Algoma Country is a huge playground for adventurers in all four seasons. It is the perfect getaway for a hiking adventure. Hiking on Lake Superior’s shores is full of beautiful landscapes and will remain a favourite among hikers.
This article will provide all the information you need for a fantastic hiking trip in this beautiful region. My hiking adventures in Algoma Country took me from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa, Ontario.
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Where is Algoma Country?
Algoma District is part of Northern Ontario. It stretches from the northern shores of Lake Huron to the eastern shores of Lake Superior.
Why Visit Algoma Country?
This region is heaven to all outdoor enthusiasts. There is an outdoor adventure for everyone from open waters, canoeing or kayaking, lake fishing, hiking and backpacking trails, bird watching and camping. Hiking in Algoma Country is the main reason for this trip. I hope to inspire you to get out and explore this beautiful region.
A Bit of History
A group of artists called the Group of Seven travelled along this route, painting different landscapes. They spend a good amount of time in Algoma with its beautiful panorama and amazing scenery. This hiking adventure follows the same route on Highway 17 E along the shores of Lake Superior.
For my part, I usually stick to camping mainly because it is more affordable, and campgrounds are generally closer to the hiking trails I plan on hiking. I prefer the more remote accommodations to the city ones.
- cabin rentals and campsites
- on the shore of Lake George
- nature trail
- scenic lookout
- cottage rental and campsites
- pool and hot tub
- hiking trail
- large pond
- cabin rental
- nature trails
- near Ste Marie’s River and Mark’s Bay Conservation Area
Hiking near Sault Ste Marie
Gros Cap Conservation Area is situated west of the city. Gros Cap Trail, part of the Voyageur backpacking trail, overlooks Lake Superior from the 200-metre cliffs. It is an easy 4 km loop. If you would like to extend your hike, from the same parking area but on the opposite side, there is the Walls Lake Loop, an easy 4 km trail that takes hikers through a forested area and around the Big Carp River.
Fort Creek Conservation Area has a system of easy multi-use trails featuring small wildlife and beautiful forested areas. A bike ride on the tracks of this park is also delightful.
Hike one of the many trails in Hiawatha Highlands. The trails vary in length, with many options for different loops. They are mostly easy to moderate.
Things to do in Sault Ste Marie
If you have more time to visit, here are some exciting activities around Sault Ste Marie:
- Visit the Canal National Historic Site.
- Take a stroll on the Waterfront Walkway. You can walk, run, bike, or rollerblade on the boardwalk. There are also fishing docks along the way reaching out over the water. In addition, the walkway features historic plaques where you can learn about the town’s history.
- Visit the Bushplane Heritage Centre for fun and interesting exhibits about the history of bush planes and collection, their role in forest fire protection, and many more.
- Relax at Pointe des Chenes Beach
Day 2 in Algoma Country – Pancake Bay Provincial Park
I drive about one hour (75 km) north of Sault Ste Marie on Highway 17 for the second day of hiking in Pancake Bay Provincial Park.
Stops Along the Way
- Batachawana Bay Provincial Park has a beautiful beach.
- Chippewa Falls are a wonderful sight after a short hike of a couple of hundred meters, well worth the stop if you have the time.
Where to Stay Near Pancake Bay Provincial Park?
The Pancake Bay Camping has car camping and one camp cabin available. In addition, there are campsites with service and wild camping. A section of the campground is radio-free.
Hiking in Pancake Bay Provincial Park
The Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail wanders mostly through a mixed forest, crosses a river, falls and features a lookout over the park and Lake Superior.
Other Activities in Pancake Bay Provincial Park
The park offers many more activities such as mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, swimming and fishing. For more information about the park, visit the Ontario Parks website.
Day 3 and 4 in Algoma Country – Hiking in Lake Superior Provincial Park
I spend the next two days on the trails in Lake Superior Provincial Park. This park occupies a much larger area 45 minutes (60 km) north of Pancake Bay on Highway 17 N. It is a beautiful drive from one park to the other with views of the lake and its rocky shoreline.
Stop Along the Way
Before reaching Lake Superior Provincial Park, there is a small pull-out by the road called the Alona Bay Scenic Lookout. It is worth the few minutes to stop and admire the clear blue lake.
Where to Stay in Lake Superior Provincial Park
There are two campgrounds in the park:
Agawa Bay Campground (south entrance)
- On the shore of Lake Superior
- Sandy beach
- radio-free zone
- Showers and laundry
- Outdoor amphitheatre
Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground
- On an inland lake
- Showers and laundry
If a room or a cabin is more your style, these are good options to choose from:
- Twilight Resort in Montreal River Harbour is merely 12 minutes south of the park’s Visitor Centre. They rent cabins and campsites.
Hiking in Lake Superior Provincial Park
There are numerous hiking trails in Lake Superior Provincial Park. One could spend a week in the park and discover something new every day. However, I had to make some choices as I was only in the park for two days.
Other Activities in Lake Superior Provincial Park
Kayaking and canoeing are popular activities when the waters are calm. Of course, there is also fishing and swimming.
Don’t miss the Agawa Scenic Lookout, the Sand River Falls and Katherine Cove.
I particularly liked sitting on the beach in Old Woman Bay and watching the old woman’s profile at the end of the cliffs. It is incredibly relaxing with my feet in the water after a long hike!
Day 5 in Algoma Country – Last Stop, Wawa
After exploring the park for two days, I make my way to Wawa about 15 minutes (15 km) north of the park border on Highway 17 N. Wawa is mostly known for its giant Goose overlooking the highway, but it also offers great activities for any outdoor enthusiast.
“Wawa, the town so nice, they named it twice!”
As per my preference, I stayed at the Wawa Rv Resort and Campground. The campground is by the Magpie River with some sites right on the water. You can paddle the river or have a swim in their outdoor pool.
Hiking in Wawa
High Falls to Silver Falls Trail is a 5 km out-and-back trail. It takes an estimated time of 2 hours to complete. This trail is part of the Voyageur Trail.
Things to do in Wawa
There is plenty to do and visit to fill up a day in Wawa. The town is rich with history and shares it through exhibits.
Scenic High Falls is quite a wondrous scene. The high and wide falls are pretty impressive. You can enjoy a picnic and wander around reading and learning about the town’s history and local culture.
If you enjoy waterfalls, you can also catch the Silver Falls and Wawa Creek Falls, both accessible through short trails.
Wawa also has a few beaches that are worth mentioning.
Right in town is Dr. Rose Beach by Wawa Lake. This beach is quite busy during the day. Go for a swim or a paddle or enjoy lounging in the sand. It is a nice place for a picnic.
Sandy Beach is a short drive from town. It features a story-telling pavilion where visitors learn about the culture and the history of First Nations in the area. Sandy Beach is also one of the places the Group of Seven visited and painted a hundred years ago.
The Wawa Giant Goose. You absolutely have to take a selfie with the goose in the background! This is a Wawa right of passage!
I would also strongly recommend stopping by Young’s General Store for a bag of their famous pickles. They are juicy, and they are huge! They make for a good snack!
After exploring this wonderful region and hiking in Algoma Country, it will remain one of my favourite destinations. Hiking around Lake Superior has many charms. The blue waters of the lake and the rocky shores of Lake Superior will never cease to amaze the viewers. If you haven’t yet, make sure to add this amazing hiking adventure to your list!
If you have a few more days to spare, see our hiking trip from Marathon to Thunder Bay and all the amazing hiking along the route on the shores of Lake Superior.