Hiking the Sand River Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Did someone say waterfalls?

Updated: By Cory St. Pierre

Hiking has always been a passion of mine and Lake Superior Provincial Park has no shortage of trails to explore. Whether it’s hiking to a scenic lookout or exploring along the mighty Lake Superior coast, there is always something new to see! Luckily I am fortunate enough to live close by in Sault Ste. Marie where access to the provincial park is only 1hr 20mins north of the city. The close proximity has made it effortless to plan full-day trips in the spring, summer, and fall months.

On this trip, I decided to venture up north to visit a hiking destination that came highly recommended by several friends and family, the Sand River Trail. Located approximately 150 km/93 mi (1 hr 40 mins) north of Sault Ste. Marie off Hwy 17, the maintained parking area is well marked on the right side of the highway.


Although the trail is popularly known as the Sand River Trail, its actual name is the Pinguisibi Trail which means “Sand River” in Ojibwe. This travel route was used by the Ojibwe, who lived on the east shore of Lake Superior for over 2,000 years, to travel between their winter camp inland and their summer camp near the shore.


The trail itself is classified as “moderate” in skill level, meaning that the trail is well marked/visible and contains some inclines/declines as well as some large rocks and tree roots. All in all the trail is not a difficult hike (approximately 6km round trip), however, be sure to wear proper footwear as some parts of the trail may be saturated in the spring or after heavy rainfall.


As you begin the trail, you quickly realize what makes this hike so popular. Not only are you surrounded by the breathtaking flora and fauna of the great north, but the trail also takes you along the edge of the Sand River the entire way. For the majority of the trail, you will be hiking along a series of picturesque waterfalls with ample opportunity to relax on the river’s edge to take in the view or snap a photo for Instagram.


But the beauty of this area doesn’t stop there. As you progress to the final leg of the trail, you are taken along the river’s edge to a more calm and tranquil part of the river with spectacular panoramic views.


Learn more information on activities and things to do in Lake Superior Provincial Park.


About Cory St. Pierre

As a member of the Algoma Country staff, I enjoy hiking and the great outdoors. I hope my blogs and stories encourage you to explore and plan your next vacation to the Algoma region.

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