Cape Gargantua – with its imposing cliffs, ancient cedars, and screen of volcanic rock islands – is one of the most special and significant places on the entire Lake Superior coast. In 2011, Lake Superior Park approached LSWC about acquiring the islands from the American property owners, three brothers of the Gilpin family. American Friends of Canadian Conservation (AFCC) facilitated this opportunity between LSWC and Kenneth Gilpin. AFCC’s unique conservation services benefit both the Americans who own valuable conservation property in Canada, and Canadian land trusts, like ours, that can steward the lands for perpetuity.

An archipelago of twenty islands makes up this LSWC Preserve. They range in size from half-acre rocky shoals to 50-acre islands. This Preserve includes numerous raised beaches, pock-marked basaltic rock, colourful pebble shorelines, and sculpted island silhouettes. This iconic geological wonder tells part of the Midcontinent Rift story that nearly split apart North America (Turtle Island) a billion years ago.

The Lake Superior Water Trail weaving through the Gargantua Islands Preserve is the water route that has been in use for millennia by travellers, traders and fishers. Today it is still a place of wonder for all who visit the archipelago.

To Batchewana First Nation, this is Nanabozhung: a place of great spiritual significance. Gargantua Harbour has a long history of occupation. In the process of developing Lake Superior Park, Batchewana First Nation community members were evicted from this ancestral fishing village, an all-too-common colonial practice. Reconciling the wrongs of the past requires much truth-telling. Today Batchewana First Nation is reclaiming their physical presence here to bring traditional knowledge, healing and ceremony back to Nanabozhung.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a land trust?

A land trust is a non-profit charitable organization that owns or manages land for the long term stewardship of natural and/or cultural heritage. One of the main activities of a land trust, or nature conservancy, is to actively work with landowners to conserve habitat, protect and steward land for its natural, cultural, recreational, historic and productive values, protect water quality, and address the effects of climate change.

What are land trust standards and practices?

The ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust.

What is ecotourism?

Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.

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What is a water trail?

A designated route along a waterway with publicly accessible access points particularly for non-motorized watercraft. Water Trails are the original highways that have been used for community life for millennia.

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How To Help

Protecting the greatest Lake on Earth means we all have a role to play in addressing the threatening elements of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, invasive species, and the diversion of water from the watershed.

We believe in the power of our collective effort to solve these challenges.