Life Under the Dome

Glamping on the Edge of Lake Superior at Rock Island Lodge

When planning that memorable summer trip to the shore of Lake Superior, sand, blue skies, and sunshine are sure to be the desired backdrop to your plans. Lake Superior might have its own ideas, but whatever it presents, you know, will be unforgettable. As it happens, rain—and lots of it—is in the forecast as we dropped our bags at the glamping geodome at Rock Island Lodge.

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What is a glamping geodome, you ask? It's a specious geodesic dome tent providing the comfort of a structure and a camping experience. They are often located in spectacular locations, like this one, on the beach at the edge of Lake Superior.

Once settled in and aware of the impending rain, we set out to take advantage of the fading sun as we explore the beach that is home for a few days.

As part of the Naturally Superior Adventures, kayaks and paddle boards dot the water's edge as people prep gear, ready to head out on a multi-day kayak adventure. Perched on a rocky outcrop, Rock Island Lodge might be the most spectacular setting on Lake Superior that you can call home for the night. 

The evening is spent by a crackling campfire before we retire to the comfortable bed and toasty comforter and watch the lake view fade to darkness.

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The morning brings an experience that we are not soon to forget as we are awakened by the pitter-patter of raindrops on the dome's roof. The chill of the morning air is kept at bay by the warm cocoon of the comforter. Beyond the vast clear window of the geodome, the water and sky now, matched in shades of gray, sweep across the horizon in a surprisingly relaxing display. We spend the day reading, napping, and walking in the rain, rediscovering the joy of doing not much at all.

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Another day and the sun is back; time to take advantage of what makes Naturally Superior Adventures one of Algomas's top destinations. The protected beachfront here is a perfect place for working on your paddle boarding and kayaking skills, and we do just that. You can explore the mouth of the Michipicoten River and the shore of Lake Superior and maybe play in the waves when you feel ready.

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I'd be happy just hanging out at the dome and playing in the water for days, but there are a few local attractions nearby that are hard to resist. Sandy Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches on the north shore of Lake Superior and is only a few minutes drive from Rock Island Lodge. It was also a favourite subject of Group of Seven artist A.Y Jackson. Here you will find a Group of Seven Interpretive panel and a storytelling pavilion where you will learn about the First Nations people who first settled in the area.

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In Wawa, you must stop by the Wawa goose, grab some ice cream at Young's General Store and stroll the waterfront along the shore of Wawa Lake. Then there are the waterfalls; the 75 feet high, 125 feet wide Scenic High Falls is a short drive from your temporary beach home and Silver Falls; you can practically walk to and will pass on your drive to the lodge.

Less than an hour's drive to the south, Lake Superior Provincial Park offers ample opportunities for adventure, hike, paddle, or log some beach time.

A visit to the geodome at  Rock Island Lodge might sound best under blue skies and sunshine, but no need to fret; whatever Lake Superior presents, you know, will be unforgettable. 

About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle. Whether he is covering adventure motorcycling, kayak fishing or family oriented outdoor pursuits, his passion for capturing the beauty of nature and the people that partake in it, is evident in his work. His photos and articles have appeared in magazines such as Ski Canada, Explore, Bike, Mountain Life, Couloir, Kayak Angler and Family Camping, as well as in calendars, catalogs and brochures.

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