3 Best Hikes in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Lake Superior, or Gi chi Gamiing for the Ojibway people, is the largest of the Great Lakes. Hiking around Lake Superior is an adventure unlike any other. The rocky shores of the lake and the infinitely blue waters make up such beautiful panoramas. There are numerous opportunities for hikers and backpackers in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

About the Park

Lake Superior Provincial Park covers a large territory on the eastern shore of Lake Superior in Algoma Country. The park is known for its pebble beaches, the famous Agawa Campground, hiking trails and the famous Coastal backpacking trail. 

Like any other park, there are fees to spend the day in Lake Superior Provincial Park, which you can pay at the visitor center or online.

Hiking in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Before leaving for your hike, make sure you have all you need to enjoy your hike safely and worry-free. Our essential hiking gear list will surely help you with this.

Agawa Rock Pictographs Trail

Agawa Rock Pictographs Trail is a must-see. The trail is unique because the pictographs in the rock on the shores of Lake Superior tell an Ojibwe legend about the evil spirit, Misshepezhieu, and the thunderbirds, the protectors of the people of this First Nation. Several of the pictograms are still clearly visible and well preserved. And of course, the lake views are spectacular! 

The path is not very long. It descends among the rocks and boulders to the shore of the lake for some 400 metres. Once on the coast, you can walk along the rock wall on which you can see the pictographs. 

Many take the opportunity to dive into the clear waters of the lake. The park provided ropes tied to the rocks to help swimmers climb back up the rock. It is crucial to ensure that the lake’s waters are calm before venturing there since the park reports drownings when it is rough.

hiking trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park
pictographs on the agawa rock in lake superior
hiking trail in lake superior

Orphan Lake Trail

A little further inside the park is the Orphan Lake trailhead. This rugged eight-kilometre trail made the shortlist of best hikes in Lake Superior Provincial Park. The path begins in the dense forest and climbs to a lookout overlooking Lake Orphan, Lake Superior and a half-moon beach.

Orphan Lake in Lake Superior Provincial Park
Orphan Lake
Views of Lake Superior from the lookout on the trail
Lake Superior
Orphan Lake
Orphan Lake

Once you’ve had your fill of the views, you can get back on the trail. The path descends steeply towards the multicoloured pebble beach you could see from above. Driftwood allows you to sit down for a short break and admire the scenery. The sound of the waves is mesmerizing. The trail runs along this beach, enters the forest again, and runs along the Baldhead River to the waterfalls among pink and black marbled rocks. After the falls, the rest of the trail goes back up to the start to close the loop.

Nokomis Trail

Nokomis Trail is a five-kilometre moderate loop. In the Ojibwe language, Nokomis means “grandmother.” A fitting name as you can spot the old woman of Old Woman Bay in the cliffs from the lookouts on the trail. 

You will find the trailhead at the Old Woman Bay day-use area. Across the road from the parking lot, you will enter a green and lichen-covered forest. Be extra careful crossing the street as it is a highway, and cars are speeding.

For the first few hundred metres, the trail is made of pebbles of different sizes, thousands of them littering the forest ground. Eventually, it turns into dirt, with scattered rocks and roots. 

the rocky trailhead of Nokomis trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park
hiker on a dirt-packed trail in the green forest

The trail rises steadily but gently through the forest and brings hikers to the top of a rock cliff where you can admire Old Woman Bay and Lake Superior from above. The first lookout is at kilometre one. There are a couple more lookouts on top of this rock, where trees let you sneak in a glimpse of the lake. 

view of Old Woman Bay from the lookout on Nokomis Trail

After those lookouts, the trail starts its steep descent. Before long, you will find your way back to the beginning. 

Old Woman Bay on Lake Superior

Before leaving this wonderful park, I stop at Old Woman Bay. On the cliffs facing the bay, you can see a face, an old woman, who watches over the bay. The sandy beach was perfect for relaxing with my toes in the water.

More Hiking in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Easy trails:
  • Crescent Lake – 2 km
  • Pinguisibi – 6 km
  • Trapper’s – 1,5 km
Moderate trail:
  • South Old Woman River – 2,5 km
Demanding trails:
  • Awausee – 10 km
  • Peat Mountain – 11 km
Backpacking trails:
  • Towab Trail – 24 km
  • Coastal Trail – 65 km

Hiking Adventures around Lake Superior

You can plan many more adventures with the help of this 5-day itinerary road trip in Algoma or plan a whole week exploring Northern Ontario.

Best Hikes in Lake Superior Provincial Park

agawa rock pictographs trail information
orphan lake trail information
nokomis trail information

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