N 46° 56.246' W 084° 32.166'
N 46° 53.488' W 084° 35.161'
One of my favourite Campsites. A strip of crown land rests just between the Batchawana Provincial Park and a piece of private property on the point. On some maps, it shows the highway right up to the edge of the lake. It's not. It is a long and beautiful stretch of beach that continues between those two properties. That’s how I found it. There is a very clear line of delineation created by the Park Sign. Two fairly steep unmarked gravel ramps drop you down onto the beach. Unless you’re in a truck, I recommend you stay off the sand as much as possible and park on one of the patches of grass. On the bright side if you do get sucked into the sand people usually stop to help out fairly quickly, not that I’d be speaking from experience. Nope. Not me.
The white sand is soft, and the blue waters are beautiful and always cold. The only disadvantage is your campsite is only located a short distance from the highway. You have the same problems spending the day in the provincial park next door. Not too much worth worrying about, as most of it is drowned out by the white noise of the swelling waves crashing on the sands of the beach. The rhythms and pulsing of the bay. I’ve sat on that beach smoking a joint watching some spectacular storms blow across Lake Superior and straight into the Bay…some of those were just stupendous and awe-inspiring.
This was the patch for my first week-long camping site, that’s how much I enjoyed this location. I’ve returned every year since, although not in that rough driftwood and tarp shelter I’d built the first year. I was mosquito bait doing really rough camping. You also have the benefit of all the amenities right next door in the Provincial Park, including a covered picnic area to camp over for severe weather. A short paddle, pedal or hike and you can visit Voyageurs Lodge for their semi-famous apple fritters. If you’re fortunate, they’re not sold out.
Also, note that the small groups often visit and leave little messes so be prepared to do a little bit more and clean up more than what you bring. On really hot days’ people are continuously pulling over for a quick dip as they travel across this magnificent country. It can get pretty busy until the sun goes down, then they’re gone. It’s truly surprising how seldom I’ve actually had another camper stay over.
Batchawana allegedly comes from the Ojibway term, “Badjiwanung” meaning water that bubbles up. This occurs between Sand Point and Batchawana Island. The narrowest part and where I always cross from the mainland, it's located at the far end of my beach from the Provincial Park boundary sign.
I included Batchawana Island on this page. I figured, if you’re going to paddle out, there is nowhere better to set up a camp and park your car than Crown Land. The island is privately owned and for sale apparently, but completely undeveloped. No roads, no buildings, no docks…no people. Camping there would present no problem, although the unpredictability of Lake Superior has always made me keep my visits short. It’s a nice paddle over and huge, fifty-two hundred acres, but I wouldn’t want to be trapped there. The few supplies I can transport in my kayak limit my options. Twenty miles of shoreline, there is a huge six miles of beach and on the far side, one of the Flower Pot Islands is also a Sandhill crane rookery. Moose and Bear share this island with you so observe the same precautions you would camping on the mainland. There were paw and hoof prints all over the beach, but I haven't run into any of them yet. I’ve whiled away hours wandering around the shores exploring, but barely scratched the surface it’s absolutely massive.
In 2023, while at Batchawana Bay, I stumbled upon a robins egg blue crayfish shell, a testament to nature's diversity. I'd heard of a blue lobster so i assumed blue crayfish were out there, but never saw one before. Additionally, I encountered a three-inch leech gracefully swimming in the shallows, offering a glimpse into the fascinating aquatic life thriving in the bay's ecosystem. These encounters served as a reminder of the wonders hidden beneath the water's surface and the importance of preserving our natural world.
© sleeping under the stars 2021