Hiking Wawa, Lake Superior Park & Potholes Park

Wawa Northern Lights Motel

Northern Lights Motel and Chalets - Hiking

I do not know how to make tables/charts “RESPONSIVE”, so they cannot be viewed on mobile phones properly. Sorry about that! But all the information is below this Chart as well. 

 Hike Drive Distance from NLmotel  Hike Time Difficulty
High Falls to Silver Falls

Hike along the Magpie River – Some difficult climbs

 12 Min  2 Hour Return Moderate
Nokomis

lookouts over South Old Woman River Valley and Old Woman Bay

 20 Min

5.0 km (3 mi) loop

1½  – 3 hrs

Moderate
Peat Mountain

Numerous Scenic Look Outs

 25 Min

11 km (6.8 mi) loop

3 – 5 hrs

 Difficult
South Old Woman Trail

Forest along the river.

 25 Min

2.5 km (1.5 mi) loop

1 – 2 hrs

Moderate
Trapper’s Trail

Floating board walk

 30 Min

1.5 km (1 mi) loop

45 Min – 1½  hrs

 Easy
Orphan Lake Trail

Scenic lookouts, beach on Lake Superior, Baldhead River, waterfalls,

 44 Min

8 km (5 mi) loop

2 – 4 hrs

Moderate
Katherine Cove to Sand River Beach Hike

Scenic beach hike, Bathtub Island – Swimming, Blueberries

 50 Min  1 – 2 hrs  Easy
Pinguisibi
(Sand River) Several waterfalls
 52 Min

 6 km (3.7 mi) return, linear

1.5 – 3 Hrs

 Easy
Agawa Rock Pictographs

Rock Paintings, Steep Cliffs

 1 Hour  1 Hr Moderate
Sinclair Cove Bluff

Boat Launch – climb the trail to the top of the bluff for views of Lake Superior & Sinclair Cove

1 Hour

 to the top of bluff

15-20 Min

 Demanding

(A steep climb)

Cave Hike – Coastal Trail starting at Pictographs

Coastal Trail hike from Pictograph Parking lot to Cave & Rock formations

1 Hour 1.6k (1 mi) (guessing)

Linear

2 – 4 Hours

 Moderate to Demanding
Awausee Trail

Climb a steep mountain/cliff – Scenic lookouts over Agawa Bay and Agawa River valley

1:07 (1.5 km (1 mi) to/return 1st lookout)

45 min return to 1st lookout

10 km (6.2 mi) loop

4 – 6 hours

 Demanding
Towab Trail

follows Agawa River – Agawa Falls

 1:16 2 – 3 Hours to Burnt Rock Pool & Return

24 km (15 mi) return,
linear

10 – 12 hrs rtn
(overnight recommended)

Moderate to Burnt Rock Pool

Very Demanding to Agawa Falls

Crescent Lake

Hardwood Forest

  1:17

  2 km (1.2 mi) loop

½ – 1 Hour

 Easy
Potholes Park

River, with “potholes” formed by glacial erosion

 42 Min  ½ Hour  Easy

Scenic High Falls – 12 minutes drive

You can drive and park at the Waterfalls. No hiking is needed. But you can climb the stairs to the top of the waterfalls. There is a picnic area at the waterfalls, and washrooms.

Scenic High Falls Northern Lights Motel Wawa

I took this video in May 2013!! Flood Gates were open and the water was RAGING!

Silver Falls – 10 Minute Drive

Wawa Silver Falls

Silver Falls Wawa Northern Lights Motel

Hiking from High Falls to Silver Falls is approximately a 1 hour hike with some difficult climbs. (2 hours return). I have never hiked this trail yet. But I vow to hike this trail, and all the Lake Superior Park trails someday, and will post pics when I do. (I’ll probably have to sell the Motel first though. lol)

Hiking Lake Superior Park (fees apply)

Daily Vehicle Permit  $14.50/vehicle  May 5 – Oct 22
 0 – 2 hours  $5.25/vehicle  May 5 – Oct 22
 2 – 4 hours  $7.50/vehicle  May 5 – Oct 22

Eleven world class hiking trails explore the diverse landscapes and environments of Lake Superior Provincial Park. Spectacular scenery, cliffs, rocky shores, beaches, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, lush forests. Trails vary in length and difficulty and are designed for novice and experienced hikers. The Coastal Trail connects with many of the trails, but are not listed as “hikes”.

  • Agawa Rock Pictographs – 35 red ochre images are visible; one of the few pictograph sites in Ontario accessible by foot (only when Lake Superior is calm); open mid-May to mid-September
  • An exceptional Visitor Centre located at Agawa Bay, highlighting the park’s cultural history, natural features and recreational opportunities
  • Fantastic trout fishing

Nokomis Trail – 20 minute drive1.5 – 3 hour hike

The Nokomis Trail is ranked among the top five day hikes in the country, according to Lonely Planet’s “Discover Canada” guidebook. Park at Old Woman Bay. 20 minutes drive (30 minutes if you want to take the Tremblay Road Scenic route)

Hiking Lake Superior Park from Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Be sure to check out Old Woman Bay Beach!

Mo – September Swimming at Old Woman Bay

  • Nokomis – Boreal Forest, Scenic Views
  • 5 km (3 Mile) loop
  • 1.5 – 3 Hours (Moderate)

Climb through the lichen-draped boreal forest to scenic lookouts. You may be able to see the face of an old woman immortalized in the cliff, rising 200 metres (650 ft.) above Lake Superior. The final descent is steep.

http://www.dwhike.com/Hikes-in-Canada/Ontario-Hikes/Nokomis-Trail


Peat Mountain Trail and South Old Woman River Trail are located at Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground.

Hiking Lake Superior Park from Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Peat Mountain Trail – 25 Minutes drive3 to 5 hour hike

  • Peat Mountain – Mixed Forest, Scenic Lookouts 
  • 11 km (6.8 Mile) loop 
  • 3 – 5 Hours (Difficult)

Peat Mountain Trail – Park at Rabbit Blanket Lake. Climb 150 metres (500 ft.) through a mixed forest to the top of Peat Mountain, overlooking ridges and valleys formed by glacial activity. On a clear day you can see Michipicoten Island, 55 km (34 mi) to the west, out in Lake Superior.

There is a side loop to the Foam Lake Lookout, a 45 minute return hike, or stay on the main trail descending to Foam Lake.

http://www.dwhike.com/Hikes-in-Canada/Ontario-Hikes/Peat-Mountain-ON


South Old Woman River Trail – 25 Minutes drive1 to 2 hour hike

South Old Woman River Trail – Park at Rabbit Blanket Lake. While much of the trail is easy, there are sections of uneven footing and some rock hopping to cross the river.

  • South Old Woman River (A variety of ferns and moisture-loving plants grow on the cool damp forest floor along the river)
  • 2.5 km (1.5 Mile) loop
  • 1 – 2 Hours (Moderate)

Trapper’s Trail – 30 Minutes Drive45 min-1.5 hour hike

Trapper’s Trail – Following the shoreline of Rustle Lake, the trail includes two viewing platforms and a floating boardwalk, where you can watch for wetland wildlife such as beaver, otter, marten, Great Blue Heron, and moose.

  • 1.5 km (1 Mile) Loop
  • 45 Min – 1.5 Hours (Easy)

Orphan Lake Trail – 44 minutes Drive2 to 4 hour hike

Hiking Lake Superior Park Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Orphan Lake Trail – This diverse trail passes through hardwood and evergreen forests, including an area burned in May, 1998. Near the end of the burn there is a side trail (linear) climbing to spectacular lookouts over Lake Superior.

A pebble beach on Lake Superior marks the half-way point, where there is a junction with the Coastal Trail. To complete the Orphan Lake Trail, follow the Baldhead River upstream, past the waterfalls. The trail then climbs to the east shore of Orphan Lake before joining with the trail back to the trailhead.

  • 8 Km (5 Mile) loop
  • 2 – 4 Hours (Moderate)

http://www.dwhike.com/Hikes-in-Canada/Ontario-Hikes/Orphan-Lake-Trail-Ontario


Katherine Cove to Sand River Beach Hike – 50 Minutes Drive1 – 2 hour hike

Park at Katherine Cove and take the Coastal Trail South to the mouth of Sand River. Incredible beaches and swimming opportunities. (When driving north on Highway 17, you can see Bathtub Island from the hill south of Sand River)

Katherine Cove and Bathtub Island are great places to swim.

My niece Rylee in the Bathtub 2004

Many people also enjoy swimming in the warm waters at the mouth of Sand River as well

  • Bathtub Island is about 30 – 45 minutes walk from Katherine Kove Parking Lot
  • twice as far to walk to the mouth of Sand River 

Pinguisibi (Sand River) Trail – 52 minutes drive1.5 to 3 hour hike

 

Hiking Lake Superior Park Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Pinguisibi is the Ojibwe name for “river of fine white sand”. This river is an ancient travel route used by the Ojibwe as they hunted, fished and trapped northwards into the interior.

The first waterfall is a short hike upstream. The trail continues along the Sand River, past two more waterfalls, rapids and quiet sections of the river. The trail ends near portage 28 of the Sand River Canoe Route. Return along the same route.

  • 6 km (3.7 mile) return, linear
  • 1½ – 3 hrs, return (Easy)

Agawa Rock Pictographs & Sinclair Cove (Boat Launch) – 1 Hour Drive – ½ to 1 Hour Hike

 

Hiking Lake Superior Park Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Agawa Rock Pictographs – Generations of Ojibwe recorded their dreams and spirits in red ochre paintings at this sacred site. The trail is short, but rugged, descending through rock chasms and broken boulders.

The Pictographs are accessed from a rock ledge at the edge of Lake Superior and can only be viewed when the lake is calm. The site is open from mid-May to mid-September. Caution is advised when venturing onto this rock ledge due to its slope and the unpredictable nature of Lake Superior and its wave action. (Closes in med-September)

  • 0.5 km (0.3 Mile ) Loop
  • ½ – 1 Hour (Moderate)

http://www.dwhike.com/Hikes-in-Canada/Ontario-Hikes/Agawa-Bay-Pictographs

I turned my niece’s photo from the Agawa Pictograph Trail into a Cartoon  😀

Mo's Custom Cartoon - Hillary and Brett

Sinclair Cove is located at the Boat launch on the same road for Agawa Pictographs. John hiked up the bluff and took a photo of me swimming in Sinclair Cove on Sept 24, 2017

  • Vertical Climb (25 – 40 minutes return) Difficult 
Mo in Sinclair Cove Sept 24, 2017

Mo swimming in Sinclair Cove, Sept 24, 2017

The Bluff overlooks Lake Superior / Sinclair Cove –

Mo looking over Sinclair Cove, October 10, 2012


Cave Hike – Part of the Coastal Trail

Park at the Agawa Pictographs Parking Lot, and follow the Coastal Trail South (Towards Sault Ste Marie). We did the Cave Hike a dozen years ago, and I remember it being an incredible hike. Moderate to Demanding, It follows the RUGGED shoreline (no beaches), to neat cave and rock formations.

I cannot remember how long it took us. There and back? 2 – 4 Hours? Ken Reece, said it’s only 1 mile? I thought it was further, but it was so long ago.

Agawa Caves

Gail, Mom and Mo (Me) – Photographed by Ken Reece


Awausee Trail – 1 hour 7 minutes drive45 min return to first lookout. 4-6 hour hike

Climb the Awausee for a bird’s-eye view of the Agawa Valley and Lake Superior. This demanding trail starts at the base of Agawa Mountain and follows an old logging road before veering uphill along a ravine. The first lookout (45 min return hike) offers a view of the lower Agawa River Valley and Agawa Mountain.

Continue climbing through maple forests to a series of lookouts, 200 metres (650 ft.) above the Agawa Valley. Descend along the creek to join up with the old logging road and back to the trail’s beginning.

  • 1.5 km (1 Mile) to first Lookout & Return – 45 Minutes (Demanding)
  • 10 kms (6.2 Mile) Loop – 4 – 6 Hours (Demanding)

Towab Trail – 1 Hour 16 Minutes drive10 – 12 hours

The Towab trailhead is located 3.5 km (2 mi) along the Frater Road. The hike to Agawa Falls and return is recommended as an overnight trip. There are several campsites along the way. Much of the trail is alongside the river, however there are several steep ascents and descents.

  • Shorter hikes can be taken to Burnt Rock Pool (moderate; 2 – 4 hours return) or further upstream; retrace your steps to return.

At the turn of the century, visitors were often guided by Towabanasay (Tow-a-ban-a-say), often called Towab, an Ojibwe guide who held the hunting rights to a 1,300 square kilometre area which included the Agawa River.

The trail ends at Agawa Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the park (25 metres; 82 ft.)

  • 24 km (15 Mile) Return, linear 
  • 10-12 Hours (Overnight recommended)  (Very Demanding)

Crescent Lake – 1 Hour 17 Minute drive – ½ to 1 hour hike

Park at Gate of Crescent Lake Campground – short walk on Road to Trail. Trail takes you through a forest of Yellow Birch which is at least 80 years old and century old pines. You’ll pass by Crescent, MacGregor and Mudhole Lakes, part of the Crescent Lake Canoe Route. This is an ideal hike for families and nature enthusiasts.

  • 2 km (1.2 Mile) loop
  • ½ – 1 Hour (Easy)

Coastal Trail

A number of access points make it possible to spend one or several days hiking the Coastal Trail. Access points are located at: Agawa Bay, Sinclair Cove, Katherine Cove, Coldwater River, Orphan Lake Trail and Gargantua Road. The Park Map is recommended for those hiking the coast.

The most challenging and demanding trail in the park, the Coastal Trail takes you along the high cliffs and rocky beaches of Lake Superior. The trail extends from Agawa Bay to Chalfant Cove.

The trail ascends and descends over cliffs and rocky outcrops and crosses beaches of boulders and driftwood. Use extreme caution when hiking this difficult terrain. The rocks can be very slippery, especially when wet with dew, fog or rain. Windblown trees may obstruct the trail.

Blue, diamond-shaped symbols mark where the trail enters forested areas. Rock cairns mark exposed sections. Generally the trail hugs the coastline. If you lose the trail, continue along the shore and eventually you will find the trail again.

Gargantua is the main access point for the Coastal Trail. The 14 km (8.7 mi) gravel road from Highway 17 to the parking lot at Lake Superior is rough so allow 45 minutes.

Gargantua North:
Gargantua to Warp Bay: Easy; 5 km (3.1 mi)
Warp Bay to Devil’s Chair: Easy; 2 km (1.2 mi)
Gargantua to Chalfant Cove: Moderate; 7 km (4.3 mi)

(Note: the above distances are one-way only; return along the same routes to Gargantua Harbour.)

Gargantua South: Very Demanding
Gargantua to Orphan Lake Trail: 20 km (12.4 mi)
Orphan Lake to Katherine Cove: 11 km (6.8 mi)
Katherine Cove to Sinclair Cove: 14 km (8.7 mi)
Sinclair Cove to Agawa Bay: 10 km (6.2 mi)

South of Gargantua, the Coastal Trail is extremely rugged and very demanding. Between Gargantua and Rhyolite Cove the trail climbs over 80 metres (260 ft.) to spectacular vistas over the lake.

The park’s geology is most dramatic on the coast where waves have exposed the rock shoreline. Rhyolite and Beatty coves are particularly interesting. Along the way, sand and cobble beaches are nestled in coves, providing shelter for campsites.

Hiking Lake Superior Park

Waterfalls – Lake Superior Park 

Beaches – Lake Superior Park


Potholes Park – 42 Minutes Driveshort hike

Located on Hwy 101. No Fees. There are Restrooms. A very easy, short, walking trail with boardwalks and interpretive signs takes you through distinctive bedrock scenery including “potholes” formed by glacial erosion, and boulders swirling in pools. Beautiful boreal forest along the Kinniwabi River.

  • 0.5 km (0.3 mi) loop 
  • ½ Hour (Easy)

PHOTOS of Potholes Park

Map from Northern Lights Motel to Potholes Park Wawa