Just a stone's throw away
One of the great things about living in Northwestern Ontario is our proximity to unspoiled wilderness and endless outdoor adventure opportunities. Recreational activities like fishing, camping, mountain biking and paddling are always close to home and easily accessible for anyone living between Sault Ste Marie and the Manitoba border.
Opportunities for more extreme activities like rock climbing and whitewater kayaking are also there for those adventurous enough to seek them out. For many residents living in communities along the north shore of Lake Superior, summer fun also includes: sailing, wind surfing, sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and even surfing.
While all of these activities provide true excitement and a sublime experience, they also require a certain amount of time, freedom, and investment. However, there is one activity that almost everyone can participate in without making much of a commitment - hiking. Because every community in our region offers something special and unique, one of the best ways to experience all of nature’s wonders is to discover the landscape on foot.
Here are some of my family’s favourite places to explore:
Ouimet Canyon, near Dorion
A pair of observation decks & a boardwalk compliment the walking trails along the edge of this impressive, sheer-walled canyon. Hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of this deep gorge which shelters rare arctic-alpine plants.
Rainbow Falls by Terrace Bay
Here, the cascading waters drop far and fast over a series of rock ledges on their way to Lake Superior. Trails, including a section of the Voyageur Trail, lead to stunning panoramic views of the greatest of the Great Lakes.
Neys Provincial Park, near Marathon
This is where the Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris painted Pic Island. We always stop here when passing by because this remote peninsula offers explorers uniquely smooth rock islands and an amazing beach with piles of driftwood strewn about.
Kakabeka Falls in the town of Kakabeka Falls
Beyond the platforms and boardwalk, a series of trails provide adventure while enhancing the breath-taking view of the Kaministiqua River as it plunges over the cliffs and down forty vertical metres to crash on the rocks below.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park by Pass Lake
On the southern tip of the rugged Sibley peninsula lies the legendary Nanabijou and numerous trails. Most popular is the Kabiyun Trail and the many trails that branch off of it. These will lead you to places like the Sea Lion, Tee Harbour, and to the top of the Giant. Some more remote options on the peninsula are the Pikerel Lake Trail and the Burma Trail, each of which allow you to experience the best sections of the Sleeping Giant Loppet XC ski tour. For those looking for something shorter, Joe Creek Trail and Sibley Creek Trail are just long enough to stretch the legs at about 1.5km each, while the Plantain Lane trail is an easy 500m of abandoned Silver Islet roadway.