Swimming and summer just naturally go hand-in-hand - especially when you live in an area that's blessed with an abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams like the Northland.  Heck - we have the world's largest freshwater lake right at our toes.

So - where are the best places to swim in the Twin Ports?  Besides the obvious answer of "anywhere", we took a hard look at the multiple spots that are readily available for public swimming in the Duluth-Superior area.  Then, we narrowed that list down to ten spots - five in Duluth and five in Superior - that provide the right environment for a pleasant experience in the water.

For the most part these spots are free; a couple do require a fee due to their State Park locations.  A couple are located just outside of the legal city limits of our metro - but helped to round out the list.

So here's the list - in no particular ranked order.

 

  • Brighton Beach - Duluth

    A popular spot on the banks of Lake Superior, Brighton Beach is located right about where Highway splits off from "Scenic Highway 61" along the North Shore - just as you leave Duluth.  Brighton Beach offers plenty of parking and spots for picnics.

    One of the primary benefits of this beach is its long, narrow geography;  this allows you the opportunity to find a spot to call your own without feeling crowded.

    Like any swimming spot on Lake Superior, caution is needed - especially if you've never swam in these waters before.  The temperature of the lake doesn't fluctuate much which means that it stays pretty cold all year long.  In addition, the size of Lake Superior makes the waves and currents act like those found in an ocean;  riptides can and do occur.

     

  • Uncle Harvey's Mausoleum - Duluth

    The name might sound like an odd place to swim if you're not from the area, but native Northlanders know Uncle Harvey's Mausoleum as a prime spot to take a dip in Lake Superior's icy-cold waters.

    Located just off the shore in Canal Park, the mausoleum provides a lake-side swimming and diving experience.  Most people walk and then swim out to the object, climb up, and dive off.  It should be pointed out that swimming off of this object is not officially-sanctioned by the city.

    Last winter a part of the mausoleum crumbled and sank forever.

     

  • Park Point Beach - Duluth

    Quick: Close your eyes and "visualize" Duluth.  What do you see?  More than likely you conjured up an image of the Aerial Lift Bridge and the area of land located just at the tip of the city.  If you were looking to swim at a place that matched that visual, you'd probably pick Park Point Beach.

    Getting to Park Point Beach is half the fun.  Cross the Aerial Lift Bridge and follow along Minnesota Avenue all the way to the end of Minnesota Point.  There at the turn-around is a parking lot with access to the beach.

     

     

     

  • "The Deeps" - Duluth

    A popular yet dangerous swimming hole in Duluth  - The Deeps is a cliff-diving spot on Occidental Boulevard just off Superior Street.  There's a pedestrian that crosses over that provides the perfect spot to dive in.

    Extreme caution should be exercised at this swimming area.  It seems like every year or so there's another unfortunate accident that happens here.  Swimmers are urged not to dive in but rather use the hole as a good spot to cool off.

     

  • French River - Duluth

  • Pattison Park - Superior

    Follow Tower Avenue south out of town and it turns in to Highway 35.  Drive for about 20 minutes or so and you'll encounter Pattison State Park.

    On the west side of the highway, the park offers a scenic, wooded trail and three wonderful views of the tallest waterfall in Wisconsin and the fourth-tallest west of the Rockies.

    On the east side, there's a campground and a meticulously-manicured swimming beach.  Because this water hole is man-made (a result of damming and water-control) it offers calm, peaceful water that is perfect for young swimmers.

     

  • Amnicon Falls - Superior

    Follow U.S. Highway 2 east out of Superior about seven miles and you'll run into the Amnicon Falls State Park.  Users will find a campground, trails, and more.

    The falls provide multiple swimming holes to take advantage of.  Some of them are deep and all of them are surrounded by the rocky ledges of the falls.

     

  • Wisconsin Point - Superior

    Much like its similar namesake in Duluth, Wisconsin Point on the Superior side provides direct access to the chilly waters of Lake Superior on the lake side.

    The point is a popular spot for college kids and partiers at night, but during the day it's a popular spot for families.  The beach provides plenty of chances to search for rocks and driftwood - but be careful about regulations that prevent you from taking these souvenirs home.

    To get to Wisconsin Point, follow U.S. Highway 2 and 53 eastward out of Superior.  Right at the city limits, take the left turn onto Moccasin Mike Road.  Follow the signs.

     

  • Barkers Island - Superior

    Originally created as part of a commercial development, Barkers Island provides plenty of recreation opportunities within the city limits.  The island itself is located on Highway 53, right alongside the bay between Wisconsin and Minnesota Point.

    To get to the swimming beach, take the turn off Highway 53 right at the Belknap Street/U.S. Highway 2 intersection.  Follow the service road across the small bridge and veer to the right.  Off the right-hand side of the road is parking and access to the beach.

     

     

  • Lake Nebagamon Public Beach

    Outside the proper city limits of Superior - but well worth the drive - is Lake Nebagamon.  The drive is about 30 minutes, but once you're there you'll fall in love with this thriving Wisconsin small town.

    The city of Lake Nebagamon is built around the lake that shares its name.  Besides the shops and restaurants and other attractions, you'll find a public swimming beach that offers a wonderful swimming experience.