A couple walks across a foot bridge along a hiking trail in Algoma region.

Aubrey Falls | James Smedley


Best hiking trails in Algoma Country

A couple walks across a foot bridge along a hiking trail in Algoma region.

Aubrey Falls | James Smedley


Algoma is a broad and diverse region, where the granite of the Canadian Shield flexes under the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence forests to the south and the vast northern boreal forest. Thousands of inland lakes are cradled within the mountains and rolling hills while wild rivers jostle through this scenic landscape.

There is a wide range of trails ranging from easy hikes over rolling terrain to extremely rugged multi-day journeys over a jagged landscape. Here is a selection of some of the best hiking trails in Algoma Country.


Trails north of Sault Ste. Marie

Starting with the western shore of Lake Superior, between the communities of Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa, Lake Superior Provincial Park protects over 100 kilometres of sculpted Superior shoreline and more than 160,000 hectares of wilderness inland lakes and rivers. The park also maintains at least a dozen hiking trails.

Nokomis Loop

This five-kilometre loop in Lake Superior park starts near the Old Woman Bay day use area. A gradual climb through the lichen-rich boreal forest leads to a granite headland with a series of scenic lookouts over Lake Superior’s Old Woman Bay. Look for the face of an old woman on the cliff that rises 200 metres above the lake.

The trail is at the transition of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence to the boreal forest and the rich reds of maples can be spectacular in autumn. The steep final descent is the most challenging section of this moderately difficult trail.

Peat Mountain

Start this demanding 11-kilometre loop from Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground in Lake Superior park and begin a 150-metre climb through mixed forest to the top of Peat Mountain. The mountain looms over hardwood ridges and deep valleys that display spectacular colours in fall.

Choose to extend your hike by taking the 45-minute loop off the main trail to the Foam Lake Lookout. On a clear day, from the top of a sheer cliff over Foam Lake, Michipicoten Island is visible more than 50 kilometres away in Lake Superior.

Continuing on the main trail, you’ll descend to Foam Lake before looping back through hardwood forests to the campground.

Trapper’s Trail

This easy trail leads you up close and personal with a lovely example of the inland lakes that are spread throughout Lake Superior Provincial Park. The one-and-a-half-kilometre trail follows the cedar-shrouded shoreline of Rustle Lake and includes viewing platforms and a floating boardwalk.

If you’re quiet, you’ll have a good chance of seeing wetland wildlife such as beaver, otter, great blue heron and even moose.


The most challenging part of this easy six-kilometre return trail is the initial climb along a series of steep falls and rapids where the Sand River drops into Lake Superior.

This river is an ancient travel route used by the Ojibwe as they hunted, fished and trapped in the interior. Pinguisibi is the Ojibwe name for “river of fine white sand” and the trail leads past quiet sandy sections of the river that are contrasted by a series of waterfalls and rapids.


At 65 kilometres along a remote and rugged coastline, this is the most demanding trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Hikers climb up and down cliffs and rocky outcroppings and cross long cobble beaches of boulders and driftwood that can be slippery with rain, dew or even frost. Summer weather along the coast of Lake Superior can range from sweltering hot to single digits above freezing and completing the trail can take from five to seven days.

Diamond-shaped symbols mark where the trail enters forested areas and rock cairns mark exposed sections. Generally, the trail hugs the coastline so hikers who lose the trail can continue along the shore to find it again. The coastal trail is as beautiful as it is challenging and well worth the effort for experienced hikers.

Several access points between Chalfant Cove and Agawa Bay make it possible to hike sections of the trail for shorter trips. Gargantua Harbour, at the end of a 14-kilometre gravel road, is the main access point.

Pancake Bay Lookout

Pancake Bay Provincial Park is just south of Lake Superior Provincial Park, with a campground stretched along one of the loveliest sand beaches along Superior.

The hiking trail across Highway 17 from the campground leads to a dramatic lookout over the east end of the lake. It’s a fairly gradual climb through hardwood forests until the end when a long staircase leads to lookout platforms over the lake and forested hills. It is also known as the Edmund Fitzgerald trail because it looks out over an infamous stretch of Lake Superior where the 730-foot lake freighter went down in a storm back in 1975.

The Lookout Trail is less than six kilometres, return, but can be extended to 14 kilometres by including the Pancake Falls and Tower Trails which wind past wetlands, inland lakes and waterfalls.

Robertson Cliffs

Well known for its spectacular lookouts over the wooded valley of the Goulais River, this five-kilometre trail is less than a 30-minute drive from Sault Ste. Marie.

Simply reaching the lookouts along a precipitous cliff edge frequented by peregrine falcons is possible after hiking one and a half kilometres but the initial ascent is steep and strenuous.

Return via the same route or extend your hike through the maple forests and scenic creeks of the Algoma Highlands Conservancy.

Whitefish Island

This one-kilometre by 500 metre-wide island rests beneath the International Bridge at Sault Ste. Marie. Whitefish Island National Historic Site of Canada is a low-lying boulder field stretching along the shores of the St. Mary’s River Rapids that link Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

The island’s unique location and the rich fisheries of the rapids made it a focal point of historic trade and settlement and has been the site of native encampments for more than 2000 years.

Today a network of trails and walkways wind through the wetlands, forest and shorelines of what continues to be an undisturbed oasis within industrial and urban surroundings. It remains a peaceful and beautiful place to hike within minutes of downtown.

Hikes east of Sault Ste. Marie

Like the powerful waters of the St. Mary’s River Rapids, east of the Sault the waters flow towards Lake Huron.

There are still rapids and waterfalls spilling over the worn granite of the Canadian Shield but the landscape becomes gentler. Agricultural fields roll beneath granite ridges and windblown pines grip the smooth rock shorelines of Lake Huron’s North Channel.

Aubrey Falls

Highway 129 north of Thessalon winds past agricultural fields to follow the rapids of the Mississagi River through a more mountainous interior.

About 100 kilometres up the highway a gravel road leads to the start of a two-kilometre round-trip trail. It climbs slowly through mixed forests to a footbridge over the Mississagi River gorge at the base of the falls.

Continue up to a viewing area where the river divides into several tendrils of white water before freefalling to the gorge below.

Rock Candy Mountain Trail

Just one and a half kilometres in is a series of lookouts over Cumming, Axe and Tunnel Lakes but the linear trail is almost all uphill through a beautiful hardwood forest.

It’s a bit strenuous going up and take caution going down, but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. The exceptional view from atop the sheer cliff face is always worth the hike but the scene is especially dramatic when the forest of birch, maple and aspen takes on its autumn disguise.

The trailhead is about 35 kilometres north of Thessalon on Hwy 129, just past the Tunnel Lake Trading Post.

Boom Camp

A project of the Town of Blind River, the Mississaugi First Nations and the Blind River Cross-Country Ski Club, the Boom Camp Interpretive Park has more than 12 kilometres of four-season trails used for hiking, biking and skiing over coastal headlands, vast wetlands and sand beaches along the North Channel of Lake Huron.

Resting at the mouth of the Mississagi River these coastal lands were a traditional gathering place for early First Nations communities and later the coast became the site of immense log booms collected from spring drives of white pine down the river.

Today there are 70 interpretive and directional signs along the trails that tell of the rich cultural and natural history of the area.

Shoreline Discovery Trail

A red-roofed gazebo on top of a rocky bluff offers a 360-degree vista overlooking the multiple islands and channels of the Spanish River Delta as well as the smooth sloping rocks of the islands that form the famous Whalesback Channel of Lake Huron’s North Shore.

The two-and-a-half kilometre loop takes about an hour depending on how long you stop to enjoy the coastal lookouts along the way.

Horne Lake Trail

This six-kilometre loop starts just off Highway 108 within the town of Elliott Lake.

It climbs up a ridge along the west shore of Horne Lake providing outstanding lookouts over the lake and the town. There are options to hike higher up the ridge for experienced hikers who want even better views.

Helenbar Lookout Trail

This is a great example of some of the exceptional hiking opportunities in Mississsagi Provincial Park, 20 minutes north of Elliot Lake.

The seven-kilometre trail leaves the campground on Semiwite Lake and ascends gradually through hardwood forest, past giant boulders dropped by melting glacial ice, to summit at the Lookout.

Atop of the north-facing ridge you’ll see Helenbar Lake and the Boland River Valley amongst the rolling granite hills. The trail works its way down to join the portage between Helenbar and Semiwite Lakes and joins the Semiwite Lake Loop.

Hike east on the Semiwite Lake Loop back to the campground or extend their trip by heading west along the 12-kilometre Semiwite Lake Loop.  

Cobre Lake

Experienced hikers will enjoy the 11-kilometre loop in the Rawhide Lake Conservation Reserve north of Mississagi Provincial Park. There is a lot of climbing through a variety of forest types including red and white pine, across bare rock outcrops, along sandy beaches, and to the open summit of Mt. Belvedere with views over several lakes.

Evidence of Elliott Lake’s mining past is seen in the core samples and old piping of past copper and diamond mining exploration and Blue Sky Mine, an abandoned copper ore mine from the 1950s.

Download the Algoma Outdoors Map for an overview of the hiking trails and other outdoor adventures in this region.

Last updated: April 10, 2024

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