The Gargantua Islands range in size from ½ acre to 54 acres. The largest and best known is named Devil’s Warehouse because of its dramatic rock formations. Peregrine falcons, a “species at risk” in Canada, nest on the cliffs of Devil’s Warehouse. Area naturalists have documented caribou swimming out to the islands to calve, seeking refuge from predators. The Gargantua Islands Archipelago is the first gift American Friends has received in Lake Superior.
Visitors to Lake Superior Provincial Park have assumed that the archipelago’s unique geologic formations, indigenous rock art, pocket beaches and wildlife habitat were already protected. However, an American family, originally from Detroit, has owned the islands since the early 1900’s. When the current generation of family members decided to dispose of the islands, Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy (LSWC) arranged for them to donate their property to American Friends so their gift would be tax deductible in the United States. LSWC, with help from volunteers and park staff, will be responsible for stewardship of the islands.
Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy is one of the leaders of an effort to establish an international Lake Superior Heritage Coast Corridor. The designation would promote eco-tourism and advance preservation of the wild, scenic and pristine character of this beautiful area.