A volcanic Island surrounded by a panoramic view of cool turquoise waters and forest, with amazing Light Keepers histories, stories and shipwrecks.
Come and stay for a long weekend and learn what it took to be a light keeper. Or bring the gang? Group rates available.
As a Weekender Light Keeper on Porphyry Island you will be immersed in the beautiful surroundings and environment that the former light keepers and their families called home. 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.
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 history keepers and learn how the light keeper managed the light and duties. 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.
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 $XXX per-person (min.2 max.6). Departing on Thursday you’ll receive an orientation from your charter captain about Lake Superior before arriving at the island. After your lighthouse interpretive tour, you’ll have lunch in the keepers dwelling. Pack your sleeping bag and pillowcase for your overnight stay, bring layered clothing for changing conditions.
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.
Once you have received your basic orientation and tour we offer other programs such as – such as the light keepers footstep tour. We can also share our; volcanic island tour, nature reserve tour. You can book or reserve online.
Your charter departs every Thursday and returns Sunday afternoon.
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 Point Porphyry Island Lighthouse Station is part of the new Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, opened up for you to discover. Leaving Thunder Bay’s Marina you arrive at the lighthouse harbour an hour later aboard the Superior Rocket. The lake opens-up and is your new super highway to fun.
Fully-protected from the elements, visitors arrive in their bright-orange survival-suits and unzip to the protection of the Porphyry Island Cove and the boathouse.
Surrounded by the whispering pines, spruce and birch, you are introduced to the island’s access road that takes you to the lighthouse at Point Porphyry. As you walk through the forest to the lighthouse dwellings you are reminded of how peaceful it can be in the forest. Situated high on the cliff is the keepers dwelling.
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.
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.
You’ll get to visit the small museum and art gallery which again 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.
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, a connection to the mainland mile away.