Some people may not be aware of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, or may have heard of it but aren’t quite sure what we do…Well I am going to tell you all about it! Once established, the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area will be the LARGEST freshwater protected area in Canada! The ecologically sustainable management by Parks Canada of this HUGE area will ensure its conservation for the enjoyment and appreciation of Canadians and visitors!
Now you may be wondering what area the Lake Superior NMCA covers. Well as shown in the photo below, this National Marine Conservation Area stretches from the North part of Lake Superior at Bottle Point near Terrace Bay, ON in the East, all the way to Thunder Cape at the tip of Sibley Peninsula in the West, and from the shoreline in the North to the Canada-United states border in the South. As you can see, this area is massive and provides so much for the outdoor enthusiast to explore and enjoy!
With summer just around the corner, here are 5 ways to explore the Lake Superior NMCA!
1. Enjoy a Lake Superior Sailing Experience!
A great way to spend a beautiful summer’s day is out on the water! Get out on the big lake and feel the breeze in your hair all while taking in the spectacular scenery on Lake Superior!
2. Hike the trails and be a part of the Parks Canada Red Chair Experience!
The Lake Superior NMCA is home to so many hiking trails for beginners and experienced hikers! Enjoy a short scenic hike on many community trails or put aside 4-5 days to take on the Casque Isles Hiking Trail! Beginning in Terrace Bay, passing through Schreiber, and ending in Rossport, this 53km trail offers hikers beautiful views of Lake Superior. Check out an article written by one of our Parks Canada employees who hiked the trail last summer!
Read More: Epic Adventures on the Casque Isles Trail
The Lake Superior NMCA is also taking part in the Parks Canada Red Chair Experience Program launching this summer! This experience is meant to provide our visitors with the opportunity to connect with nature, and experience the most unique and beautiful places within the National Marine Conservation Area. This summer we encourage you seek out the “Red Chairs” , slow down and enjoy these special places! Don’t forget to take a photo and share your experience with us through social media using the hashtags #ShareTheChair #TopOfLakeSuperior . Stay tuned for more information on this program by following us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and checking in on our website!
3. Take in the beautiful sights of the big lake in kayak or canoe
Paddling the great Lake Superior in your kayak or canoe allows you to take your time, slow down, and really soak in the beauty around you! Head out on the water this summer and explore around the many islands and bays in the Lake Superior NMCA, and make sure to visit the beautiful community of Rossport to explore the offshore coves, beaches and sea caves!
Don’t have your own equipment? That’s okay! Rossport’s local Superior Outfitters can rent you equipment and even provide you with a one or two day course and guided tour of the islands and lighthouse!
4. Catch a big one!
Lake Superior is home to more than 70 species of fish! Some of the most popular species to fish in the Lake Superior NMCA are the rainbow trout, salmon, walleye, brook trout, and lake trout! With such a large area of water to fish, we guarantee you will have a great time reeling in some great catches this summer!
Please check the current Fishing Ontario Regulations booklet for a summary of all information on fishing seasons, site restrictions, and other rules associated with fishing in the Lake Superior NMCA.
…While we’re on the topic of fishing, here’s a fun fact! Did you know that the world record brook trout (14.5 lbs) was caught 100 years ago in July of 1915 on the Nipigon River?! Check out the Nipigon River Brook Trout Festival, taking place this summer in celebration of the 100th anniversary for this world record fish!
5. Spend a day exploring the Slate Islands!
Formed over a billion years ago when a large meteorite smashed into the earth, the beautiful Slate Islands are a must see when visiting the Lake Superior NMCA! Take a charter out to the islands for a day of adventure and exploration! The islands are also populated with the presence of woodland caribou!