There are many parts of Ontario that people may not get to explore. Especially for those living in the GTA. Most often, heading to the Muskoka’s is country enough for a few. While some consider travelling to Barrie is going “up north.”
There is more to explore beyond Parry Sound and Sudbury if you’re travelling north. Here are the hidden gems northern Ontario offers that you don’t want to miss.
Robertsons Cliffs, Goulais River, Ont.
After passing Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. heading eight hours north, there is a small town called Goulais River, along Highway 17. Robertson’s Cliffs is a five-kilometre loop and has upwards to 223 metres of elevation and is considered a challenging hike but one with the most mesmerizing views. Especially during the fall. This loop can take anywhere between one to two hours.
King Mountain, Goulais River, Ont.
Luckily the location of King Mountain is right around the corner from Robertsons Cliffs. Actually, the two trails meet with one another at the top of the Cliffs. But for the whole experience, start at Stokely Creek, the main entrance for the trail. King Mountain is a legend of a climb and view. With roughly 459 metres of elevation, this trail can be a 14-kilometre loop that overlooks the Algoma region peaks and hints of Lake Superior and may take two to three hours to hike. Once at the top of King Mountain, there is a cabin with a guest book to sign for all trail goers.
If looking for the ultimate trail with the distance and elevation, this is the trail for you. Awausee trail is a 10-kilometre loop with almost 500 metres of height, but four spectacular views make it well worth the climb. Awausee is located along the Trans-Canada Highway, going through Lake Superior Provincial Park. The views include Agawa Valley and Lake Superior. With Awausee, it is an extreme and difficult hike. It may take anywhere from four to six hours to complete. On this trail make sure to pack a lunch and some bug spray.
This is probably the most hiked trail within Lake Superior Provincial Park and most hiker-friendly - despite a few steep spots that might make you want to hold onto a tree. Orphan Lake holds a lot of history and has one of the most scenic routes. Hidden within the trail are waterfalls, access to the coastal trails along Lake Superior and pathways that connect to Gargantua and Agawa Bay. Allow for two to four hours to complete the eight-kilometre loop.
Old Woman Bay
Old Woman Bay sits at the northern point of Lake Superior Provincial Park and is one long sandy beach that is always populated with driftwood and pebbles but is one of the most beautiful sights to see. While standing on the beach you can see to the left the 200-metre cliff of Old Woman and to the right are more peaks and a view that stretched to Wawa, Ont. Old Woman is the perfect spot for anyone looking to curl up with a book and listen to the sounds of nature.
The trail at Nokomis is about precision and know your footpath. Nokomis is about a five-kilometre loop with steep grades, some wet and slippery areas and much uneven terrain. This trail is right across the road from Old Woman, and lookout at the peak that provides magnificent views over Lake Superior and Old Woman River Valley. Give yourself about two to three hours to complete the trail.
This trail is one of the final trails located in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Trappers, is a small loop about 1.5 kilometres that surrounds Rustle Lake, that can be completed withing 45 to 90 minutes. Explorers will get the chance to see the boardwalk that runs along the whole trail and through the lake. As well as the hundreds of lily pads that collect along the outer edge of lake. No evaluation on this trail, just smooth terrain to stretch the legs.
By: Danielle Dupuis