Experience the natural splendor and the many moods and thrills of Lake Superior, but while spending time near or on the water, please remember to be safe and respect the Big Lake.

Presque isle harbor lighthouse, lake superior

GENERAL INFORMATION

Located on the southern shores of Lake Superior in the central U.P., Marquette County boasts 83 miles of Superior Shoreline. As the largest freshwater lake in the world, Superior’s surface covers 31,700 square miles and its cold, clear waters reach depths of 1,332 feet.

 

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

Check out the average monthly temperature of Lake Superior in Marquette, MI, according to SeaTemperature.info

January - 35.2° F. February - 33.1° F. March - 33.1° F. April - 34.5° F. May - 37.8° F. June - 45.3° F. July - 59° F. August - 64.6° F. September - 60.8° F. October - 53.6° F. November - 45.3° F. December - 39.6° F

 

DEEP HISTORY

The Anishinaabeg call it Gichi-gami, roughly meaning “great water.” In the 1600s, French missionaries called it Le Lac Superior, or “upper lake,” denoting its location at the top of the Great Lakes region. Today, Yoopers and Michiganders most commonly refer to it as the Big Lake, Gitche Gumee or Mother Superior.

The Big Lake has long served as an important waterway for trade and shipping in the Great Lakes Region. However, its history of immense storms, strong winds, and powerful waves has made it infamous for sinking many ships, including the iconic Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

on the water

ON THE WATER

Paddle your way around isles and coves on the greatest lake of all, or across inland lakes big and small. The Cove at Presque Isle Park is the perfect spot to launch a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard into Lake Superior. If you’d prefer a more gentle adventure or lack experience, head to one of the County's smaller lakes like Harlow, Deer or Teal for a more serene scene.

Down for some fun in the sun? Splish, splash and relax at popular in-town spots like McCarty’s Cove, Clark Lambros Beach Park and South Beach or more remote options like Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle Beach.

scuba

MARQUETTE UNDERWATER PRESERVE

Established in 1990, The Marquette Underwater Preserve sought to promote the conservation of the area’s submerged historical resources. The preserve consists of two areas along Lake Superior’s shoreline, both offering excellent scuba diving opportunities. The Marquette Unit features 24 miles of surrounding shoreline, allowing divers to explore wrecks of wooden schooners, steamers, commercial fishing vessels and even unique geological formations. The second unit, the Huron Islands, is approximately 25 miles northwest and features some of the most impressive coastline in Michigan.


Lake Superior Safety Tips

  1. Swim where there are lifeguards. Never swim alone. Before entering the water, make sure someone knows you are doing so.
  2. Check the City of Marquette website’s beach flag advisory system before swimming in Lake Superior. Flags are put up at South Beach, McCarty's Cove, Middle Beach, and Picnic Rocks to indicate dangerous to highly dangerous rip current conditions. Also, check the National Weather Service's Rip Current Forecast.
  3. Rock formations are a likely place to find dangerously strong rip currents. This includes the Picnic Rock area, which is located on Lake Shore Boulevard. Do not swim in this area. Move down the beach to McCarty’s Cove where lifeguards are located.
  4. Know how to “break the grip of a rip.” Learn more from the National Weather Service at ripcurrents.noaa.gov.
  5. If you see someone caught in a rip current, going into the rip current area yourself is not the best solution.
  6. Strong winds on Lake Superior that create huge waves are amazing to see and photograph, but they, too, can be deadly. Do not go into the water or out onto the breakwall or Black Rocks at Presque Isle Park during high winds.
Lake Superior Safety Tips courtesy of Northern Michigan University & NMU Police Department