve carefully considered the recommendations of the CDC, the American Camps Association (our accrediting organization), and the WI Dept of Health. Overall we’ve been very encouraged by our research! Apparently the way we operate (with small groups staying outdoors in remote locations) is one of the safest ways to come together in person. We found a COVID-safe way to run our wilderness adventures in 2020, so no matter what 2021 brings we know we’ll be ready to run these adventures again.
To protect our campers and staff, we’ve come up with the following practices:
- Group sizes are kept small
- All members of a group must be coming from the same geographical region
- Different groups are kept apart from each other
- All group activities take place outdoors
- We wear cloth face coverings and stay behind impermeable barriers any time we share an indoor space (such as walking through the dining hall to get food or riding in the van to the trailhead)
- We ventilate indoor areas as best as possible
- We assign equipement and reduce sharing
- Campers are given hammocks with bug nets & rain fly’s for private sleeping accomodations
There are a few other precautionary measures we’re taking as well. If you’re interested, click here to read our full COVID response policies.
Who can come on this trip?
Trip participants must be
- At least 14 years old on the first day of the trip,
- In reasonably good health,
- Be able to lift and carry 50 pounds over a short distance, AND
- Have a licensed medical practitioner sign a health form certifying that they are healthy enough to engage in the kinds of activities we’ll do on this trip.
- Anyone with a chronic medical condition must be able to manage their own care without assistance, bring all their own medications and supplies, be willing and able to communicate with Amnicon staff if they’re not doing well, have experience managing their condition during periods of increased stress & exertion, and have not had any medical emergencies within the last year.
Is it safe to travel in a canoe on Lake Superior?
Safety is our primary concern. If we can’t keep you safe in the wilderness, then we won’t keep you in the wilderness. Amnicon fully appreciates the risks of this kind of travel and we respect that “The Lake is the Boss.”
We have over 50 years of organizational knowledge about how to do this well. Our wilderness guides are trained in how to navigate on open water, and how to respond to various weather situations. They are also certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Wilderness Water Safety, and Mental Health First Aid.
The Montreal Canoes are very stable, and have never been unintentionally swamped.
We WILL NOT TRAVEL if there is a small-craft advisory. For this reason, there is a small chance that a group might get wind-bound on an island and might not be able to get back to the mainland on their scheduled return date. We send extra food in case this happens, and recommend that trip participants not schedule any major plans (like flights or weddings) for the day after their trip.
Which islands do we camp on during the trip?
Typically we visit Basswood, Oak, Stockton, and Sand Islands. However, this can differ from trip to trip as our exact route is determined via lottery with the National Park Service.
What are the campsites & bathrooms like?
We stay at group campsites that are maintained by the National Park Service. They tend to be large and comfortable, with beautiful views of Lake Superior and the surrounding islands, access to hiking trails, and a good swimming area. You’ll find an outhouse at every campsite & boat landing.