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In the Wake of August

In the Wake of August

Hiking to spectacular lookouts off Highway 129

Experience autumn in Northern Ontario's scenic Algoma Country

From a relaxing Group of Seven road trip to a bucket-list paddle into the backcountry, Algoma has an experience that's right for you! We've rounded up the top things to do in Algoma Country this fall.



Ontario and Algoma Public Health encourages everyone to travel safely during this time and follow public health guidelines. It is important to practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a non-medical face covering where required or where physical distancing is a challenge.

There is a sense of urgency that accompanies the onset of autumn in Algoma. It’s not prompted by the need to prepare for winter. It has more to do with the desire to experience the explosion of opportunity that erupts in fall.

The varied landscape of Algoma Country in Northern Ontario–encompassing a vast region of old-growth forest stretching from the north shore of Lake Huron to the eastern shores of Lake Superior–entertains outdoor recreationalists at any time of year. And while many adventurers explore here through spring and summer it's the fall that's full of possibility–when days are still long and earthy hues of red, gold and brown descend upon the land. Just a short day's drive from Southern Ontario, Algoma is the perfect spot to explore this fall. 

fall-paddling

After a day on the water, relax with a book and enjoy a bug-free camping experience.

Virtually all of the activities we enjoy through summer continue to flow throughout August’s wake. Whether it’s driving leaf strewn roads or climbing to a towering granite lookout, we are nourished by the season’s harvest, warmed by the afternoon sun and lulled to sleep through long cool nights. The intense yellows of tamaracks against the boreal forest and the rounded mountains of the Canadian Shield–that pulsate with the reddish orange of hardwood forests–provide a beautiful background to our activities. And in Algoma Country the choices are plenty.

Group of Seven Touring

moments-of-algoma
1 of 19 Group of Seven interpretive panels. This one along Sandy beach near Wawa.

When Canada’s Group of Seven painted in Algoma Country, their keen artist’s sensibilities meant they often chose to visit in autumn. Today many of the landscapes captured by the likes of Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and A.Y. Jackson remain part of an intact wilderness as vibrant and colorful as when these artists put brush to canvas 100 years ago.

group-of-seven
Artist Katy Gill finds spectacular autumn scenes to paint in Algoma Country.

We can immerse ourselves in the wild lands of the Group of Seven by capturing a broader perspective by road tripping and hiking to all 19 Group of Seven interpretive panels spread across the Northern Ontario landscape.

Fishing

walleye-fishing
Brian Lachine hoists a beautiful walleye on its autumn feed.

With Algoma’s abundance of clean fresh water comes an abundance of fish. Popular game fish like trout, walleye and smallmouth bass–that are caught all summer–only become more vulnerable in fall. As waters cool, trout run shallower and strike with aggression, walleye congregate in marauding schools, and bass can be pinpointed at depth on rock structure.

smallmouth-bass
Rob Laframboise caught this giant smallmouth off a deep rock pile in Algoma Country.

Additional opportunities arrive when fall rains and dropping temperatures signal the salmon to run up the tributaries of Lake Superior and Lake Huron. They are followed by opportunistic steelhead that keep the hardiest of anglers entertained well into November. The autumn fishery accommodates fly anglers, spin casters and down riggers alike and unfolds on urban waters like the famed St. Marys River Rapids in Sault Ste. Marie as well as in the wilderness waters of Algoma.

steelhead-fishing
Francine Dubreuil was well rewarded with this big steelhead on a warm autumn day on the tributaries of Lake Superior.

Hiking

hiking
Picturesque waterfalls are enhanced by the fall colors and many are off the TransCanada Highway.

Choose between short and easy hikes to scenic falls or rigorous climbs up precipitous bedrock to spectacular lookouts. Walk the rugged trails of Lake Superior Provincial Park to survey the brooding headlands of the big lake. Or opt travel along lakes, rivers, and falls via the trails along Highway 129 north of Thessalon or the rolling landscape around Elliot Lake.

fall-hiking
A rugged hike is rewarded by a spectacular lookouts over the lakes and forests around Hwy 129.

Whether we like our hikes accompanied by a little sweat on our brow or we strike a more relaxed pace, cooler temperatures help to propel us to destinations alive with colour. In Algoma there is a long list of hiking trails that take advantage of the resplendence of autumn in all of the communities across the region.

Paddling

paddling
There is virtually no end to the interconnected lakes and rivers in Algoma country making canoe tripping and natural way to travel.

In a land that holds such a vast quantity of water, paddling is a premier activity that enhanced by the brilliant colours reflected on the surface of lakes and wild rivers. Sea kayaks are custom-made for quickly covering vast distances of Lake Superior and exploring her hidden sand beaches and curious formations of sculpted rock. Stowed within these sleek craft is the food and camping gear that allows kayakers prolonged trips within the magical autumn coastline.

Canoe tripping is another option for paddlers who pitch tents on the shores of boiling rapids and silent glassy lakes for multi-day trips along the myriad of interconnected waters. Of course, those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land can camp in a wide variety of road accessible campgrounds in the region and enjoy the same palette of autumn colours painted across Algoma.

canoeing
Hidden sand beaches provide great campsites on the inland waters of Algoma.

Cycling

cycling-1

Mountain bikes are great way to access pretty spots along the roads and trails of Algoma.

Many of the trails that snake through the woods of the north are the realm of mountain bikers who propel themselves over paths that vary as much as the terrain. Choose between dedicated, single-track routes or travel a vast network of trails that host skiers and snowshoers later in the season. Road bikers love to travel the paved shoulders of main highways that link rural communities vibrant with farmers markets, restaurants and lodging.

cycling

There is no shortage of forest access roads for mountain bikers in Algoma.

For a breath of fresh autumn air, visit cycle-friendly regions like St. Joseph Island. Here a network of tranquil island roads undulate over rolling hills of maple, and stretch arrow straight through agricultural lands where it's as common to spot deer as it is livestock.

Hunting

hunting-algoma

There are few experiences as exciting as calling a bull moose out in the open.

Few activities are as synonymous with fall as hunting. In late summer the bear hunt kicks off the season in Algoma, where bruins are plentiful and large. Ruffed grouse are the most popular small game and hunters walk or ride ATVs on old bush roads and forest trails for these tasty birds. Shallow bays, wetlands, and scattered fields attract huge flocks of migrating waterfowl that are virtually untouched.

hunting-2

Lillian Smedley and her dog Simpkin are out in the woods in pursuit of rough grouse, the most popular small game in the area.

The deer hunt prevails amidst the agricultural lands and brilliantly coloured hardwood stands of southern Algoma while the boreal forest to the north is home to one of the most coveted species of big game. There are few more exciting experiences than having a giant bull moose come to the call, but it happens every season here in Algoma.

fall-getaway

A simple road trip along the TransCanada Highway allows travelers access to vast stretches of colorful beauty.

In the wake of August, outdoors activities are just ramping up. When the pungent smells of autumn waft from the wilderness, there is no better time or place to nourish our souls than in Algoma Country.

Discover this Region
Sault-Ste Marie is a 7 hour drive from Toronto

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