Walleye season opens tomorrow, good luck everyone, stay safe and have a great time! http://t.co/wGvdeki5Qu
Stand Up Paddling is One of the Fastest Growing Water Activities
This super fun sport is perfect for a variety of ages and fitness levels, making it a very interesting way to explore the outdoors by water. SUP, or Hoe he'e nalu in Hawaiian, actually started in the 1960s as a technique used by surfing instructors for taking photos and training. Now it's become a popular sport on its own.
You can learn how to Stand Up Paddle on Lake Superior in Algoma
Your Stand Up Paddling adventure begins with Naturally Superior Adventures. The Lake Superior based company offers guided kayak and canoe trips, certified instruction for sea kayak and canoes, and equipment rentals. NSA is based out of Wawa, Ontario, located at the mouth of the Michipicoten River, is a perfect base for an outdoor adventure because they are surrounded by wilderness: Lake Superior Provincial Park is to the south and Pukaskwa National Park to the north. Talk about convenience!
Naturally Superior Adventures ensures you have everything you need to try Stand Up Paddling: the board, the paddle, PFD (personal flotation device), and even a wetsuit for those cooler days on the lake. Your one-day, two-hour instruction starts off with a safety lesson, on land instruction and techniques then it's off to the Big Lake to put your skills to the test. Once you've got the hang of it, you'll be able to explore the rugged and exhilarating beauty of the Lake Superior coastline all on your own.
And the fun doesn't end there. You can easily turn your Stand Up Paddling lesson into a lodge-based outdoor adventure. Naturally Superior Adventure's Rock Island Lodge offers two-three-and-five-day outdoor packages that allow you to expand your outdoor adventure on Lake Superior. You can learn how to kayak, or take a guided sea kayak day trip in the waters of Michipicoten Bay. If you love hiking, you can request a boxed lunch and take a self-guided hike on The Voyageur Trail.
Stand Up Paddling at sunset on Lake Superior. Photography by Jamie Wight
Health Benefits of SUP
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol
- Improves balance
- Improves core strength
If you're looking for more paddling on Lake Superior, check out the story "Paddling Superior's Sunshine Coast" by outdoor writer James Smedley. James and fellow kayakers take a guided kayak trip along the Lake Superior coastline to the Dog River where they hike to Denison Falls.
You can request FREE travel information and an Outdoor Adventure Map at the Algoma website www.algomacountry.com
The word waterfall evokes a certain vision of beauty and tranquility, of the sheer power of flowing water. Waterfalls have captured the attention of people since the dawn of time and today, waterfalls continue to instil the feeling of "ahhhhhh" that we all want to capture.
We inhale deeply and exhale calmly when we admire waterfalls. It is a feeling of bliss, in with the fresh air, out with the worries of our jobs, in with the fresh air, out with the thoughts of our email box filling with unread messages, in with the fresh air, out with the incessant sounds of the ringing telephone every 30 seconds, when you are trying to get work done, ring, ring, ring, ring....... Okay, I will admit I got a bit caught up in that ramble, but seriously, waterfalls come in countless shapes and sizes and each one is as individual as the landscape around it. They all evoke a feeling of calm into the very fibre of our being.
In Algoma, we are home to a dozen waterfalls located throughout our beautiful area. We've selected six waterfalls that are not to be missed and mapped them onto a Waterfalls Tour for you. These tours are sure to give you many, "ahhhhh" moments while you savour the grandeur of Algoma. So grab your camera, pack a bag and come to Algoma to enjoy this self-guided tour of the majesty and magnificence of this area.
Aubrey Falls – Mississagi Valley
This waterfall is well worth the drive! Located in the Mississagi Valley, one of the most scenic areas of Northern Ontario, Aubrey Falls is approximately 53 meters high with water flowing through more than 7 areas over beautiful granite formations. Mists rise from the base of some of the larger falls. Best viewed from a bedrock ridge downstream, the cascading water carves out an island at the base of Aubrey Falls. How to Get Here: Follow Highway 129 to Aubrey Falls Provincial Park. From the parking lot, the trail takes about 10 minutes to reach the bridge over the gorge.
Crystal Falls – Sault Ste. Marie
A favourite spot for locals, Crystal Falls can be found in Hiawatha Highlands Park (Kinsmen Park) within city limits of Sault Ste. Marie. This is a very pretty waterfall and super easy to visit. Reaching 50 metres high it's a bit tough to see the entire waterfall at once so take the wooden boardwalk and stairs that lead to the very top. The bridge and trail are also part of the Voyageur Trail system and the conservation area is home to a 35 km long network of trails allowing you to hike for hours! How to Get Here: Head north of Sault Ste. Marie to Highway 17, take Fifth Line Road, following until you reach Kinsmen Park. Drive into the Park and follow the road to the base of the fall.
Chippewa Falls – Highway 17 North
Another favourite spot for locals! Chippewa Falls is by far at its best during the spring thaw when melting ice spews rapidly rushing water over the 25 metre drop. When the flow is low, the river is confined to the lower notches and grooves in the bedrock and you can do more exploring on the rocks. How to Get Here: Very easy to get too! Follow Highway 17 North from Sault Ste. Marie for about an hour. Chippewa Falls is visible from the roadside park, hiking trails and from the bridge.
Silver Falls – Wawa (Part 1)
This is a very pretty waterfall, made up of a series of waterfalls. Silver Falls (middle falls) is the most scenic of the three. Standing on the wooden bridge at the Sandy Beach Road, you are looking at the middle falls. If you follow the short trail (200 metres) starting from the north side of the bridge, it will lead you to the upper falls and a beautiful old twisted cedar tree. You can get right on top of the falls if you follow the marked trail. You can also reach Silver Falls by hiking the Magpie Voyageur Trail from Scenic High Falls.
Scenic High Falls (Part 2)
This very impressive waterfall stands 75 feet high and 125 feet wide – definitely worth a visit! The beautiful park area is located at the base of the falls with a covered picnic shelter, BBQ, wheelchair accessible washroom facilities and plenty of parking. The short walking trails which follow the top of the falls to the park at its base also provide signage for an informative look at the history of power in the Michipicoten area.
How to Get Here: It's very easy to get Silver Falls & High Falls. Take Highway 17 North along the coastline of Lake Superior and follow to the Michipicoten River Village Road.
Sand River Falls – Lake Superior Provincial Park
Located in Lake Superior Provincial Park and is a gorgeous river landscape! The waterfall can be easily reached using the Pinguisibi Trail, which follows the river upstream. After visiting the Lower Falls, a moderate walk of about 10 minutes brings you to the Upper Falls. These falls are in a wonderful, natural setting and are exceptionally beautiful in the fall. How to Get Here: Take the Sand River exit off Highway 17 North. You will also need a Park Pass.
Pancake Falls – Pancake Bay Provincial Park
Pancake Falls is a small set of falls on the Pancake River, located in Pancake Bay Provincial Park. There are at least three distinct drops, none more than 5 feet high. The uppermost (or at least the uppermost that the trail passes) is the most impressive. The trail to the falls in made up of foot trails and old logging roads and part of a 10 km loop. Bikes are permitted on the trail. In addition to the falls, there is the Lookout Trail which allows you to see across to Whitefish Point where the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a fierce Lake Superior storm in 1975. How to Get Here: Follow Highway y 17 North of Sault Ste. Marie to Pancake Provincial Park. The trail head is across from the campground, 2 km from the park entrance. Turn onto Lookout Road from Highway 17. You will need a Park Pass.
View Waterfalls of Algoma in a larger map
Plan your tour with more information for where to stay, where to eat for this Waterfalls Tour in Algoma at our website www.algomacountry.com
The Legacy of Canada's Group of Seven
Algoma has a reputation for being an inspiration to both artists and photographers since the first visit by Canada’s Group of Seven. Canada was once considered “unworthy” of being painted but the landscape paintings pioneered by the Group led to a new wave of Canadian art that helped to encourage and inspire how we and the rest of the world view Canada’s natural beauty. From the North Shore of Lake Huron, up the coast of Lake Superior and to the true wilderness that is Algoma, the Group of Seven painted areas that are uniquely Canadian.
Whether you bring your easel and paints, sketch book, or your camera, you will be inspired by the landscape that surrounds you. From crystal clear lakes and rivers, towering cascading waterfalls, beautiful sunsets that light up the evening sky, or spotting wildlife in natural settings, Algoma is waiting for you.
The North Channel of Lake Huron
Bordering on the east by Georgian Bay, the North Channel follows the shoreline of Lake Huron, with significant opportunities to sketch and photograph. Algoma's friendly communities dot the highway as you travel along the path of the Group of Seven. These include the towns of Spanish, Blind River, Thessalon and Bruce Mines. There are a variety of comfortable accommodations from motels to cottages plus unique eateries that serve just about anything you desire, including fish frys with fresh, locally caught fish.
Algoma Highlands from atop King Mountain
Artists and photographers will be captivated by the scenes and landscapes that have intrigued and inspired generations from all over the world, including Canada's Group of Seven. The Algoma Highlands is wild, natural and dominated by King Mountain, towering 1,300 feet above the elevation of Lake Superior. This is a place that can be enjoyed through all four seasons. In fall, the forests are afire with reds and yellows offset by deep forest greens of pine trees. In mid-winter, the area is blanketed by newly fallen snow.
Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park
Hop aboard the Algoma Central Railway and journey to the Famous Agawa Canyon just like the Group of Seven over one hundred years ago. This one day rail excursion takes passengers through remote wilderness with views of Lake Superior, rugged Canadian Shield and over the Montreal River trestle. The Agawa Wilderness Park includes five short nature trails that lead to cascading waterfalls and the 372-step climb to the Lookout observation platform, located on the wall of the gorge. The platform provides a panoramic view of the untamed wilderness that inspired the Group.
Walk in the footsteps of the Group of Seven -- you can rent the Canyon View Camp Car to experience Algoma's true wilderness.
Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes
Take the drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa along Highway 17 to Lake Superior Provincial Park where the Group of Seven painted at Sand Lake and Agawa River. You can hike along trails that lead to rugged coastline, cascading waterfalls and lookouts with incredible views of Algoma's landscape. Bring your kayak or canoe and paddle along the shoreline to find a secluded spot to sketch and keep your camera close at hand to capture wildlife in natural surroundings.
Along the legendary shores of the largest Great Lake, Lake Superior, Lake Superior Provincial Park makes up an area of over 1,600 square kilometres making it the perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast.
Located between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa along Highway 17 North, Lake "Gitche Gumee" is deeply rooted in local aboriginal culture. The earliest artifacts to be uncovered and carbon dated is 500 B.C. Immerse yourself in this history with a hike to the Agawa Rock Pictographs estimated to be between 150 to 400 years old. European fur traders and explorers settled along the shores of Lake Superior and mapped the lake. The early 1900s brought Canada's Group of Seven who made the first boxcar excursions to fill their canvases with the wonder of Algoma's landscapes.
Camping, rentals, hiking...and don't forget your camera!
Lake Superior Provincial Park has something for everyone. Hiking possibilities are endless from short day trips to multi day backpacking adventures as there are eleven hiking trails from easy to challenging. The Coastal Trail alone takes five to seven days to complete offering numerous lookouts to view the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior, high cliffs, beautiful sand beaches, boulders and windblown trees. Several access points in the park make it possible to hike shorter portions of this trail. There are seven canoe routes which range from one to five days in duration. Rentals are available at Rabbit Blanket Campground at Mijinemungshing Lake, Agawa Bay, or Crescent Lake campgrounds. If you decide to canoe the big lake, pick up a canoe route map at the chosen park prior to departure. For the wildlife enthusiast, over 200 species of birds have been sighted in the park and between 120 and 135 of these species call Lake Superior Provincial Park home.
Lake Superior Provincial Park is also a great place to experience Algoma's great fishing
Fishing is allowed in Lake Superior Provincial Park and it has one of the finest brook trout fisheries in all of North America. Four kinds of trout can be found in the park: Brook, Lake, Rainbow and Splake. A valid fishing license is required to fish.
The Famous Cross Canada Driving Tour
Stop into Lake Superior Provincial Park on a cross-Canada driving tour. Because part of Trans Canada Highway 17 cuts through the Park, there are many scenic lookouts and leg stretch stops. Some of the most popular are: Agawa Bay, Alona Bay, Old Woman Bay and Katherine Cove. You'll have incredible views of Lake Superior's blue-green water and shoreline, secluded spots to picnic and great spots to swim in Lake Superior.
Lake Superior Provincial Park offers something for everyone: camping, hiking, leg stretch stops and picnics, canoeing and kayaking.
For more information about Lake Superior Provincial Park phone toll free 1-888-668-7275 or visit the Algoma website at www.algomacountry.com
Kayakers from across the globe have converged on Algoma as it is a world class sea kayaking destination. But here's a look at kayaking in Algoma from the perspective of a local avid kayaker who shared her love of the sport where she lives.
About 6 years ago, my husband and I bought our first sea kayak despite the fact that neither one of us had ever kayaked before! What prompted us was an invitation from friends to take a kayaking course together. Sitting in our first ever kayak out in the middle of the St. Marys River, I looked at my husband and knew exactly what he was thinking. Simultaneously, we both said "We've got to get one of these!"
For the past 6 summers we have kayaked rivers, lakes and streams in the Sault and Algoma area. Although we have always managed to stay in calm waters, we have had our share of high winds and waves. That, however, is the joy of kayaking! On the other side, the beauty of quiet waters and rugged woods brings about a peacefulness and serenity that only paddling a kayak can bring. My only wish is that we had done it sooner!
It's easy to plan your sea kayak trip in Algoma -- you can book guided trips that include your stay, meals cooked by wilderness chefs and are fully outfitted. To order your FREE Outdoor Adventure Map visit the website www.explorenorthernontario.com
Here's a look at what boating in the North Channel of Lake Huron is really like:
While visiting the North Channel for a weekend getaway, I was stopped in my tracks, mesmerized by the stunning natural beauty of the rugged shorelines, the pure blue waters and the majestic bald eagle flying overhead. Everywhere I looked there were signs of the native culture and history of the area. The North Channel is truly a boater’s paradise!
- Kathy Edwards
Cruise the North Channel and visit the Benjamin Islands, a boater's paradise. For more information visit the Algoma website at www.algomacountry.com
Long-time Ontario rider Chris Hughes of Bruce County had this to say after a ride on the Grand Algoma Tour:
Cruising around St. Joe's Island, up through the Soo to Wawa and then east to Chapleau and then down the 129 is a rider's dream. It’s not a race it’s a soul searching meander that tugs at the heart strings of why we live in the greatest place on earth. Stopping along the route to chat, reveals the heart and soul of this great region. Oh yah, the roads are super twisty, and bring a towel to wipe the grin off your face.
Every ride needs windy roads, great scenery and good food. Algoma Country has grip twisting roads, neck cranking scenery, and gas tank filling Northern Ontario hospitality. A must do for every rider.
Chris Hughes, Bruce County
Did you know that the Grand Algoma Tour is #1 on Ontario's Top Ten Rides for 2013?
Order a FREE Motorcycle Map and receive travel information for your next ride in algoma at www.ridealgoma.ca or phone 1-800-263-2546
Surrounded by Lake Superior and Lake Huron, two of the mightiest freshwater lakes in the world, Algoma Country is home to world class boating. Algoma offers visitors outstanding water adventures for power-boats, yachtsmen, and sailors. Whether you want to cruise the Benjamin Islands in the North Channel, or discover Lake Superior's magnificent shoreline this list of Algoma Marinas will help you plan your next boating trip plus makes for a handy itinerary!
The perfect starting point to explore and photograph the scenic Benjamin Islands, Bear Drop Harbour and Aird Island Beaches. You can also enjoy hiking on the Shoreline Discovery trail that offers a beautiful view of the North Channel from the bluff that towers above the marina. Transportation is provided by the marina to dining and shopping. For docking and service information visit www.thenorthchannel.ca
Blind River Marina
This town is known as an outdoor hotspot. Experience the Huron Pines 18-hole Golf Course, tennis, or for those that love to hike, the Boom Town Interpretive Trail system loops through coastal woodland, coastal wetland and shoreline. Many restaurants and shopping nearby. Find more information at www.blindriver.ca
After a pleasant day of cruising, this marina is a haven for boaters traversing the Channel east to west, or entering from the United States. The park-like setting is close to dining and shopping, while the captain's service house provides all the necessities from laundry to TV and hot showers. Bicycles are available to boaters. You can find docking information at www.townthessalon.ca
Conveniently located in the downtown core of Bruce Mines, it's easy for boaters to walk to dining, shopping and amenities. Attractions include: Bruce Mines Museum, Simpson Mine Shaft, Historic Mine Trail, and events. For docking information visit www.brucemines.ca
Hilton Beach Marina
Located on St. Joseph Island, Hilton Beach Marina is one of the Island's two ports. The Channel is home to several islands, bays, high rock walls and hidden coves making it a scenic boating destination. The village itself offers dining, shopping, festivals and events. Find docking information at www.hiltonbeach.com
The second of St. Joseph Islands' marinas, Richards Landing is just a few steps from the town centre making it easy to reach services, dining and exploring its unique shops. Open May long weekend until the second weekend in September. More docking information at www.thenorthchannel.ca
Sault Ste. Marie
Roberta Bondar Marina is situated near the heart of Algoma's largest city, Sault Ste. Marie. Boaters will find full services at the boater facility as well as restaurants, shopping and entertainment within walking distance. Attractions include: Agawa Canyon Tour Train, Canadian Bushplane Museum, Ermatinger*Clergue National Historic Site and the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site. Just follow the Boardwalk! For docking information visit www.cityssm.on.ca
If accessing Lake Superior east to west, boaters access from the historic Sault Ste. Marie Recreational Canal. Once through, sail up the beautiful, rugged shoreline of Lake Superior dotted with coves and bays to Wawa. For more information visit www.bucksmarina.com
Algoma's waterfront communities, whether small or large, offer sheltered docking facilities, amenities and adventure. Lake Huron alone has more than thirty thousand islands, while Lake Superior offers secluded coves, bays and inlets along its rugged coastline.
For more information about boating in Algoma and to order a FREE travel guide, visit the website www.algomacountry.com
One of the best features of a guided ATV tour is knowing the trip will be amazing and that you will hit all the best spots. Such was the case when we took a tour with the Bristol Off Road Outfitters based out of Wawa Ontario.
Although the drive from Sault St. Marie is one of the most scenic drives in Ontario, as Hwy 17 hugs the eastern shore of Lake Superior, we chose the complete package, including lodging, meals, tour guide, and a lift on the Algoma Central Railway to our origination. Many other packages were available but we wanted to experience everything Algoma had to offer.
We drove to Searchmount, roughly half an hour north of the Soo, and unloaded our machines and gear at the railway station. Our ATVs were loaded on a baggage car, and we were seated for our trip.
As we headed north, farther and farther away from civilization, we quickly realised that this train trip iteslf was to be one of the highlights of the entire holiday. One of the most breathtaking, scenic train tours in Ontario, we were travelling the same route as the world renowned Agawa Canyon Tour Train.
Out our window the view constantly changed: one minute a peacefully isolated lake, the next a panoramic view all the way to the sleeping giant, Lake Superior. If we weren't staring at the rolling hills and valleys, we had sheer rock faces a few feet from the train; what an endeavor it must have been to build this railway. The Agawa Canyon was the highlight of the ride: with its majestic mountains and tall waterfalls, what a rare sight to see.
Our rail destination was Hawk Junction, where we unloaded and met our guide Willy. A local resident of Wawa and owner of Bristol Off Road Tours and the Bristol Motel, Willy grew up in the area and knows every trail and back road. Willy took us to all sorts of hidden locations, Josephine, an abandoned iron mine, a few ghost towns, an even a circa 1900s cemetary you woudn't have found without a guide.
Willy knew just where to go, and we could see him inspecting animal tracks every now and then. At one point he waved us up and pointed to fresh bear tracks: "Keep your eyes peeled! There is a bear up ahead, these are fresh tracks," he said. Sure enough around the next bend we spotted a mother bear and three cubs.
Our tour of almost 200kms ended at Willy's camp, a huge peice of property in the middle of nowhere, with quite a collection of buildings. The main building slept 12 and had a dining area built for at least 30. He told us tales of groups of 30 or more touring and staying, and many other stories of local lore.
I would recomend this experience to anyone, whether new to the sport, or a seasoned ATVer. There is so much to see in this area, and a guide is the only way to get the full experience. Call Willy and book your trip of a lifetime!
Wawa, Ontario is located on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Algoma region of Northern Ontario, just north of Sault St. Marie, and is easily accessible from the United States. This rural community and its friendly merchants welcome and embrace ATVers. Geared for the outdoors, many hotels and motels offer all sorts of outdoor adventure facilities. The Bristol Motel, however is the only one offering both accommodation and guided ATV tours. The town is open and invites riders on the trails that lead to all the amenities. Hotels, lodges, fuel, restaurants and dealer support are all available and welcoming to ensure visiting riders have everything they need to have a great experience. This warm welcome and hospitality is why whenever you run into another group riding they most likely will tell you: “We come here all the time”.
With an abundance of bush trails, logging roads, and abandoned rail lines all surrounded by endless kilometres of crown land you can never run out of new riding experiences. If you really want to see the hidden treasures, it is well worth hiring an experienced ATV guide. Guides will take you to great vistas and scenic views, as well as some of the area's fascinating historic abandoned sites.
The the trail snakes back and forth between the thousands of small lakes, and you can just imagine being the engineer on the locomotive heading to the iron mines years ago. As you traverse the off road sections, the never ending series of hills and drops, you feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up and a little chill come over your body as you anticipate the fun ahead. On a clear day, if you turn your head, you’ll catch a horizon filled with a spectacular image of the mighty Lake Superior.
Another bonus when using Wawa as your starting point for a quad vacation is its proximity to other communities. Regardless of which direction you choose to navigate, there will be a welcoming destination awaiting your arrival. Loop tours are plentiful and distances can vary to fill your boots with whatever your tolerances are. Carrying extra fuel and having a GPS on board is always recommended as this is truly a wilderness ride. One special trail route takes you into a spot known as Halfway Haven. What grew from a shack supplying extra fuel years ago is a fantastic stop on the trail between Wawa and Searchmont. As the only spot with fuel, food and lodging, this rustic bunkhouse camp it is a popular spot for recreational quad riders and those out hunting and fishing. Home cooking, a hot shower, sauna, hot tub and a comfy bunk all make for a good stopover. If a true wilderness ride is what you seek then Wawa, Ontario is a must for as you plan.
If you come from the USA be sure to pressure wash your bikes both ways. No one likes the mud crossing the border, especially the border guards!