A specialty television network has named Agate Beach on the north shore of Lake Superior one of the best natural beaches in the world.
Travel and Escape Network lists the agate-stone beach in the National Marine Conservation Area as fourth among seven must-visit natural wonder beaches.
Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey, who operates a sailing charter business, calls Agate Island — and the beach that’s located in a cove on its north side — phenomenally unique.
The island, its shores and the beach are covered with agates.
"It's not what you would normally think of as a normal beach because it's all rocks," Harvey said.
"[It’s] quite steep. You also have a lot of the layering or the terraces that are formed along the beach."
Harvey added that Agate Island is also unique because it has the Pukaskwa pits.
"[They are] man-made pits that have been dug. Nobody actually knows why they are there [or] why they were made. Some people think perhaps they held caches of food that were dug up later. They are considered sacred sites by First Nations people."
Harvey said the recognition for Agate Beach, which is accessible only by water, will help point visitors to the entire Lake Superior archipelago.
He said most people don't realize that it's one of the best cruising areas anywhere.
Other beaches on the Travel and Escape Network's list include ones in Martinique, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Dominica and Puerto Rico.
"To be number four on the list of the seven beaches to visit in the world … [and to be] the only Canadian beach on that list ... this is phenomenal," Harvey said.
"It is a unique, pristine area. I have sailed all over the world and I have never found a greater area for cruising and sailing than the top of Lake Superior."