During Spring, Summer or Fall, these 5 incredible hikes are a great way to explore the beauty of Algoma. Some of lead to waterfalls, some lead to breathtaking views of Lake Superior, and some lead to ancient sites.
Agawa Rock Pictographs
The Agawa Pictographs are a sacred site. These red ochre paintings on the rock face have endured rain, wind, winter and everything else that the mighty Lake Superior can muster and still they prevail. Generations of Ojibwe have recorded dreams, visions and important events. The Pictographs are faded and weathered and we will never know how many pictures have disappeared with time. It’s worth the short hike and I am sure a few hairs will stand up on your neck viewing this beautiful and historic site. The Agawa Pictographs are located within Lake Superior Provincial Park and a day-use permit is required to visit the site (these can be obtained from any of our park offices, including the Visitor Centre at Agawa Bay) and about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours from Sault Ste. Marie.
Distance: the round trip is 1 km
The difficulty is moderate, with steep rocky sections
Note: The Pictographs can only be viewed when Lake Superior is calm. Dogs are not permitted on the trail for cultural and safety reasons. The site is open from mid-May to mid-September.
Potholes Provincial Park
Not an attractive name for a remarkable geological site located in, surprise, surprise, Potholes Provincial Park! A short interpretive trail winds through a garden like setting in the beautiful Boreal Forest. Distinctive “potholes” in the bedrock that were naturally formed in the times of the glaciers over 10,000 years ago will have you realize that this name fits the phenomenon. Water still flows through these potholes and this hike is SO worth it!
Distance: 350 metre trail
Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout
Photo Credit- Ontario Parks
Forever etched into the memories of most of us that are old enough to remember, is the haunting song of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot. In Pancake Bay Provincial Park there is now a hiking trail to a beautiful lookout over Lake Superior where you can lookout to Whitefish Bay, the place where the Edmund Fitzgerald succumbed to the Gales of November in 1975 on this majestic and powerful body of water. The two lookout platforms offer awesome views and don’t be surprised if you hear the haunting call of the loon.
Distance: round trip is 6 km
Difficulty is moderate
The falls can be viewed as you drive along Highway 17 but take the time to stop at the rest area. This spot marks the halfway point of the Trans Canada Highway. A short hike will get you up close and personal with this beautiful fall, but there are roots and rocks that have to navigated around. Don’t forget to walk the viewing bridge located along side of the highway to capture a full shot of the waterfalls. Don’t be surprised if you run into an artist painting the falls on one of the flat rocky areas. This waterfall was also an inspiration to the Group of Seven Art Collective.
Aubrey Falls Provincial Park
There is a bit of a view of the lower portion of these waterfalls at the foot bridge but keep going, keep going, keep going! Over the bridge and up to the viewing area there are even picnic tables. Here, you will see the best views of the entire waterfall. You can even follow the marked canoe route portage trails uphill past this viewing area to get to Aubrey Lake which is above the dam area. Interesting point, this dam slows down the water and sometimes even stops completely at night, or during the spring and fall! So yes, they turn the falls on and off! Learn more at Ontario Parks website.
Distance: round trip is 2 km
Difficulty is rated at moderate
To learn more about places to hike in the Algoma region visit backpack & hiking page.
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