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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.

As a Weekender Light Keeper on Porphyry Island you will be immersed in your beautiful surroundings for four days and nights, 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 beach-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 Light Keeper, Porphyry Island Lighthouse package costs $325 per-person for six guests for four days and overnights. You will arrive on Thursday and return on Sunday. Departing on Thursday (see tentative dates below) you’ll receive an orientation from your captain about Lake Superior. Getting there is only part of the adventure on Lake Superior. See the beautiful Sleeping Giant Silver Islet from the water like the voyageur once had. 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 look after yourselves.

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

Nestled on a cliff-craggy black volcanic island, capped with boreal forest the Porphyry Point Island Lighthouse 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 diversity of the lighthouse experience is now 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. 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 help you 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.