My younger brothers are visiting me for the summer at my home along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario. While it is a joy having them, young boys have a lot of energy to burn and it can be exhausting entertaining them day in and day out. This year, I decided to let the North Shore do the entertaining and exhaust them for me!
Here are the 6 best things to do with kids in Superior Country.
Located in the township of Dorion, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is a perfect afternoon adventure. Especially if you know all the stops to make while in the area! We decided to visit the park on a partly cloudy / sunny afternoon. On our way to the park from Nipigon, we stopped at the Canyon Country Co-op located on the left hand side of Highway 11/17 to grab some drinks and snacks to enjoy on our journey. This locally cherished side stop has a little bit of everything! There is a Grill Shack and Ice Cream Shack on the premises as well, so of course, the famous question of “can we get that!?” came quickly. After our snack stop that turned into a snack, lunch and dessert stop, we were more than ready to adventure the canyons.
There is ample signage along the way to the canyon to guide you to the parking space at the park. Once there, it is a short yet enjoyable walk down to the viewing platforms. The boys were beyond amazed by the sights from the decks. It amazed them to be so high up and see such great distances. On our way out from the canyons back home, we spotted a herd of cattle in the roadside field and stopped to sit in the truck and admire them. After the youngest of the three had given names to each individual cow, we were able to head home. All three of them fell asleep in the truck before we even met the highway on the way home – it was a win-win for everyone!
2. Hurkett Docks
Arguably the boys’ most favored destination to spend an afternoon, the Hurkett Docks are located right off the Hurkett Loop down Hurkett Dock Road. The boys can fish right from atop the docks and catch fish after fish on the right days. The dock is sturdy and wide giving plenty of room for them even if other people are choosing to fish there as well. Northern Pike is the most common to catch from off the docks, the boys love the feisty species and get a thrill from every bite.
3. Nipigon Marina
Every other evening, I bring the kids down to the Nipigon Marina. It is a great spot for them to expel their energy and they never get tired of going there. With multiple activities on offer we usually try to switch it up every time we visit. The trailhead for the Nipigon River Recreational Trail is located on the other side of Clearwater Creek. The entire trail is 10km from point A to B, however, we prefer to walk the trail for 2-3km to the viewing deck that sits atop the Nipigon River.
The Turtle Docks and Nipigon Lagoon is also a favoured marina activity. From the docks on the lagoon, we spy out painted turtles, call out to the loons, and fish for giant pike that lurk below. Some evenings we paddle around the lagoon as there is a kayak launch on the opposite side of the marina that we can depart from.
4. Nipigon River
It comes as no surprise that the Nipigon River is a prime destination to entertain the kids. From fishing atop the river to hiking local trails with scenic views to exploring one of the three dams up the water system, they have learned to cherish and appreciate this large tributary for what it is. Learning about the various species that call the Nipigon River home is beyond intriguing to them. Taking them fishing here leads to more excitement than anywhere else as they can catch a variety of species.
Located up Highway 585 (Cameron Falls Road), off highway 11/17 in Nipigon, there are numerous access points to the river system. Our favorite is the Alexander Dam. There is a short walking trail down to the viewing platform that offers great views of the dam and the mass overflow. It is just up the road from the Alexander boat launch on the righthand side.
Located at the bottom end of the 81 Road which is east up Highway 17, Mazukama Falls is one of our favorite afternoon getaway destinations! Getting to the base of the waterfall requires some moderate to intense hiking as it is graded as a difficult trail. But there are many stopping points along the way for breaks. The full Mazukama Falls loop is 3.1km, however we only hike to and from the falls which would be about 1.5km roundtrip. There are some areas with a steep incline but there are ropes to aid in climbing up – the kids love this! The boys noted their favorite things about the trail including the cedar stands the trail weaves through and that they get to cool off in the falls after the tough hike up!
6. Kama Falls
Just a few kilometers up the highway past Mazukama Falls and the 81 Road, Kama Falls is a much easier waterfall destination. Much easier to get to and just as beautiful! With parking space at the top of the Kama Bay Road just off Highway 17, we cross the highway and head west up the base of the Kama Cliffs Trail. Just a few paces past the Kama Cliffs trailhead is the narrow entrance for Kama Falls. A short 100m walk down the trail and the falls is right there! The boys love to look for fascinating rocks at the base of the falls and making stick boats to race down the little river.