Silver Bay - A North Shore Jewel
by Tony Crimi
Minnesota boaters can now claim, as their own, one of the finest public marinas on all of Lake Superior. While the finishing touches are still being added, Silver Bay Marina is open for business. The marina currently has sixty one slips which range in length from 35-60 feet long. Depth throughout is in excess of ten feet. Gas, diesel, and pumpouts are available. As of the end of August, water was hooked up to the building but not yet available on the docks. Thirty to fifty amp electric service was available at the slips depending on slip length. Boater restrooms and showers are separate from those open to the public. Laundry facilities are expected to be completed soon. In talking with Harbormaster Mike Baker, I was told that eighteen slips will be kept open for transient boats, and that the marina will be expanded to 167 slips as demand arises. Long term plans include haulout and winter storage facilities. Overnight dockage for our 34 foot boat was a very reasonable $15. The marina building itself has a very nice deck and enclosed gazebo overlooking the lake.
Silver Bay is easily reached from the Apostle Islands. Sand Island is only 22 miles away. In fact the Apostle Islands and the adjoining Wisconsin shoreline are visible from the marina on most days. The distinguishing landmark, when approaching from any direction, is the plant of Northshore Mining. This plant is identified on area charts as Reserve Mining. Part of the marinas northeast breakwall is the longstanding wall that runs out to Pellet Island on the charters. Another distinctive landmark, further east is Palisade Head and itís associated tower. The green roofed marina building is easily spotted part way up the hill.
Once at the marina, the town of Silver Bay is a one and one half mile walk away. Discussions are under way for some sort of shuttle service to and from town. Once in town, there are several facilities boaters might be seeking. North Shore Oil and Propane and Superior Outdoor Supply are both near the intersection of highway 61 and Outer Drive. A half mile up Outer Drive from Highway 61 is a small shopping center with a cafe, hardware store, and grocery. Zups Grocery has a good selection of fresh produce. The Post Office is also located in this shopping center. Across the street is the Silver Bay Bar and Lounge, where you might pass a rainy evening playing cribbage - the boards are kept behind the bar. The bar also has an adjoining liquor store. Two area restaurants (Inn at Beaver Bay and Northern Lights) will provide transportation to and from the marina.
The marina shares its site with Bayside Park and, like the park, is operated by the City of Silver Bay. The adjoining park enhances the facility for boaters by providing picnic areas (some covered), a swimming beach, and fire rings. The marina has also marked the site of the sunken freighter ďHesperĒ which is located just off the northeast breakwall in thirty feet of water. Iím sure that this facility, which is a cooperative venture between the State of Minnesota, City of Silver Bay, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board will be well received by area boaters.
For more info visit www.silverbay.com or call Leondra Morris at 218-226-4408.
Tony Crimi is a freelance writer from St. Paul, MN.