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How to Paddleboard Lake Superior to Palisade Head

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One of the best ways to see Palisade Head is by water! Since we just bought new inflatable paddleboards from Paddle North, I really wanted to paddleboard to Palisade Head but had no idea where to launch! After some research, I discovered Black Beach is a great spot.  We started from Black Beach Park (just north of the famous black sand beach) because it’s closer to the parking lot so it’s easier to load/unload.  Parking was free.

From here, it’s about a 2.5 mile paddle to Palisade Head.  Along the way, we saw beautiful rock formations, little islands, boat garages and some gorgeous homes.  Once you arrive to Palisade Head, there are sea caves you can kayak/paddleboard through.

On the day we went, the waves started to really pick up so we opted to not go through the caves.  Thankfully the wind helped bring us back to Black Beach Park so the paddle back was quicker!

In total, this is about a 3-hour excursion.  I’d suggest only attempting this if you are an experienced paddler, have a life jacket and check the weather conditions before you start.  Also, start early because the water tends to be calmer then.  We went out at 10 and by the time we got back, the waves were strong such that I would not have gone back out at that point.

For a visual depiction of this experience by kayak, check out Jeanie’s video here or her article here detailing how to kayak this route!  This was super helpful for me to visualize the journey as I was planning it.

For more North Shore tips, check out my list of 22 must-see stops!  

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2 Comments

  1. […] Read my article on paddleboarding Lake Superior here! […]



  2. […] The only black sand beach in Minnesota is at the recently opened to the public (2015) Black Beach.  It’s a beautiful and I highly recommend visiting but I learned it’s not a natural occurrence as the black color happened from taconite dumping by a local mining company.  It’s the perfect spot for a picnic, swim (if you’re brave enough for chilly waters!) or to launch a kayak or paddleboard on a calm day.  We paddleboarded from here to Palisade Head which was blast! Read more about that here. […]



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