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Porphyry Point Light Station

A volcanic Island surrounded by panoramic views of cool turquoise waters and forest, with amazing Light Keepers histories, stories and shipwrecks. Getting there is half the fun.

Leave Thursday afternoon to the lighthouse on a regular charter and return Sunday afternoon. Three days (min. 3 / max. 6). The package includes; entrance fee, return charter, accommodation. email us with your questions.

As a Weekender on Porphyry Island you will be immersed in beautiful surroundings and stay at the former light keepers’ dwelling.

You’ll learn about the challenges, resilience and sacrifices of being a Light keeper and experience what it was like to live on an isolated island surrounded by the changing moods of Lake Superior.

The Sleeping Giant seen from across Black Bay.

Enjoy panoramic views, black-sand beaches, all while staying at a historic Lake Superior Island lighthouse.  Step into the role of Light Keeper for the weekend and embrace Lake Superiors’ history, awe and beauty. Follow in the footsteps of former keepers and immerse yourself in history, adventure and discovery.

By day, tour with our guides and Lighthouse Navigators and learn how the light keeper managed the light and living on an isolated island.  Find out about what made up the character of a light keeper. Was it perseverance, loyalty, dedication?

By night enjoy a warm sauna, sit by the campfire and be dazzled by the illumination of thousands of stars in the dark sky. The keeper’s dwelling provides basic amenities for your three-day stay. 

Sleeping Giant sunset over Black Bay

Enjoy the nature that keepers lived with-in this Lake Superior environment. Visit the black-sand beaches to see where wrecks have come ashore. Spot the sea-glass from broken bottles, and earth ware left behind. You’ll find out soon that there’s not enough time to learn all the challenges light keepers dealt with!

As a Weekender, Porphyry Island Lighthouse itinerary begins with a safety orientation by the charter Captain prior to embarking on Lake Superior. Getting there is only part of the adventure. Seeing the Sleeping Giant and the Silver Islet are spectacular scenes you need to see to be believed. After you arrive at the lighthouse you’ll be given an interpretive tour and orientation to the grounds. Pack your sleeping bag and pillowcase for your overnight stay, bring layered clothing for changing conditions.

Enjoy a meal at the lighthouse dwelling.

The dwelling accommodates six people, 1 double bed, 2 rooms with 2 single-beds, includes on-site solar & generator power and running water. WiFi is available.  You can order food previsions with us on a set menu, or bring your own supplies.

Your first view in the morning at the lighthouse seems to open up like a book. Stepping-out and across the expansive front lawn of the keepers dwelling, with coffee in-hand, you begin to understand the opportunities that the day brings.

Nestled on a craggy black volcanic island, capped by boreal forest the Porphyry Point Island Light Station is part of the new Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

Waves roll in on the other side of the Sleeping Giant Credit: Donny Wabasse

Surrounded by the whispering pines, spruce and birch, you are introduced to the island’s access road that takes you to the lighthouse at Porphyry Point. As you walk to the lighthouse dwelling you are reminded of how peaceful it can be in the forest.

The lighthouse experience is all around you. From the fantastic panoramic views of Lake Superior, to the lighthouse keepers story of survival, will four days be enough? 

As a light keeper you will learn about the light keepers families who came before, about the resource extractions days of silver and indigenous copper finds. You will learn how the First Nations people helped the settler light keepers how to survive on the summer harvest of fish and plant life.

Textured landscape.

You’ll get to visit the small museum and art gallery which offers a glimpse into the past to understand the challenges of operating a lighthouse in this remote setting.  

One of the experience is to ‘walk the walk’ of the keeper, checking out the locations they would attend to daily, from the light tower, to the fog alarm building and charting daily observations.

Settling into the 1940’s light keepers dwelling with wooden floors, gabled sashes and painted the characteristic red & white exteriors are familiar to all guests making them feel at home in the keepers dwelling. The three bedroom, homestead was government issue years-ago and no shortcuts were taken in the construction. Water, power and indoor plumbing still provide you with the comforts you expect. Cooking over the propane stove keeps you engaged with the settler’s challenges as you peer out the window to see a flock of blue jays fly by.

Your view is filled with blue turquoise waters, distant islands, sailing and fishing boats motoring along, taking in their own fantastic views. You can take a short 15 minute hike to explore the black sands beach.

Dianne Whalen, “500 Days in the Wild” documentary filmmaker crosses Black Bay after her visit to Porphyry Island. Credit: Donny Wabasse

You find out from the guide that the beach sands are a result of the volcanic rock. You can return to arrive at the sauna building & boathouse and take advantage of a steam-bath at the cove.

Porphyry Island gives away to an unfettered view of this freshwater sea, and connection to the mainland mile away.

As we update our online booking program, please refer to our tentative departure and return dates.

Stay for a long weekend and live the adventure from the lighthouse dwelling. Group rates available.