Superior Country is inviting locals and visitors alike on an adventure this summer. The new Superior Picnic Adventures program offers a chance to discover Superior Country’s beautiful natural scenery and excellent dining scene as part of several self-guided itineraries.
Adventurers begin by choosing one of six Superior Country communities to explore. Each community features a suggested itinerary that includes several restaurants where participants can pick up a picnic to-go, a scenic spot for savouring the meal, and options for nearby trails to walk or bike after the picnic. The adventures typically take around 2 to 2.5 hours to complete, making for a rewarding afternoon touring Superior Country.
“It's all about discovering these little treasures,” says Suzanne Kukko, Northshore Tourism Coordinator. “There are so many of them here and we [often] don't give ourselves time to just explore our own backyards.”
Each itinerary highlights various wonderful dining options in Superior Country’s communities, as well as provides suggestions on what to order for your picnic. Some restaurants have even created special menu items as part of the Superior Country Picnic Adventures program. “We're just trying to get people to branch out and try different restaurants and different meals and have a different place to eat, rather than taking it out and going home to eat,” Kukko says.
6 communities, 6 picnics, and endless adventures
For example, the Edgeview at Sunnyside, a casual restaurant in Nipigon, has developed a trio of pickerel tacos topped with fresh mango salsa, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, and sriracha mayo. Ducky’s Diner is offering a special ‘Hot Dawg’ for Superior picnic adventurers, featuring Zechner’s honey garlic sausage served on a buttermilk bun and topped with Dijon mustard and crispy onions. It comes with kettle-cooked chips and a refreshing wild blueberry lemonade.
Kukko recommends that participants call the restaurants ahead of time to confirm their opening hours in order to avoid disappointment, noting that it’s also possible to pre-order your meal and choose a pick-up time that best fits within your itinerary plan for the day.
Itineraries next recommend picturesque locations in each Superior Country community where adventurers can enjoy their meals. Participants can choose between dining at picnic tables or some beachfront spots, such as Pebble Beach in Marathon, offer the opportunity to spread out a picnic blanket on the shoreline.
Terrace Bay’s beachfront has a new pavilion where adventurers can enjoy their picnic. This sandy beach offers sweeping views of the Slate Islands and connects with the Caseque Isles Trail to Danny’s Cove, where adventurers may want to wade or swim in the warm, shallow bay waters after their meal.
Kukko says that Dorion’s Hurkett Cove Conservation Area also features a particularly lovely setting for al fresco dining. “You get off a little dirt road and it opens up and you're right on Lake Superior,” she says. “It's beautiful and there's a nature trail there and a covered picnic area.” Adventurers can hit the lake for a swim post-picnic or continue on to the Hurkett Cove Nature Trail, a 2-kilometre path known for its prime bird-watching.
After picnicking, itineraries next recommend adventurers walk or bike on one of several delightful trails. Participants can review descriptions of the trails to gauge their difficulty and length when planning their trip, with most itineraries offering easy, family-friendly options as well as more challenging treks.
For example, the Red Rock itinerary recommends adventurers explore either the Red Rock Mountain Trail or Lloyd’s Lookout. “It’s really challenging and it’s got some beautiful lookouts as well,” says Kukko of the Red Rock Mountain Trail. Adventurers might instead opt for the gentler 3-kilometre walk along the Nipigon River Recreational Trail to the picturesque Lloyd’s Lookout viewing point.
After enjoying a picnic on Schreiber Beach in Schreiber, adventurers might continue along the beach to the Red Chair Lookout, which is aptly named for the pair of red chairs set at the end of the trail, where hikers can relax and admire the view over the Schreiber Channel.
Share your picnic with friends (or just share on social media) and win!
Superior Country is encouraging adventurers to share photos of themselves experiencing their Superior Picnic Adventure by tagging #SuperiorPicnic on their favourite social channels. Participants will be entered to win one of two charcuterie boards shaped like Lake Superior. The boards are handmade by local carpenter Pat O’Connor and painted by Thunder Bay artist Yuk-Sem Won. Draws will occur on July 31st and August 31st, 2021.
Choose your own adventure with Superior Country Picnics
Kukko says that part of the fun of Superior Country Picnic Adventures is that the program is designed to spark inspiration for discovering Superior Country, so participants aren’t limited to following the suggested itineraries to the letter. Adventurers might prefer to pick up their picnic from a different restaurant or to skip the picnic altogether and simply choose to explore some of the region’s splendid destinations and trails. “There are all different ways you can mix and match,” says Kukko.
Out-of-town visitors could also opt to stay overnight in Superior Country and take on different adventures over several consecutive days. “If people are looking for an afternoon to spend outside in the wilderness and in the beauty that we have here, then these are some fun ways to do it,” says Kukko.