Lake Superior Kayaking course for teens

This three-week, multi-element course features a backpacking section along the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior and a sea kayak expedition in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area of Canada. It is a great way to gain outdoor skills and experience two beautiful environments in the remote and unspoiled North Woods of Minnesota and Ontario. This course is ideal for motivated teens looking for personal challenge and diversity on the shores of Lake Superior. A valid passport is required to attend this expedition.


The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (LSNMCA) is a wilderness archipelago along the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior – the largest lake in the world. The LSNMCA is a rugged and pristine landscape of sparkling clear water, cliffs, pebble and sand beaches, rugged mountains and numerous islands. Moose, bear, bald eagles and otter are some of the wildlife you may witness during your travels. It is the largest freshwater marine protected area in the world and an ideal destination to hone sea kayaking skills.

The Superior Hiking Trail winds its way among birch, cedars and maples while crossing over dozens of sculptured waterfalls that cascade into Lake Superior. Well-marked trails, campsites and moderately challenging terrain make this a perfect place to gain independence from your instructors, continue to build teamwork and finish your expedition with style. You will rock climb at Shovel Point, which features 80-120 foot cliffs towering out of the lake. It is dramatic and windswept which will ensure memorable climbing for the novice and experienced rock climber alike.


Travel Lake Superior by sea kayak and hike the Sawtooth Range along the northern shore of Minnesota. You will gain skills to command single and tandem sea kayaks in wind, waves and surf. Pack your food and gear in the hatches of your boat and embark on a 12-14 day sea kayak expedition. You will explore the rugged coastline, learn to read nautical charts and gain the skills and awareness to manage your group safely in wind, weather and fog. You will perfect finding a sheltered camp along pristine beaches that are back-dropped by the moss-covered boreal forest. Savor fresh baked bread you created in the coals of a fire, learn to predict the weather, relish the starry sky miles away from any street lamp and learn to take good care of yourself and your teammates in the wilderness.

After your sea kayaking expedition, spend a day gaining climbing skills on the 80-foot sheer rock walls of Shovel Point. This dramatic climbing area is guaranteed to test your limits and expand your capabilities. At days end, switch your gear and backpack away, map in hand on route into the hills of the Sawtooth Range along the Superior Hiking Trail.

Pitch your tent in a new spot every night and gradually take over the leadership of the course as you and your group gain the skills required to run your own expedition. Put your learning’s to the test as you negotiate steep ridgelines, cascading rivers and forest trails. By course end your instructors will hand over their leadership responsibilities only to become silent group members, ready to intervene if necessary but allowing the members of the team to lead the rest of the expedition. Build your own fire, cook hearty meals and enjoy the freedom and responsibility of traveling as your own group in the wild.

A service project, overnight solo, ropes course and final expedition create an amazing adventure rich with a variety of opportunities for challenge. The course builds skills as an individual while backpacking and sea kayaking. You will master the tandem sea kayak with a partner as well as the skills of wilderness living necessary to complete an extended expedition.

Throughout the course there are evening discussions to which explore the personal and group challenges encountered. Topics include leadership, independent decision-making, goal setting, responsibility and teamwork. You will also have opportunities to learn geology, discuss environmental ethics and delve into the natural history of the North Woods and Lake Superior. This expedition is an exciting way to learn about yourself, gain technical outdoor skills and become a valued team member in a challenging and inspiring setting.

Please note that you will be required to have a valid passport in order to cross into Canada. If you do not have a passport or need to renew it, please start the process now as it can take weeks to receive your passport.

To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. Full course tuition and in-course transportation fee are due within 60 days of course start date. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee. You can also call one of our expert Admissions Advisors at 866-467-7651.