Caliper Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Nestor Falls

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Caliper Lake Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario; seven kilometres south of Nestor Falls. Caliper Lake campground is in the Kenora district, directly off the Trans Canada Highway and sits on the northern shores of the beautiful Caliper Lake.

Caliper Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

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(photo credit to Leanna Mongrain)
The campground features over 80 sites with about one third of them having electricity. The park is broken up into two separate areas, one for the electrical sites while the other having non-electrical.

Caliper Lake campground offers a spacious group campsite that can fit nearly 40 people. The site overlooks the lake and is one of the nicer camping sites in the park.

One of the unique features of Caliper Lake are the walk-in campsites. Eight of the sites have a short walking distance after parking your car away from the site. Ranging up to 50 metres, the sites make you feel like you are in the backcountry and are right on the water.

What to do at Caliper Lake Provincial Park?

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(photo credit to Leanna Mongrain)
Caliper Lake features a great swimming area with sandy beaches, located in the western part of the park. The beach is a great size for an inland lake in Northern Ontario. The lake is shallow which keeps the water warmer but still provides a refreshing swim.

The park also features a great hiking trail located near the entrance of the park.

The Beaver Pond Trail ranges in size depending on which loop you choose. Between 2 and 3 kilometres, this moderately difficult hiking trail takes you around a great reminder of the vast differences in Northern Ontario forests and ponds.

One of the best parts about the campground is the annual Moose N’ Fiddle Music Festival. Displaying a wide variety of upcoming and established musical talent; there is music that everyone can enjoy. Artisan shops, a variety of food trucks and music lessons provide a great interactive opportunity for all of the campers and visitors.

Fishing in Caliper Lake Provincial Park

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(Photo Credit to Leanna Mongrain)
Caliper Lake is home to a wide variety of fish which includes Northern Pike, Crappie, Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. An unforgettable shore lunch is just waiting to be pulled out of the lake.

The boat launch is right in the middle of the two separate campgrounds. One of the best parts of camping in the park is fishing on Caliper Lake.

Caliper Lake Provincial Park is a great campground located in Northern Ontario near Nestor Falls. Located directly off Highway 17; this park features something for everyone.

Blue Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Vermillion Bay

Blue Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Vermillion Bay

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks
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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)

Blue Lake Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario; nine kilometres north of Vermillion Bay. Blue Lake campground is located in the Kenora District. Off of Highway 647, which is directly off the Trans Canada Highway, the park sits on the eastern shores of beautiful Blue Lake.

Blue Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

The campground features over 200 sites with half of them electrical. The park is well laid out and is well marked in order to find your campsite.

The park features two group campsites that can fit anywhere between 40 and 140 people. Both group campsites are in great locations at opposite ends of the park and are some of the closest sites to the shores of Blue Lake.

One of the more unique features of Blue Lake campground are the “trailer equipped” sites. Six sites in the park come ready to camp with trailers already on the site and the only thing you need to take care of is kitchen and personal items.

Blue Lake Provincial Park has a rich history in Northern Ontario. In the early 1900’s, there was a large forest fire that left it’s mark in the Park.

What to do at Blue Lake Provincial Park?

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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Blue Lake features some of the most crystal clear waters in Northern Ontario. A long sandy beach runs the entire length of the park and features buoys to mark the safe swimming area. One of the group campsites has its own buoyed beach.

There is no shortage of available hiking in Blue Lake Provincial Park. The park features four quite unique hiking trails through a variety of areas.

The Boulder Ridge trail is a one kilometre trail that is relatively easy to traverse. A truly Northern Ontario mix of scenery, this trail features it all. Remnants of glaciers and forest fires through the areas and sand runs from rivers that have dried up.

The Goblin Lake trail, the longest in the park, is 11 kilometres long and a moderate to difficult hike. This all day hike wraps around Goblin Lake and provides scenery that would like the same as hundreds of years ago when the fur traders were in the area.

Rock Point trail is a four kilometre trail with a moderate level of difficulty. Beginning at an active beaver pond, the trail traverses through a wide array of Northern Ontario trees from cedars near the shore line to large jack pine and balsam.

The Spruce Fen Boardwalk trail is one kilometre long, boardwalk trail that takes you around a floating island. Similar to the bogs of Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park, this unique feature is really something spectacular. Many animals and insects take advantage of this and can be seen from the walking path.

The park also features a Natural Heritage Education (NHE) staff which offers a variety of programs as well as treks back in time. Along with an old log cabin which houses the Park’s museum, it is really well representative of the great history of the area.

Fishing in Blue Lake Provincial Park

Blue Lake is another great fishing lake in Northern Ontario with a wide variety of fish. Lake Trout, Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike are mainstays of the Lake and provide the usual catches. More experienced fisherman will try to pull Walleye or Musky out of Blue Lake, but they pose much more of a challenge.

Nearby Corner Lake which is located only three kilometres south on Highway 647 features an opportunity to catch Walleye. Although, no other lakes are fully contained in the park, there are many lakes in the area offering a wide variety of fish.

Blue Lake has a fish cleaning hut which is on the opposite side of where the boat launch is located. Somewhat inconvenient, it is well used with all the different fish coming out of Blue Lake.

The lake features a steady number of canoes and kayaks which can be rented directly from the Park.

Blue Lake Provincial Park is a great campground near Vermillion Bay in Northern Ontario. Located just off Highway 17, it is very convenient and will provide countless memories for everyone that attends.

Aaron Provincial Park – Camping near Dryden

Aaron Provincial Park – Camping near Dryden

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Aaron-Provincial-Park-Sunset
(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Aaron Provincial Park is located in the Kenora district of Northern Ontario; 11 kilometres east of Dryden.

Located on the southern and eastern shores of beautiful Lake Thunder just off of the Trans Canada Highway, Aaron park is a camper’s dream.

Aaron Provincial Park – The Campground

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    Aaron Provincial Park Entrance, directly off Highway 17 near Dryden (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Park-River-Road
    Driving along the shores of Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Hiking sign for Aspen Trail (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    The Aspen Hiking Trail is two kilometres long (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Park-Point
    Point on Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Lake
    Overlooking Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Overlooking Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Campsites at Aaron Provincial Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Park-Mushroom
    Wild Mushrooms - Better safe than sorry (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Devil's Paintbrushes at Aaron Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Crow overlooking Aaron Provincial Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)

Aaron Park features nearly 100 campsites with approximately 30 percent of them having electrical hookups.

The campground is made up of two separate sections, east and west. Thunder Creek flows right through the middle of the park which separates the two sections.

Aaron Provincial campground has one group campsite that can easily handle 15 to 20 people.

This park, like so many other Northern Ontario Provincial Parks, shows the effects of glaciers. The glaciers left scratches on rocks as memories of them moving through the area.

What to do at Aaron Provincial Park

Aaron-Provincial-Park-Campground
(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
The park features two beautiful, sandy swim beaches on Lake Thunder.

One beach is located on the east end of the campground and one at the west end. Both beaches feature picnic tables that can be used for a shore time lunch while taking a break from swimming.

One of the best features is hiking in Aaron Provincial Park. The park features two hiking trails that offer up different scenery.

The Aspen Trail is 2 kilometers long and is a moderate level of difficulty. Winding through tall balsam and jackpine, the Aspen Trial shows remnants of the glaciers going through the area. White-tailed Deer are frequent in the area and will leave their calling cards all around the Aspen trail.

The Eastern Cedar trail is just over a kilometer long and is an easy hike. Featuring some of the larger trees in Northern Ontario, this trail will make you feel like you have gone back in time. The trees are a reminder of the strength of the forestry industry in Northern Ontario.

The park store features a wide selection of Ontario Parks items including clothing and souvenirs. Firewood purchases can be made at the park store while grocery purchases can be done in the nearby town of Dryden.

Fishing on Lake Thunder in Aaron Provincial Park

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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Lake Thunder features some great fishing with multiple areas on the lake that are hot-spots. The lake features a wide array of fish but is most notable for the Walleye, Lake Trout and Northern Pike.

The Park features a boat launch that directly enters Lake Thunder. Near the boat launch is a fish cleaning station that has running water, a luxury when cleaning a great Northern Ontario catch.

Aaron Provincial Park is truly a gem of a Provincial Park in Northern Ontario. The park is nestled on the shores of historic Lake Thunder provides showcases the importance of forestry while offering great swimming on sandy beaches.

White Lake Provincial Park – Camping Near White River

White Lake Provincial Park – Camping Near White River

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

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White Lake Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario approximately 40 kilometres west of White River and 50 kilometres east of Marathon along Highway 17. White Lake campground is located, directly across the mouth of the White River from Pic Mobert First Nation. The Provincial Park is the first campground inside of the Thunder Bay District as you are heading west.

White Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

White Lake Park has a total a 187 campsites with approximately 60 having electrical hookups. The Park is broken down into three separate campgrounds, Woodlily, Moccasin Flower and Sundew. Moccasin Flower is centrally located and has the campground’s only comfort station with flush toilets and showers. White Lake Provincial Park has one large group camp site that can accommodate up to 60 people, the group site is on the way into the park after the Gatehouse.

White Lake has a long history in the timber industry. Logs would be run down the river in the early 1900’s. The town museum in nearby White River has many pictures and artifacts of the logging industry including old axes that were found on the bottom of the White Lake. Logging is a significant industry in the town of White River and the saw mill is still running today as White River Forest Products. White River Forest Products is a collaborative effort between the town of White River and Pic Mobert First Nation.

What to do at White Lake Provincial Park?

The Park features two buoyed beach areas for swimming as well as multiple campsites that are right on the water. White Lake is a beautiful lake for swimming with clean, clear water and gets progressively deeper at both beaches. The main swimming beach has a large field just up from it that is great for playing catch or Frisbee.

There are also many smaller lakes within the park which are very serene settings for canoeing. Deer Lake, located beside the amphitheatre, provides a quiet calm lake for canoeing. The wildlife, such as beavers and birds love this lake. Clearwater Lake, which is completely spring fed, provides many of the same opportunities as Deer Lake.

The Provincial Park has a great outdoor education program complete with Amphitheatre. It is a bit of a ride from the park but many of the programs feature reminders of the logging history in the area.

Fishing at White Lake Provincial Park

White Lake has some of the best Walleye fishing in Northern Ontario. There are multiple sites on the Lake as well as up the White River that are hotbeds for Walleye.

There aren’t really any areas on the lake where fish aren’t caught but one of the best holes is Clay Bay. Clay Bay is located on the other side of White Lake, which can get choppy, but the rewards far outweigh a rough ride. Many of the Walleye pulled out of the lake are of a good size as well.

The Provincial Park has a fish cleaning hut right at the boat launch. There is plenty of parking at the boat launch for trailers so that they don’t take up too much of your site.

White Lake Provincial Park is a park between White River and Marathon that shouldn’t be missed. You can feel the history in the air.

Lake Superior Therapy – The Northern Ontario Cure

Lake Superior Therapy – The Northern Ontario Cure

Northern Ontario Adventures

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Your body aches from the grind of every day life. A thousand thoughts race through your mind. Stress overtakes you, you need Lake Superior Therapy.

What is Lake Superior Therapy

lake-superior-therapy-tranquilityLake Superior Therapy is the utilization of the healing powers of the largest freshwater lake in the world. The natural freshwater of Lake Superior relieves stress, soothes aching muscles, and clears your mind. The lake, the indigenous habitants of Northern Ontario name Gitchee Gumme, is believed to have healing powers for centuries. The sheer power of the Lake Superior waves has capsized ships, reshaped landscapes and provides sanctity to thousand who benefit from the lake. Your worries are nothing for this lake to overcome. It is a force within itself.

Lake Superior has claimed many lives but has given strength to countless more. The healing powers come from the sound of the crashing waves, the warm beaches or the uninterrupted views. There is a healing power that will help you escape the stress that weighs on your soul. This is Lake Superior Therapy.

Studies have shown that the soothing sounds of birds or the running of water provides relaxation for the body. Meditation and Yoga studios will have nature and water sounds playing in the background. The sound of nature provides your body with a relaxation mechanism that triggers your brain to go to that place you hear on the audio. This is why Lake Superior Therapy is so effective. Meditation and Yoga classes cost of hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars, sitting on the shores of Lake Superior is free.

The Tranquility of Lake Superior Therapy

Are you ready to go on a Northern Ontario adventure?

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let your imagination soar.

lake-superior-therapy-waves-splashingPicture yourself standing on a rock rising 10 feet above Lake Superior. The air is silent, all you can hear is the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below. The blue water stretches far beyond what the eyes can see. As the waves crash against the rocks, water sprays above your head. It comes from nowhere but it doesn’t scare you. You don’t blink, you get lost in the white and blue wall. As the mist from the Lake Superior waves overtakes your body, the stress begins to melt away. The stress of work, of family, of friends and of home disappears as fast as the next crash comes. This is Lake Superior Therapy.

Lake Superior has infinite healing powers. People pay thousands of dollars for Hot Stone Massages. A Hot Stone Massage is the placement of warm smooth rocks along pressure points in the back that releases tension. The warm feeling of the rocks immediately releases stress from the body. The rocks trigger points of pressure so that the tension eases, the stress melts and the frustration subsides.

Why pay hundreds or even thousands for a Hot Stone Massage when the rocky beach in Agawa Bay Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park provides the same life easing benefits. The beach in Agawa Bay Provincial Park stretches for miles and consists of smooth rocks. Rocks that have had the powerful waters of Lake Superior crash on them for thousands of years. As the heat from the rocks releases the stress from the body, the only explanation is Lake Superior Therapy.

The Tropical Paradise of Northern Ontario

The Caribbean is known for their fine white sand beaches, for their mist from the ocean that surrounds, and for their ease of life that stress is an impossible thought. The beaches provide a stress relieving method as all cares fall by the way side. The Caribbean doesn’t compare to the tropical paradise that is Northern Ontario.

The same can be said about the beach at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Pancake Bay has a sand beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. Even on the clearest of days, a person with the strongest eyes must squint to have any hopes of seeing the other end. As your toes dig into the sand, your eyes close and a gentle breeze off Gitchee Gumme surrounds you. Time stops. You could be on a remote tropical island, a Caribbean paradise but you are not there, you are in Northern Ontario. You are under the spell of Lake Superior Therapy.

Are you ready for another Northern Ontario adventure?

Close your eyes as you are taken to the warm sandy because on the shores of Lake Superior. A warm breeze rises from the waters of Pancake Bay. Your feet dig into the beach further, the sand separates your toes. As your body releases tension from the warm sand, you stand up and begin to run towards the water. As you enter Lake Superior, the water splashes beside you each time your foot penetrates the water. The water is cool, Lake Superior is always cool, but it has no effect on you. You take your sixth step then jump forward, your hands joining outstretched above your head, and Lake Superior swallows you whole. You succumb to the cool waters of Lake Superior. Your body no longer aches underwater, headaches are gone, tensions relapses and your worries are no longer. The therapy solves all of life’s problems.

Stop and Enjoy the Views of Lake Superior

ontario-sleeping-giant-provincial-park-thunder-bay-lookoutFrom Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay and all points in between there is an amazing view to be witnessed of Lake Superior. Whether you are climbing the trail at Old Woman’s Bay or hiking in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, the views are breathtaking.

As you stand there in awe at the beauty of Lake Superior, nothing else matters. Your cell phone stays in your pocket, a symbol of today’s technological driven world takes a backseat to the primitive nature of Northern Ontario.

For thousands of years, men and women of all backgrounds have used the power of Lake Superior to overcome the demons that lie within them. The demons of stress, tension, body aches, and everything else that prevents you from being your best.

Save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars and go enjoy some Lake Superior Therapy.

Foleyet – The Home of the White Moose

Foleyet – The Home of the White Moose

Northern Ontario Towns

foleyet-home-white-mooseFoleyet Ontario lies nearly halfway between Chapleau and Timmins on Highway 101. It is also just up the highway from Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park. Foleyet is a quaint little Northern Ontario town with less than 100 houses.

History of Foleyet

For being such a small town, Foleyet does have a very interesting history. Many stories, some true and perhaps some stretched a little bit can be found about the history of Foleyet.

The town began in the early 20th century and was originally on an island. According to legend, a huge fight broke out between the loggers and the clearers. During the melee, a large esker (strain of gravel left from moving glaciers) was blown up by dynamite filling the lake that surrounded it. The lake has never recovered and now why Foleyet is no longer an island.

As The Canadian Northern Railway was building through Northern Ontario, they came through the area where Foleyet is now located. Two local contractors were hired to assist in building the railway, the Foley Brothers and Northern Construction. Foleyet is one of the main stops on the Canadian National railway with many shift crews stationing there.

Another story was the naming of the town. The town was originally founded by the Foley Brothers, two very hardworking contracting pioneers. In honour of their achievements, the townsfolk wanted to name the town “Foley”. However, when they went to register the town they were told that “Foley” was already taken. In an act of defiance, the brother pledged that “They would name this town Foley yet!”, somehow, the term “Foley yet” stuck.

Foleyet, like many other small Northern Ontario towns, has been resilient. Through floods and fires, the little town has seen it all but always come back.

What to See in Foleyet?

foleyet-white-mooseThere isn’t much for attractions in the town but there is one thing that you have to look for. Foleyet is known to be the center of the white moose population in the Timmins area. Although, the local white moose is sometimes mistaken for the Albino strain, it really is a thing of beauty.

Back in 1998, one such white moose was struck by a train and it was forced to be put down. The head hangs in the local Northern Lights Restaurant and attracts many tourists from Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park.

The Canadian National Railway is one of the main employers in the town and many trains pass through Foleyet. The town once had two schools but is now down to one which has not seen more than 10 kids in years.

This small Northern Ontario town is a great stopping point for trains as well as the winding drive between Chapleau and Timmins. The town with a storied beginning is just one of the reasons why Northern Ontario is great.

When in town, make sure to stop in at the Northern Lights Restaurant to see the White Moose. Make sure to stop at the Foleyet general store as well. You may even want to go on an adventure through the many logging roads to see if you can spot one on your own.

Kenora – Lake of the Woods

Kenora – Lake of the Woods

Northern Ontario Towns

kenora-lake-woods-skylineThe Town of Kenora lies near the Manitoba border, just under 200 kilometres from the city of Winnipeg. This “Lake of the Woods” town is one of the last stops as you leave Northern Ontario while heading west along the TransCanada Highway.

With a population of approximately 15,100, it is Northern Ontario’s 6th most populous center and largest town.

History of Kenora

Kenora (formerly Rat Portage or Portage-aux-Rats) was an essential French trading post since its establishment in the mid 1700’s. Kenora is one of the oldest fur trading establishments in North America, following only Sault Ste Marie.

The provinces of Manitoba and Ontario each laid claim to Kenora until 1889 when it was officially declared part of Ontario.

In the mid 1800’s Gold was discovered in the area and by the early 1900’s, 20 gold mines were operating in the area. Mining continues to be an important aspect of Kenora’s economy as well as Forestry and tourism. The Lake of the Woods serves as a significant tourism lake.

It was once an integral route for alcohol smugglers during the prohibition era in the United States.

The Kenora Thistles won the 1907 Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League. Art Ross, who the NHL has a trophy named after, was a member of the team.

What do in Kenora?

Kenora-ontario-city-hallKenora is right on the shore of the Lake of the Woods. A classically beautiful city, any avid outdoorsmen will enjoy this Northern Ontario town.

In homage to the beauty of the local wilderness, there are multiple family friendly campgrounds in the area. Rushing River, Sioux Narrows, Caliper Lake and Blue Lake are all Northern Ontario Provincial parks within close proximity.

The Kenora Winter Carnival is a town wide event that attracts competitors from all over the region and Northern Minnesota. Along with Fireworks, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Fishing derby and a Farmers Market, the Winter Carnival has something for everyone.

The Kenora Harbourfest is the largest three day music festival in Northwestern Ontario. Featuring three separate nights of music, Harbourfest is an all out party. Visitors come from all over the area to participate in the sandals wearing good time. With three separately themed nights of music, there is something for every taste.

kenora-marina-lake-woodsThe Kenora Bass International is a large fishing tournament that attracts teams from all over North America. The Bass International fishing derby always happens on the second weekend of August. First prize in the tournament has reached levels of $30,000. The derby is an homage to the amazing fishing in the area.

What to See in Kenora?

The town has a significant arts culture. The buildings in the downtown core are covered in beautiful murals that depict the storied history of Kenora. The pride of the town shines through in these paintings.

husky-the-muskie-kenoraOn the north shore of the Lake of the Woods sits the town mascot, a 40 foot high muskellunge named Husky the Muskie. The muskie represents the amazing fishing opportunities around Kenora.

A can’t miss attraction, however, is the award-winning museum. Once called “one of the coolest museums in Canada” by CAA, it offers a step back in time for the visitors. Representing indigenous and fur-traders alike, the Kenora museum successfully represents the history of this great town.

Kenora is a beautiful town on the north shore of Lake of the Woods. With a tremendous history, there is something to do for families and travellers of all ages. You would never think that the town is nearly

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Wawa – A Place to Work, Live, and Play

Wawa – A Place to Work, Live, and Play

Northern Ontario Towns

The Town of Wawa lies just over 2 hours from Sault Ste Marie and just over 5 hours from Thunder Bay. Best known for the Big Goose that overlooks the TransCanada Highway, it is the quintessential Northern Ontario town.

With a population of approximately 3,500 people, there is endless opportunity for adventures in Wawa. Being minutes away from Lake Superior one way and bush trails on the other, it truly is an outdoor paradise.

History of Wawa

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(Credit to Tom Haddow)
Wawa was found after a Gold discovery in the early 1900’s. Although, the gold didn’t pan out, hematite ore was found which is used in the steel-making process. The ore became the main source of employment for the town. The ore was sent by rail to Algoma Steel in Sault Ste Marie as part of their steel-making operations.

As Algoma Steel began going through financial difficulties, the business decision was made to close the Wawa mine site. Although the Wawa economy was hit hard, it did not take long for it to rebound. An oriented strandboard mill opened nearly 20 minutes out of town on the shores of the Michipicoten River. After undergoing a number of ownership changes, the mill was eventually sold to Rentech. Rentech with the intentions of creating a pellet mill, has since run out of money at the mill. Currently, the main employment is mining at River Gold and in nearby Dubreuilville.

What to do in Wawa?

Wawa is steps away from the outdoors. With endless trails for snowmachining, ATVing, and countless lakes nearby, there are tons of opportunities for any outdoorsmen. There is family camping near Wawa around including Lake Superior Provincial Park and Obatanga Provincial Park.

There are three major tourist events that happen in Wawa, that bring many participants in.

  1. Summer Salmon Derby
  2. The summer salmon derby brings participants from all over Northern Ontario and the Michigan upper Peninsula. With large cash prizes, the summer derby is enjoyable for everyone. As a spectator, you can watch the boats fish from the shores of Sandy Beach or as they bring in their fish at Buck’s Marina.

  3. Wawa Ice Fishing Derby
  4. The Wawa Ice Fishing Derby is one of the largest in Ontario. With up to 1,300 participants from all over Northern Ontario, the prizes are in excess of $100,000. Fishermen are able to fish on Wawa Lake, Hawk Lake as well as Manitowik Lake. There are 6 prizes per Lake and have been boats and ATV’s in the past.

  5. National Drag Race
  6. Relatively new to Wawa is the annual Drag Race. The Northern Nationals Drag Race takes place in early August and is a sanctioned NHRA event. Racers come from all over Ontario and Michigan to race in this high speed event. The Wawa drag race will be going into its 5th year in 2017.

What to see in Wawa?

The proximity to Lake Superior and Lake Superior Provincial Park gives plenty of opportunities for things to see in Wawa. With plenty of hiking trails, Lake Superior Park has sights for everyone.

A little closer to Wawa is Scenic High Falls. High Falls has a walking area that you can climb up beside the falls. It is a beautiful area with a gazebo for picnics or weddings.

Wawa-Lake-Highway-101-Ghost-Lake-HillWawa Lake is one of the largest spring-fed lakes in Northern Ontario. Although cold, it produces amazing sunrises and the Lake points almost due east. Nearly 7 kilometers long, there is road at the end of the Lake that can take you to Sir James Dunn pit and one of the best blueberry patches anywhere.

However, the main attraction is the large Wawa goose that watches over Highway 17 travellers. Multiple questions on Jeopardy have referred to the Goose and is a monument known across Canada. Although it has seen better days, money has been pledged to bring it back to its former glory. Geese sit on top of the Wawa Motor Inn and besides Young General store to pay homage to the original Goose.

Wawa is truly an outdoorsman paradise. With miles of trails, lakes and hiking, there is never a dull moment in this truly resilient little Northern Ontario town.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Pancake-bay-provincial-parkPancake Bay Provincial Park is located approximately 75 kilometres north of Sault Ste Marie and 150 kilometres south of Wawa in Northern Ontario. Pancake Bay has one of the most beautiful and large sand beaches on all of Lake Superior.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park – The Campground

The Park is 5 minutes north of Batchewana Bay Provincial Park and Batchewana first nation. Pancake Bay boasts over 200 campsites, many with electrical hookups. The Park is spread out over five different individual campgrounds. The campgrounds names are East, East-Central, West-Central, West and Hilltop which is a radio-free campground. Nearly half of the campsites have views of the water but those sites book up fast. The park has three shower facilities, flushing toilets, a store, canoe rentals and five yurts. There are also five large group campsites located at the west end of the park with a more private beach area and very little traffic. The group sites provide families and groups together on one site for campfires and story telling.

pancake-bay-provincial-park-entrancePancake Bay Provincial Park has a very long, significant history. The park was one of the last stopping areas for the Voyageurs as they made their voyage across Lake Superior to Thunder Bay and Old Fort William. Historians called it Pancake Bay because all the Voyageurs had remaining on their voyage was flour to make Pancakes. Others claim because of the beach follows the roundness of the bay out to the two points, it makes the bay look like a Pancake. Either way, the stop was extremely important during the fur trade and many artifacts have been found in the area.

What to do at Pancake Bay Provincial Park

The beach is over three kilometres long of fine sand and Pancake Bay is protected by two points that go out into Lake Superior. There are plenty of areas on the beach where park visitors can enjoy Frisbee, football or swimming in the sand bottom lake. The Day Use Area is located right at the Gatehouse and has ample picnic tables and barbeques to enjoy.

During the Salmon run in the fall, it is normal to see fishermen up to their chest in hip waders casting out into Superior. With the Leaves changing colours in the distance, it is fishing at its finest. Although there is no boat launch at the park, the Pancake River and surrounding Lakes in the park are home to Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout and Salmon. It may take a little while to locate a good lake on the nearby logging roads, the fishing is well worth it.

The Natural Heritage Education staff at Pancake Bay Provincial Park always seem to have an event going on. From nighttime walks on the shores of Lake Superior to look at constellations to catching bugs in the little creeks that run into the Lake, there is something for every age group. The August long weekend always features a fish fry with the Batchewana Fire Department.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park is a Family Friendly Campground near Sault Ste Marie

Pancake Bay campground is very family friendly. From the superior sand beach to the playground area there are plenty of things for Children to do. The Natural Heritage Education staff usually have two events a weekend for kids. The park also features two hiking trails, one that has an Edmund Fitzgerald lookout. For those with young children, the Hilltop campground is radio free and can provide ample opportunity for napping children. At nighttime, the lights from the Wind Farm can be seen across Lake Superior in an interruption of nature but still a cool sight to behold.

A short one minute drive will bring you to Agawa Indian Crafts, a combination of stores that features handmade art and carvings. The proximity to Batchewana First Nation gives many of its inhabitants to use their hands and sale to thousands of tourists a day. One wing of one of the stores has a large moccasin collection and handmade leather goods. The ice cream stand and camper’s store give families the opportunity to have a break to enjoy a treat.

Pancake Bay Provincial Park consistently ranks on top 5 lists for Ontario Provincial Parks. A magnificent beach, plenty of well treed campsites and plenty of history make this a beautiful park that should not be missed. The only downfall is that some of the sites are located relatively close to the Trans Canada highway.

Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park is located almost half way between the city of Timmins and the town of Chapleau in Northern Ontario. The Ivanhoe Lake campground is nestled on the north shore of the lake which has a tremendous history.

Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park was one of a number of Northern Ontario provincial parks identified by the Government of Ontario as candidates for closure. In 2014, Ivanhoe partnered with the city of Timmins to run the operations in order to keep it open. The park has since flourished as a number of other parks in the area closed.

Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

Located approximately eight kilometres (five miles) from Foleyet, the Provincial Park boosts over 100 campsites, with over half of them having electrical hookups. The Park is spread out over four different individual campgrounds, Red Pine, Le Rivage, White Birch Hall and La Baie. A majority of the park has views of the water and sites in La Baie are right on the water. The park has shower facilities, flushing toilets, a store, canoe rentals and a boat launch.

What to do at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

There are two main beaches for swimming at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park, one beach is between Red Pine and Le Rivage and the other beach is at the day use area. The beach at the Day Use Area is a marvel to be held, the distance you can walk with the water only rising slightly is phenomenal. Many park visitors enjoy playing Frisbee, football or even just sitting in the shallow water.

Within the Provincial Park, there are many small inland lakes that were formed by glaciers, thousands of years ago. These lakes, often referred to as kettle lakes, were created when the glaciers left large, deep impressions in the earth that filled with water over time. Scratches on rocks and the deposits of sand and gravel, called eskers, are evidence of the last ice age that swept Northern Ontario. Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park is home to what the park has deemed a “quaking bog”, a solid overgrowth of vegetation that has overtaken one of the kettle lakes. Although the vegetation is quite delicate, the entire bed of plants will move as it covers the surface of the water, similar to a water bed.

Fishing at Ivanhoe Lake

Ivanhoe Lake itself and some surrounding lakes are home to some of the best fishing in Northern Ontario. Abundant in walleye (pickerel), smallmouth bass, northern pike and perch there is opportunity for fishermen of all skill levels to enjoy. The side of the lake opposite the day use area, the mouth of the Ivanhoe River and the dam have always been hot beds for fishing. Although many of the lakes in the surrounding area near Foleyet have exceptional fishing as well, those lakes are just more difficult to get to. Even if you don’t have a boat, there is an opportunity to fish. The boat launch area has a relatively steep drop-off so many park goers will grab their rods and fish off the shore.

Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park has a long history in the area. Once a significant logging area, loggers used to run timber down the Ivanhoe River to the town of Nicholson where they would load on the CP Rail Train. Now a ghost town, Nicholson does provide some great stories and the Natural Heritage Education staff has done amazing lumberjack stories in the past.

One of the unique features of Ivanhoe Lake Park is the growth of wild rice. Ivanhoe used to have an annual wild food fest with wild animal meat and wild rice. Although they no longer have the food fest, the wild rice still grows in the area.

Ivanhoe Lake is a Family Friendly Campground near Timmins

Ivanhoe campground is very family friendly. Between the large day use area with playground, the large sand beaches and the sand dunes that you can jump down like a slide, there are many things to do with your children. The park also has a number of hiking trails that take you through different parts of the park including around Saw Lake and the quaking bog. The Natural Heritage Education staff also provides numerous stories about the area, campfire singalongs and activities for the children.