A large ship moving through the canal at Wisconsin Point with a lighthouse in the background.

Ship Watching

Ship watching in Superior, WI

Watch some ships in the original Twin Port!

Honk hooooonnnkkk! The chest-rattling horns of massive ships moving through the Wisconsin Point canal are a unique experience to the Twin Ports and Superior, Wisconsin. These ships carry goods from all over the world into the terminals where it is sorted and sent where it needs to go. While shipping is vital to the supply chain, it’s also pretty darn cool to watch!

Lighthouse on Wisconsin point with the sun setting in the background. The lighthouse has a red roof and white base.

How do I Watch?

With your eyes, silly!

The easiest way to get a gander at these beasts of the sea is to check out the webcam set up on Wisconsin Point. There is live coverage via Youtube that constantly shows the activity in the canal!

The more adventurous way is to visit Wisconsin Point and see them for yourself! Off of Highway 53, you’ll turn onto Moccasin Mike Road, followed by a left on Wisconsin Point Road. From there, you’ll travel alllllll the way down to lot #5 where you’ll be greeted by views of the canal and lighthouse. You can get up close to the ships by walking out onto the pier and, if you’re lucky, the crew on the ships will wave to you!

Twin Port History

A long time ago in a canal not so far away…

Obviously, the port of Duluth and Superior was not always what it is today. The area was used for centuries by natives for hunting, fishing and trading. In the early 1800s, French-Canadian fur traders started using the waterways and a post was established in what would eventually become Duluth. Fast-forward to 1853 and the town of Superior was born!

Fun fact: Duluth had to dig their canal while Superior’s was natural!

Did you know: The last remaining above-water whaleback ship in the world is right here in Superior? See a whaleback go through the Soo Locks, 1989!

Do you know the difference between a Laker and a Salty? When people say “Laker” they’re referring to a boat that travels within the Great Lakes. A Salty, on the other hand, goes into ocean waters.
Learn more

The original Meteor that traveled to the Chicago World Fair is moored to an old turnpike in the St. Louis River. There are hundreds of people on all three decks.
An image looking out of the Soo Locks from the inside.

St. Lawrence Seaway

The Twin Ports boomed as shipping became an attractive transportation method for bulk quantities of goods. When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to deep-draft navigation in 1959, ships started coming from across the world, making the Twin Ports one of the most popular shipping destinations in the USA!

An overhead image of the terminals in the harbor near Wisconsin Point.

What’s on Those Ships?

A little of this, a little of that.

Whether it’s a salty (ocean-faring vessel) or a laker (lake-faring vessel), you can find just about anything on these huge boats. Some examples are:

  • Cement
  • Coal
  • Dry Bulk
  • Liquid Bulk
  • Fertilizer
  • Grain
  • Iron Ore
  • Salt
  • Scrap Iron

And much more!

Ship terminals

To house a wide variety of materials, terminals are needed to sort, organize and distribute the goods by rail, truck or another ship. The Twin Ports are home to many, many terminals with different jobs!

What’re you Waiting for?

Grab your kids, a friend or your dog and head out to Superior to watch some maritime marvels. Don’t forget to get the MarineTraffic app to keep track of all that is happening in the original Twin Port!

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