The Superior Rocket Experience!
For those of you who prefer to go VERY fast and too see more of the Lake Superior scenery, this is for you. There are endless options available for those who want to explore the landscape surrounding Thunder Bay. With Sail Superior you can hike the Giant! cruise out to the historical Porphyry Island Lighthouse, or tour up the Kaministiqua River. Regardless of the journey and weather, you will be in for a comfortable and thrilling experience!
What to Expect
Even on the gloomiest of days, you will have fun. I am talking from my personal experience. As a captain (in training) for Sail Superior, I spend the majority of my day on the water or preparing the vessels for our daily tours.
Our first excursion on the Superior Rocket was a foggy and chilly May afternoon. We left from Prince Arthurs Landing and arrived at the Sleeping Giant 40 minutes later! This would normally take 3-4 hours by sailboat. Now I know you’re thinking, that must be a cold ride. WRONG. Sail Superior provides full-length Mustang™ floater suits, gloves, and googles for its passengers. So you stay warm and dry!
For those of you that are familiar with the always changing water conditions of Lake Superior might be concerned with how the Rocket will handle in big waves. There is no need to worry! The 30foot RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) Superior Rocket, equipped with twin 250 Evinrude engines, is designed for planing over the surface of the waves. Making the voyage across Lake Superior comfortable and fast! Even in rough water conditions!
Also, our Superior Rocket tours are Pet-Friendly! Share your boating and hiking experience with your canine buddy!
What NOT to Expect
If you are anticipating a relaxing, calm and quiet day on the water, you will be disappointed. The captains will do their best to keep everyone happy and comfortable, however, this experience is meant to be thrilling and fast moving. If you are looking for a relaxing and peaceful day on the water, we recommend exploring our Lake Superior Sailing Tours.
Sail Superior does not recommend Zodiac travel for expectant mothers, people in frail health, or those with neck or back concerns. Instead, we recommend one of our unique and scenic Harbour Sailing Tours or our Big Lake Adventures by sailboat.
Hang on and Enjoy your Sail Superior Experience!
Choose from our many Sailing and Rocket Tours
Treat your Significant Other to a Wine and Cheese Tour
Hike to the top of the Sleeping Giant
Cruise up the Kaministiqua River
Superior Rocket Tours! New!
Treat the man in your life to a thrilling day out on the water! Spend the day exploring the Historical Harbour Front and the shoreline of the Kaministiqua River. Enjoy the ride in any weather. Our full body floater suits will keep you warm and dry on those wavy Lake Superior days. Cruise out to the Sleeping Giant and hike up the head trail from Sawyer’s Bay. Or visit some of Thunder Bays unique Lighthouses!
Sailing Harbour Tour
On this unforgettable Harbour Tour. You will get out on the water, sail up close to the lakers and salties, look up at the massive grain elevators dominating the city shoreline, get incredible views of the Sleeping Giant and pass by the historic Thunder Bay Main lighthouse. Finish off by cruising around the manmade break wall, and back to Pier 3.
Wine and Cheese Tour
Have an unforgettable night on our Thunder Bay Sailing Wine and Cheese Tour. Choose between our scenic sunset cruises and our peaceful twilight harbour cruises. Or try both! Share this truly unique experience with friends and family or a significant other. Halfway through our scenic cruise, we’ll set the anchor and you can open your own bottle of wine, sample our assortment of local and imported cheeses from the Cheese Encounter and watch the sunset, or the city lights and stars emerge.
Treat your Man to a Day on the Water!
Happy Father’s Day!
Bring your pet along for a boat ride and hike on some of the most remote Islands on Lake Superior.
Share the experience with your best friend!
Visit The Thunder Cape Bird Conservatory!
Take a Sailboat or a Zodiac Rocket ride to the Thunder Cape Bird Constervatory. Hike 6.5 km from Tee Harbor to the Conservatory at the feet of the Giant. Enjoy the view from the point and learn about the local bird species. Then sail back to the Thunder Bay Marina.
Sail and Hike with Sail Superior
Sail to the remote Islands of Lake Superior.
Check out the pristine forest and crystal clear water.
Share your afternoon with amazing wildlife while hiking through Ontario’s Boreal Forest.
Hike to the top of 1000 foot cliffs.
View Thunder Bay from the highest points!
Don’t forget about our Pet-friendly Options! Spoil your dog with a hike up the Giant!
Visiting the Thunder Cape Bird ObservatoryMay 1, 2018
Are you an avid birder? Do you have a keen interest in nature and science? Do you want to learn?
The Thunder Cape Bird Observatory is a great place to visit!
Visiting The Thunder Cape Bird Observatory
Located at the tip of the Sleeping Giant, the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory has served as a bird monitoring station since 1991. The Sibley Peninsula (Sleeping Giant) is bounded by the highest cliffs in Ontario. These cliffs create a natural migration trap. Especially good for waterfowl, raptors, and passerines. The Thunder Cape Bird Observatory sees hundreds of bird species every year!
The Thunder Cape Bird Observatory associates with The Ontario Bird Banding Association. It is also part of The Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. The Observatory runs from late April and until the end of October. Peak bird migration occurs in the spring and fall. There are lots of activities at the Observatory. Volunteers identify, age, sex, weigh and band caught birds with an ID number. Also, visual monitoring, and Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) take place.
At the site, there is a cabin with a bird banding station, a sauna, and further back a watchtower. In the clearings around the banding station, mist nets are set up. A heligoland trap is used to catch birds for banding. In the fall, mist-netting is used at night to catch Northern Saw-whet and Boreal Owls.
Depending on how busy it is for staff and volunteers, you can sometimes get a great site tour and banding/identification lesson when you arrive. The staff and volunteers are very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. If it is too busy for a tour and learning, the Thunder Cape is still a really interesting place to visit!
Getting to the Thunder Cape
Getting to the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory can be a trek! Hiking is the most popular way of getting to the Observatory. The hike to the observatory is about 12 km from the trailhead at backcountry parking lot. The hike roughly traces the shoreline through the dense forest. The trails are fairly wide with rocky and sandy or muddy bottom for the most part. To start the hike, follow the Kabeyun Trail 6 km, past the turnoff to the Sea Lion, to Tee Harbour.
Continue from Tee Harbour and hike another 5 km, past the Talus Lake Trail and Lehtinen’s Bay campsites. Before you complete the 5 km you will encounter a boulder field. Take your time in this section, especially if it is wet out. After the boulder field, the trail climbs over the tip of the Sleeping Giant’s Feet. This section is steep and can also be treacherous in wet conditions.
Once you are over the tip of the feet it is a short 1.5 km hike to the Observatory. Look for the wooden observation tower to the east. The whole hike to the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory and back is about 24 km. For most people, this is a full day or two days with an overnight at the Tee Harbour or Lehtinen’s Bay campsites. Make sure to pack according to the conditions.
Bike and Hike
This is a good option if you want to save some time and have some fun biking the trails. You can bike from the trailhead at the parking lot right to the beginning of the boulder field. You could probably do it on any bike in most conditions but a mountain bike makes it way easier, especially if it is muddy. The terrain is bumpy and some of the hills are steep. Lock your bike up and continue on foot. Depending on where you lock up, the whole bike and hike to the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory is 16 – 18 km of biking and 6 – 8 km of hiking. For most people, this is a half day to a full day. It is also fun to camp and make a weekend of it. There are many other trails to explore by bike.Make sure to pack according to the conditions.
By far the quickest and most thrilling way to get to the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory. Sail Superior is now offering trips and shuttles on the Superior Rocket, a Zodiac powerboat, to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. The Rocket trip directly to the Thunder Cape takes about 1 hour. If you would like to hike from Tee Harbour the Rocket trip is just over 1 hour.
Experience the crystal clear waters and magnificent vistas of the world’s largest freshwater lake. Ride out past the Welcome Islands. Cruise by Pie Island and back towards the Sleeping Giant. Spot the resident Bald Eagle on Hare Island. Follow the shoreline under the 1000 foot cliffs. This trip is really incredible!
Call 807-628-3333 to book a Rocket trip to the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory
Looking for Adventure? Try our New Adventure Finder!
We’ve designed a great new website feature to help you plan your perfect Lake Superior Adventure.
Follow along as we walk you through our user-friendly Adventure Finder. The link below will open up our Adventure Finder in a new page.
1. Choose your Tours and Tour Options
Click the “Choose your Tours” tab. A list of our tours will appear below the tab.
Choose the tour or tours that you are interested in by clicking the tour title(s). Choose the “Pet-Friendly” option if you want to see our Pet-Friendly tours.
Click the green “Update” button to see our next available Adventures matching your selections.
2. Choose your Dates
Click the “Change Dates” button next to the green “Update” button OR click the “Choose your Dates” tab next to the “Choose your Tours” tab.
A calendar will appear under the “Choose your Dates” tab. Click the arrow icons at the top of the calendar on either side of the month to change the month. To choose one date, click it twice. To choose a range of dates, click the first date and then the last date. Your selected date(s) will be highlighted in blue.
Click the red “Cancel” button to exit the calendar. Click the green “Apply” button to see our available tours matching your selections on your chosen date(s).
3. Explore your Options
A list of tours will appear below. They are organized by date, type and time. Click “Learn More” to see the tour status, description, price, duration and a link to the tour page. For the tour status, a yellow thumbs-up means that the tour still has lots of room. A green thumbs-up means that the tour is guaranteed to go and still has some room.
4. Book your Adventure
Click the “Book Event” button to open a booking window. Choose the number of passengers you are booking with the “+” and “-” buttons and then click the “Continue” button.
Your booking window will refresh and show a summary of your booking. To continue your booking, fill out the form (name, phone number, email, city, etc). Make sure to carefully read our Terms and Conditions. This section has important information about your Adventure. When you have completed the form and read and agreed to our Terms and Conditions, click the green “Continue” button at the bottom of the page.
You will be redirected to our secure payment page. Enter your payment and billing information and click the green “Pay” button to complete the process.
Once you have completed the process. You will receive a confirmation email.
5. Enjoy your Lake Superior Adventure
Have an unforgettable experience with Sail Superior!