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.

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Agawa-Bay-Lake-Superior-Provincial-ParkLake Superior Provincial Park stretches 83 kilometers along Highway 17 in Northern Ontario. Lake Superior Park begins approximately 20 kilometers south of Wawa at Treeby Lake and extends to the Montreal River. The south side of the park is approximately 125 kilometers north of Sault Ste Marie.

The Provincial Park runs down the Eastern shores of Lake Superior, often referred to as Gitchee Gumee, the largest fresh-water lake in the world. The Native Americans named the Lake Gitche Gumee which means ‘Big Water’. Inside the over 1,600 square kilometer park, you will find many lakes and Northern Ontario wilderness. Many rivers, waterfalls and streams run through the Park and empty into Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Provincial Park – The Campgrounds

The park once featured three separate campgrounds. Since Crescent Lake Campground is no longer in operations, the Park now features two amazing campgrounds. The two campgrounds are Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground at the North end and Agawa Bay Campground at the South End.

Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground features 60 campsites with one-third of them being electrical. The campsites are located on a small inland Lake that has it’s own beach and boat launch. Rabbit Blanket is just off Highway 17 and provides an excellent opportunity for nature seekers to be at one with the Lake Superior wilderness. The comfort station has flush toilets, showers as well as laundry facilities.

Agawa Bay Campground, many consider one of the best campgrounds on Lake Superior. Along with Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Agawa Bay is right on the Eastern coast of Lake Superior. The campground features nearly 150 campsites with 38 of them being electrical. Half of the campsites are on or right across from the water whereas the other half are through a small forest divider. You can feel the breeze from Lake Superior on every site off of Agawa Bay. There are two comfort stations on site that feature showers, flush toilets as well as laundry facilities. The Natural Heritage Education staff put on many activities for the children as well as movies at the Amphitheatre.

What to do in Lake Superior Provincial Park?

The Visitor Centre at Agawa Bay campground is a reminder of how great Gitchee Gumee is. Relatively new, the features are incredible and open up children’s mind to the Great Lakes. From a large lighthouse to skeletal displays, the Visitor centre is a must visit when you are in the park. The views overlooking Lake Superior will make you stop and just marvel at its beauty.

Lake Superior Park visitors have access to many different hiking trails and picnic areas. The eleven hiking trails in Lake Superior Park range from amateur to advanced and all points in between. The image below outlines the difficulty range, distance and location of every Hiking Trail in Lake Superior Park.

Picnic Areas in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Sand-River-Lake-Superior-Provincial-ParkThere are four main picnic areas in Lake Superior Park. All of these picnic areas are just off of Highway 17.

Beginning on the North End of the Provincial Park, Old Woman’s Bay is the first area. The Bay gets its name from the formation of the cliffs that can be seen from the Beach.
Many boating enthusiasts can see a woman’s face in the rocks, hence the name, Old Woman’s Bay.

Second is Katherine’s Cove. Katherine’s cove is a nice but smaller picnic area that has sand beaches. One of the features near Katherine’s cove is Bathtub Island. Bathtub Island is known for having pools of water that become extremely warm and can be reached from Katherine’s Cove.

Third is Sand River, this picnic area is right beside the rushing rapids of Sand River. The crashing of the water down on the rocks of the Sand River provides harmonious music while lunch is enjoyed. During the spring melt, the rapids at Sand River are a sight to be seen. Sand River rapids can be seen off of Highway 17.

The final picnic area is at the Visitor centre in Agawa Bay. After your lunch, enjoy the rocky shores of Lake Superior. The rocks are so smooth from the waves crashing on the rocks for thousands of years.