Visiting Rossport's Battle Island Lighthouse

Battle Island is full of hidden gems. And the only way to get there? Boat or Paddle. If you're up for a true Superior adventure—this is a must-do.

We were standing on the dock at the Rossport Marina—about 2 hours east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The sun was high and hot on an incredible August afternoon. There was a wonderful breeze and Lake Superior was on her best behaviour. It was the sort of day you dream about going out into big water.

A crew of us were set to head out on an adventure to Battle Island to see the legendary lighthouse and it's incredible location atop a rocky island 

A Zodiac Ride to Battle Island Begins at Rossport Marina

Battle Island Lighthouse is located 9.3km across the water from the Rossport Marina in Superior Country. It was built in 1871 to guide boats through the narrow channels near Rossport and provide safe passage from Nipigon Bay. It has a rich and interesting history and with its southern side open and unprotected against the full power of Lake Superior, it has endured persistent and relentless storms.  You can visit the island and the lighthouse by boat, charter, or kayak tours. Today, we were taking a Zodiac tour with Sail Superior and it made quick work out of the crossing!

We flew across Rossport Harbor and through Wilson Channel. The little islands, stunning geology, a falcon sighting, and clear turquoise, water made for the perfect ride.  If you are visiting this area, there are so many places to stop and check out—little islands with beaches and beautiful places to set up a tent for an overnight adventure.  I made a few mental notes of ideal spots to revisit as we were heading past. 

Lighthouses, Mossy Trees, and Even an Abandoned Car?

We docked on the northern side of the island and hiked to the lighthouse. The trail across the island is well marked. We made our way along a sun-soaked path surrounded by old pine, spruce, and poplar. Moss carpeted the ground in a lush green and hung from the trees, bearding the branches. It was just like walking through the setting of a fairy tale.  As you approach the lightkeepers house, you pass an old truck nestled alongside the trail, rusted and moss-covered, being absorbed by nature. A historical reminder of past life on the island and it makes for an incredibly beautiful photo opportunity!

The lighthouse is seated on top of a beautiful, high, rocky outcrop. Facing south, you see nothing but open Lake Superior and a seemingly endless horizon. A beautiful deception that you are looking out into the ocean.  You can access a trail near the lighthouse with a breathtaking view of the south side of the island. You can also adventure down to the shoreline and meander across the rocky beach to look for treasures.  As you pass by the gated access path to the lighthouse, you can take a moment to sit and take in the view from the Parks Canada Muskoka chairs. Further down the path, you are led down to the lake and have an unrestricted and beautiful view of the lighthouse from below. 

The grounds at Battle Island are opened to the public, however access to the lighthouse is typically not. Regardless if you get to see the lighthouse up close or walk down the beautiful path to the rocky shore, the view of this incredible piece of history is sure to take your breath away.

Enjoy a Fresh Fish Shore Lunch After Your Hike

On this incredible day our crew enjoyed a shore lunch of freshly prepared, locally caught fish and delicious salads. It was an incredible experience to be enjoying our feast looking out into the vast open water of Superior with the lighthouse towering over us in paradise. Each bite delicious, each moment a feast for the senses. It really was the perfect spot for a picnic.

After packing away our things, we boarded our Zodiac and headed back to Rossport, but not before one last zip over huge rollers into big open Lake Superior. There is nothing quite as exciting as flying over big waves as you squeal with delight. The return trip back to the harbor as the sun was getting low in the sky allowed for a different perspective. A beautiful calm was settling over and a rosy golden light was encapsulating our surroundings. The most perfect ending to the most perfect adventure on the water.

Lake Superior is full of incredible places to explore, especially by water.  Incredible shoreline, pristine water, hidden beaches, and islands to adventure on. So many hidden gems exist like the ones on Battle Island and should be added to your itinerary when you visit Superior Country or plan your Lake Superior Circle Tour.

Want to visit Battle Island for yourself? Book a trip with Sail Superior.

About Deana Renaud

Deana Renaud is an adventurer at heart and a mental health professional by trade, living, working and wandering in Nipigon, Ontario. She has a Masters degree in Social Work, and is the author of ‘Getting Lost on The 49th’, a blog about her adventures hiking, travelling, momming and enjoying everything outside on the Northwestern shore of Lake Superior and beyond.  She thrives on new experiences, building connections with interesting humans, strong coffee and sugary carbs. If she’s not outside, you are most likely to find her face buried in a good book, mouth full of dark chocolate. 

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