To see the stops along the way, visit our Travel Guide to Lake Superior.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, with a coastline twice as long as California’s and a surface area that could nearly swallow the state of Maine. With an average depth of 483 feet, an average temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and 350 shipwrecks that have claimed over 1,000 souls dotting its bottom, Superior can be a foreboding place.

It’s also a strangely alluring one — filled with a unique stew of Native American, French and Scandinavian loggers, miners, fishermen and mariners who have braved the region’s challenging weather to form rich histories in scattered small towns and industrial cities. We set off from Duluth, Minnesota, on a clockwise loop around this inland sea.

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