Lake Superior Provincial Park offers so many outdoor activities; whether you want to take on five-day hiking treks or go camping on calm shores, you’re sure to find a piece of paradise while you’re here.
Does Lake Superior have sand beaches?
There are three sand beaches in this secluded provincial park but none compare to Old Woman Bay. Tucked in a cove sheltered by towering limestone cliffs, you might not find it if you didn’t know it was there.
The sandy shore stretches along the refreshing waters of Lake Superior, and while it's not as warm as, say, Lake Erie or Georgian Bay, it’s the perfect place to cool down after a day in the summer sun.
The lake provincial park beach gets its name from the silhouette of a woman's face seen on the cliffside at the bay's opening. This secluded spot is so spectacular it has even inspired photographers and filmmakers who marvelled at its beauty.
Further down the eastern coast of Lake Superior, visitors can find the other beaches: Katherine Cove and Agawa Bay. Agawa Bay is easily accessible with an adjacent provincial park campground, but its most notable feature is the Agawa rock pictographs — red ochre images dating back to the 1600s.
Where is the best place to hike in Lake Superior Provincial Park?
There are 11 different hiking trails throughout the provincial park that cover varied landscapes from lakes and rivers to wetlands and rolling hills. Ontario Parks has a list of the hiking trails available online, with detailed descriptions of difficulty ratings, access points and trail highlights, so you can choose between a scenic stroll and a challenging climb.
Notably, the Coastal Trail or the breathtaking Nokomis hiking trail, a 5-kilometre path through the boreal forest to the top of the 200-metre cliffs overlooking Old Woman Bay.
How long is the Lake Superior Coastal Trail?
The Coastal Trail at this provincial park is a steep, demanding 65-km multi-day route that takes hikers over rocky outcrops and boulder beaches.
With multiple access points, visitors can decide how much of the hiking trail they want to tackle based on skill level and experience. Ontario Parks recommends 5-7 days to complete the trail in its entirety from Agawa Bay to Chalfant Cove. The sections of the hike are broken down on the Ontario Parks blog page.
Deciding what to do at Lake Superior Park when you visit?
For those looking to get out on the water, this Ontario park has eight canoe routes that range from easy day trips to the 56-kilometre Sand River expedition. As with the hiking trails, canoe routes are outlined on the Ontario Parks website, but be ready to portage as you navigate lakes, rivers and rugged terrain. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent in the park.
For more curious adventurers, the Visitor Centre at Agawa Bay hosts educational programming and special events in the summer put on by the Natural Heritage Education Program. There are also on-site guides during July and August.
Can you camp at Lake Superior Provincial Park?
There are over 150 backcountry camping sites available, including those near hiking trails and popular attractions. The park also offers car camping on two campgrounds, with electricity at some sites. There are also radio-free camping sites for those looking to truly escape and immerse themselves in nature at this lake provincial park.
Visitors can make use of comfort stations, showers, laundromats and other amenities available throughout the provincial park grounds. Ontario Parks recommends making a reservation to secure campsites, along with other rules and regulations outlined on its website.
What time do Ontario Parks reservations open?
Online reservations for camping sites open at 7 a.m., five months prior to the start of your trip. Ontario Parks recommends booking as far in advance as possible since sites book up fast.
Particularly at the five most popular Ontario provincial parks: Algonquin Provincial Park, Killbear Provincial Park, Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron, Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario, and Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Are dogs allowed in Ontario provincial parks?
Dogs are welcome at all Ontario Parks, though there are several rules in place, like keeping dogs leashed except in designated areas and certain areas where pets are restricted. The full list of regulations can be found on the Ontario Parks website.
What are the best provincial parks in Canada?
According to Destination Canada's list of top provincial parks, Algonquin Provincial Park stands out for its impressive size and canoeing excursions. As does Killarney Provincial Park, for its stunning Georgian Bay landscapes said to have inspired the Group of Seven.
Next is the remote Quetico Provincial Park, a 2-hour drive from Thunder Bay and the serene Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and French River Provincial Park also made the list.
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Price: Daily vehicle permits start at $12.25.
Address: 96 Broadway Avenue, Wawa, ON P0S 1K0
Why You Need To Go: Between exploring Old Woman Bay, the kilometres of canoeing and hiking trails, and breathtaking natural beauty, this Ontario provincial park is the serene escape you need this summer.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on July 19, 2021.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.