Pukaskwa National Park

Pukaskwa National Park is Ontario’s largest national park covering an area of 1,878 sq km, and is famous for its dense boreal forests and stunning views of Lake Superior. 

Pronounced “Puck-a-saw,” Pukaskwa National Park originates from the Indigenous word “Pukasu,” which is a word that Ojibwe and Cree nations use to describe how they cook bone marrow over an open fire. Home to the Anishinaabe culture and nestled adjacent to the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation, Indigenous culture is eponymous to the spirit of the park. There is a reconstructed Anishinaabe camp within the park where visitors can learn about the Ojibwe culture from Indigenous interpreters, as well as learn important Anishinaabe teachings while hiking the historic Bimose Kinoomagewnan Trail. 

Pukaskwa National Park is located south of Marathon, a town in the Thunder Bay district. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Wawa. There is only one road going into the park, Highway 627. Its distance and relatively difficult accessibility make it a rewarding destination for adventurers seeking a remote wilderness escape. 

For up-to-date information about Pukaskwa National Park, we recommend that you visit its website. To find out other things to do nearby, keep on reading for Destination Ontario’s recommendations. 

More about Pukaskwa National Park

Hikers visiting Pukaskwa National Park will be rewarded with six gorgeous and remote hiking trails. Beginners can choose to combine smaller hikes to get to know the whole park in a short amount of time. Start with the 2.2 km Southern Headland Trail, which climbs up to rugged rock towards stunning views of the Pulpwood Harbor. Take in views of the beach with the 2 km Beach Trail, which takes you along three beaches of the park, including the Horseshoe Beach with its calm, protected waters that are perfect to wade in after a tiring hike. Visitors can also take Manito Miikana, also known as the “Spirit Trail,” which is a 2 km extension of the Beach Trail that takes you up a ravine to sweeping views of bright blue Lake Superior and the Pic River dunes. 

Veteran hikers are welcome to traipse the challenging 60-km Coastal Hiking Trail, which traces Lake Superior’s wild shores, cobblestone beaches, and river crossings, and continue along the 11.5 km Mdaabii Miikna Trail with its backcountry sites and scenic views of the lake. Visitors can also take the 6 to 9 hour hike to the White River Suspension Bridge, the crowning jewel of Pukaskwa National Park. Hanging 23 metres over the Chigamiwinigum Falls, hikers are rewarded with breathtaking views of rapids that lead from White Lake to Lake Superior. 

Want to try out a bit of treasure-hunting? Try geocaching in Pukaskwa National Park! Visitors use GPS coordinates to search for a hidden cache that contains a logbook to record their success. Other thrilling activities include paddling across Pukaskwa National Park’s 135 km coast of Lake Superior or traversing the wild white-waters of the park’s many backcountry rivers. 

Last updated: August 18, 2023

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