Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - Leaderboard

BoatUS Magazine names five top Great Lakes cruising destinations

by Scott Croft 2 Aug 2018 12:14 UTC
Great Lakes Cruising Club port captain Jim Ehrman watches the commercial ships in Lake Erie from the helm of his 44-foot Carver motorcruiser, La Dolce Vita. © Janice Vitucci-Ehrman

"Local knowledge" is what boaters crave when they cruise to unfamiliar destinations. But when it comes to seeking out the best getaway spots for recreational boaters on the Great Lakes, whom can you ask? The August/September issue of BoatUS Magazine has those answers in "Favorite Harbors of the Great Lakes," with advice directly from some of the most capable and well-traveled members of the Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC). Here are their favorite cruising destinations on each of the five Great Lakes.

Lake Superior: CPR Slip, Ontario. You can't find CPR Slip on Google map, and you'll need some local knowledge to help enter the tricky small harbor, but Bonnie Dahl, widely regarded as the absolute cruising authority for the lake, says remote CPR Slip is a "prize." The former Canadian Pacific Railroad fishing camp on Saint Ignace Island with a protected harbor surrounded by Boreal forest can be a busy place on weekends with lively gatherings around a fire pit and the sauna getting heavy use. Many dinghy over to nearby islands to hunt for agates (crystallized quartz rocks).

Lake Michigan: Escanaba, Michigan. While she does head out often aboard her Bristol 35, GLCC port captain for Escanaba, Michigan, Marilyn Kinsey, says her hometown is her unqualified favorite location on Lake Michigan. Located at the end of Door County-Green Bay area, the welcoming, protected harbor and "end-of-the-road" boating destination never turns away a boat. It offers a 165-slip marina, marine services, supplies, great fishing, predictable winds every day, and is on the popular "Golden Triangle" route, including Escanaba - Fayette - Washington/Rock Islands.

Lake Huron: Bad River, Ontario. In an incredibly scenic area of the lake where narrow, rocky inlets lead deep into the Ontario shore and block-iron tinged waters conceal shallow reefs lurking below, Bad River offers a unique wilderness anchorage. Having a motorized dinghy is a must for exploring, says GLCC Commodore Steve Reinecke, who named it his top destination on Lake Huron. Bad River may be 20 miles from the nearest civilization, but this popular safe harbor can easily hold more than 40 boats – but you won't feel crowded.

Lake Erie: Erie, Pennsylvania. Its shallow depth occasionally causes Lake Erie's waves to build to the size of whales. However, the harbor at Erie, Pennsylvania, not only provides protection, but also has excellent recreational opportunities for water sports, dinghy exploring, swimming, picnicking, golfing, hiking, and biking. The arching peninsula of Presque Isle State Park swings out into the lake, creating the 10-square mile natural harbor. With more than 100,000 residents, Erie offers a lot to do, says GLCC Port Captain Jim Ehrman. With great shopping, museums, a water park, restaurants and nightlife, it's Ehrman's top Lake Erie cruising destination.

Lake Ontario: Endymion Island, Ontario. Part of Canada's Thousand Islands National Park, Endymion Island is on a popular route – just be aware of hard granite rock below the surface that, "is the Thousand Islands," says GLCC Rear Commodore Eric Sunstrum. His top Lake Ontario destination pick, Endymion Island has two public docks, plenty of nice anchorages and even a few mooring balls. Exploring other nearby islands is a top activity, and fishing is often good right off your anchored boat. Sunstrum believes the best time to visit is in September after the Toronto boaters have gone home for the season.

To see "Favorite Harbors of the Great Lakes" as well as information on crossing the border, a list of charter companies and information on the Great Lakes Cruising Club, go to BoatUS.com/Great-Lakes.

Related Articles

Bring your expired flares to the Collection Event
Collection Event scheduled in San Francisco for April 14 The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging San Francisco boaters to take advantage of a marine flare collection event held by the San Francisco Department of Environment (SF Environment) on Sunday, April 14 Posted on 22 Mar
Video: Ships vs. Boats – How close is too close?
Two videos captured by Hudson River pilot seek to educate boaters When it comes to recreational boats and commercial ship traffic, separation is key. Some boaters, however, may not recognize the dangers of navigating close to a commercial ship. Posted on 21 Mar
Affordable 3-hour at-the-helm powerboat courses
Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? A partnership between the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and Freedom Boat Club Annapolis and will bring affordable on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats to the Bay Bridge Boat Show. Posted on 19 Mar
Save 50% on BoatUS Foundation boating courses
Affordable BoatUS Foundation courses help you get ready for the upcoming boating season With boating season just around the corner, now could be the best time to learn new skills by taking an online course from the comfort of your own home – and save some money. Posted on 12 Mar
The expired marine flare disposal problem
A system of safe disposal for expired marine flares Maine state representative Joyce “Jay” McCreight, Maine House District 51, has introduced an act that would establish and promote a system of safe disposal for expired marine flares, potentially solving an age-old disposal issue Posted on 21 Feb
BoatUS asks boaters to help Coast Guard members
With the partial government shutdown now more than a month old With the partial government shutdown now more than a month old, BoatUS recognizes the hardship members of the U.S. Coast Guard are facing by not receiving their paychecks. Posted on 25 Jan
Boat-towing Captains honored for lifesaving acts
Captains of the on-water recreational boat-towing service don't hesitate to act Six captains who acted as good Samaritans to save lives in 2018 were recently honored by their peers at a ceremony held at the annual BoatUS Towing Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Posted on 22 Jan
BoatUS: “Pay Our Coast Guard”
BoatUS is supporting bipartisan legislation to immediately restore pay for U.S. Coast Guard members With the federal government shutdown now in its fourth week, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is supporting bipartisan legislation to immediately restore pay for U.S. Coast Guard members. Posted on 18 Jan
BoatUS to make boat training more affordable
Hands-on boat-handling program to be held at 40 locations in 2019 Learning how to drive a boat takes practice. That's not always an easy or affordable thing to do, according to the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water – especially if you've never owned a boat Posted on 17 Jan
President Trump signs Modern Fish Act
What it means for the nation's 11 million saltwater anglers With President Trump's December 31 signing of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act), saltwater recreational anglers just got a big leg up when it comes to the federal management of the nation's fish stocks. Posted on 3 Jan
Raymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - FooterMultihull Central Aquila 36 FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1