Heading north from Sault Ste Marie on Hwy-17, it’s about 130km to the southern perimeter of Lake Superior Provincial Park, which offers ready access to Lake Superior’s granite shoreline and its immediate hinterland. Autumn is the best time to visit, when the blackflies have abated and the forests of sugar maples and yellow birch flash with colour, but the scenery and wildlife are enthralling year-round. Moose, chipmunk and beaver are the most common, sharing their habitat with the more elusive white-tailed deer, woodland caribou, coyote, timber wolf and black bear, as well as myriad migratory and resident birds.
The Coastal Trail
The finest of the park’s many trails, the Coastal Trail begins some 140km from Sault Ste Marie at Sinclair Cove and runs north to Chalfant Cove. It comprises a challenging 48km-long route of high cliffs, sand and cobbled beaches, sheltered coves and exposed granite ledges. There are numerous designated backcountry campsites on the trail and the burnt-out fires on the beaches indicate where most people choose to pitch. The entire trek takes about five to seven days but access points enable you to do shorter sections; the southern part of the trail is not as demanding, with fewer climbs and easier going on sand rather than cobbled beach. Maps and trail guides are available at the park office and the visitor centre.