Lake Superior Provincial Park
Located on the east shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior Provincial Park was created in 1944 as a result of concerns raised by residents of Sault Ste. Marie for the need to protect a significant portion of the Lake Superior shoreline. From Lake Superior’s rugged coast, this park moves inland over mist-shrouded hills and deep canyons whose breathtaking beauty and rich autumn colours inspired Canada’s Group of Seven artists.
The park's high, rounded hills are the remains of ancient mountain ranges, worn down by glaciers and covered by glacial sediments. Rushing rivers drop rapidly from the highlands to the shoreline, creating rapids and dramatic waterfalls. Faults shaped the magnificent Agawa Canyon, Agawa Rock, and Old Woman Bay.
The most common rocks in the area are granite and gneisses. Lava rock from Precambrian volcanic activity, diabase dykes along the shoreline, and relatively young Cambrian sandstone, are all relics of the park's geological past.
The park is situated in a transitional zone between two forest regions—the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence, and the Boreal. The transition is particularly striking in the autumn when the brilliant colours of the southern deciduous trees contrast with the dark green boreal evergreens.
Flora and fauna
There is a large abundance of wildlife in the park. Larger mammals include moose, commonly seen in the park, timber wolf, Canada lynx, bears, and white-tailed deer, whose numbers are limited because of deep snow and severe winters; smaller mammals include red squirrel, red fox, beaver and marten. More than 250 species of birds have been identified inside the park boundaries, and 120 species nest there. Great blue heron, gulls, loons and several varieties of warblers are among the most common feathered residents.
Passenger trains operated by CN provide the only access to the Agawa Canyon and some of the canoe routes along the eastern park boundary. Train tours are available. Greyhound buses run along the Trans-Canada Highway, but they aren't really suitable for accessing areas of interest. Most people will need their own vehicle.
Vehicle permits are required for day use, and camping fees are charged for all overnight use.
- The Agawa Pictographs
- Do attend the park staff presentations - evening programs, guided hikes, spirit walks and guest speakers. At Agawa Rock, interpreters are scheduled to talk about the pictographs and natural history of the park.
- Do fish in the lakes and streams within the Park as well as on Lake Superior - there are good populations of lake and rainbow trout, whitefish and three species of salmon as well as good opportunities for catching lake and brook trout. Be aware that to help prevent the introduction of non-native species, live-bait fish is banned on interior park lakes.
- Do go canoeing with your friends and family - canoe routes range from easy to challenging and often involve stretches of white water. Any boating on the open water of Lake Superior is recommended only for those experienced enough to recognize and handle rapidly changing conditions. Motorboats are permitted on Lake Superior but not within the park, except at Sand Lake where motors no bigger than 10 horsepower are permitted. Canoes can be carried on the Algoma passenger trains (not the tour trains) to provide access to the eastern part of the park.
- Do go swimming - Beaches are located in each of the three park campgrounds - Agawa Bay, Crescent Lake and Rabbit Blanket Lake.
- Do enjoy the park in Winter - The park is gated but accessible for skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Snowmobiles are prohibited in the park except on Frater Road to access the Algoma Central Railway.
- Some of the most spectacular hiking in Ontario is offered on the coastal trail: a challenging multi-day trek with basic backcountry campsites on secluded bays. The stretch north of Katherine Cove away from the Trans-Canada Highway is the most peaceful, but also the most strenuous. For experienced hikers only.
- Train tours to Agawa Canyon are offered from Sault Ste. Marie.
There are three campsites, located at Agawa Bay, Crescent Lake, and Rabbit Blanket Lake. The site at Crescent Lake has few facilities.
Backcountry campsites are located on the Coastal Trail and along the longer canoe routes. Sites include a basic privy.
|Routes through Lake Superior Provincial Park|
|Thunder Bay ← Wawa ←||W E||→ Sault Ste Marie → Sudbury|