LAKE SUPERIOR PROVINCIAL PARK,, ONTARIO ~~~~ July 31, 2020 (LSN) The drive coming north from Sault Ste Marie subtly took my breath away. Smooth rolling mountains flushed with deep green pine trees peeked up on both sides of the Trans Canada Highway, and as we drove we began to get glances of Lake Superior’s vast blue waters. I began to feel quite small by the powerful landscapes that surrounded us. Arriving in Lake Superior Provincial Park was whimsical as the land began to humble us with its unwavering beauty.
The highway wraps and whirls along the coast of Lake Superior which resembles a little peace of the west coast in Ontario. Human interference with the land seemed unnoticeable, especially coming from a booming city like Toronto.
Our campsite was located in Agawa Bay, the southernmost tip of the park. Rows of campsites were nestled along the shores and hidden away in dense forest. Our campsite was quite close to the highway and we often heard the roar of transport trucks as they passed by. However, we were a short walk to the beach, which was a sight for sore eyes from a long car ride. The lake resembles an endless ocean and is cuddled by two rolling hills on each side. The water, although chilly, glistened in the sun and the waves calmed the shoreline. But more memorable was the vibrant sunsets over the horizon on the lake. Deep colours of yellow, orange and pink filled the sky each night.
After much research, we set our sights to hike the Nokomis trail, which is located directly across from Old Woman Bay on Hwy 17. The 5km hike followed a densely forested loop up hill with several look out spots at the top of the mountain. The entire loop took us about two hours with moderate difficulty. Old Woman Bay is snuggled between two mountains on each side that reach into the clouds. A sandy beach sits in the middle of the bay. If there is one hike or place to visit in Lake Superior Provincial Park, I would recommend the Nokomis Trail and visiting Old Woman Bay just across the street from the trail head. It was the highlight of my stay in the park.
Agawa Rock Pictographs
Lake Superior has many ancient roots to the Ojibway and Chippewa culture, and the land emulates the same respect and preservation that it was given so long ago. We visited the 400 year old pictographs painted on a narrow cliff overhanging Lake Superior. Images of animals, and Mishipeshu the “Great Lynx” who causes the waves, rapids and whirlpools of Lake Superior, are still preserved on the rock. The paintings were set in stone by Ojibway spiritual leaders centuries ago, but the date has yet to be specified. As I tip-toed along the slender ledge holding a rope for balance, it was hard to believe the pictographs could be multiple centuries old, due to how well they could be seen. The hike down to the cliff is a short one, but it’s quite rocky and downhill for the majority of the trail.
The pictographs are not the only famous paintings to come from the land. The Group of Seven were also inspired by the rugged beauty of Lake Superior and their paintings included vistas from the park and further north to Neys Provincial Park.
Within my short life, and even shorter camping life, Lake Superior has been the most beautiful park I have had the pleasure to visit in Ontario. I highly suggest Canadians take the time to venture north and experience the compelling allure that this region has to offer. We’re off to Red Rock, Ont. next. Bye for now.
Chelsey Devito is a young journalist, content creator and producer. Her experience expands through print, radio, television and film. With her strong sense of vision and creativity, she hopes her work will ignite change through the media to inspire others to follow her lead. You can find more of her work here: https://chelseydevitoblog.wordpress.com/.
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