Picture growing up in a metropolitan city with over 500,000 people, cars and subways, towering skyscrapers, and the noise to match it all. Now picture growing up in a rural community with less than 100,000 people, animals on your doorstep, sounds of crashing waves from nearby lakes, and ample space to explore. Being raised in Sault Ste. Marie, I was lucky enough to grow up in a place where wildlife, the Canadian Shield, and Lake Superior all meet in the beautiful region of Algoma Country. Each season you are guaranteed to find a new adventure, whether it be a hike, overnight camping, a scenic outlook, or even a new fishing spot, Algoma Country ceases to amaze those who visit. There are many great cottages and resorts to stay in if you are visiting.
This past fall, a few friends of mine joined me on a journey up Highway 17 North to visit Gargantua Harbour located in Lake Superior Provincial Park. We began our day early with a set itinerary to have us home around dinner time, but soon after departure, we knew we’d be much longer. The drive-up Highway 17 North starts through Havilland Bay, Harmony Beach, Batchawana Bay and Pancake Bay before entering Lake Superior Provincial Park. Each location is worth a stop to truly take in the beauty that Lake Superior has to offer.
After driving for roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes, we decided it was time to stop and stretch our legs. Lucky for us we were only a few kilometres away from Sinclair Cove, a place my friends had never visited before. It was the perfect place for a rest while taking in a spot I had fallen in love with years ago. We explored for a few minutes while taking pictures to remember the fascinating landscape, then it was back on the road with our destination in sight. Within a blink of an eye, roughly 30 minutes, we had reached the access road to Gargantua Harbour.
14 kilometres from the turnoff we had made it to the parking area to begin our day of exploring. In the early 1900s, this area was home to a fishing and logging village that was eventually abandoned, but still left remnants of building foundations, gardens and an old Ranger Station that is still standing. The dubbed “Ghost Town” offers so much to see and do, that you can easily spend a full day or more exploring, which we took full advantage of. Hiking through the bush, a clear-cut path leads us to the sun beaming off crashing waves, a warm breeze winding through the trees, and birds singing overlooking Lake Superior towards Warp Bay. For a few hours, we explored the highs and lows of the natural harbour taking in all that Algoma Country has to offer.
Upon wrapping up our Gargantua Harbour adventure and headed towards home, we decided an impromptu detour was needed, as most do when driving Highway 17 North. We ended up at the picturesque landmark known as Katherine Cove and a surprise came to us as we dipped into Lake Superior and the water temperature was still warm, not a usual thing in Algoma Country’s fall weather. After relaxing in the water for a short time we took in the surreal view one last time and headed for Sault Ste. Marie.
A short time after being back on the road, a growling sound emerged from within the car. Our long day of adventuring had caught up to us and it was time for something to eat. It was evident where we all wanted to stop, and soon enough we pulled into the Voyageurs’ Lodge & Cookhouse. Located in Batchawana Bay right along Highway 17 heading, this Voyageur-themed restaurant offers amazing meals to comfort any traveller as well as River Rock Gift Shop to remind you of your journey.
Our stomachs were full and the sun began to set, it was time for the final stretch of highway to take us to our home in Algoma Country.
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