Superior Country

Located in the centre of Canada and along the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior, Superior Country is Northern Ontario’s perfect blend of outdoor lifestyle and city living.

The city of Thunder Bay is a beacon of flourishing culture and cuisine, while the surrounding communities serve as gateways to the backcountry where superior fishing, hunting, paddling, hiking and camping await.

Experience the massive lakes and rushing rivers, tall coniferous and deciduous trees, majestic moose and woodland creatures, and a night sky untouched by city lights.

Whether you’re climbing the Sleeping Giant, visiting the City of Thunder Bay, camping on a remote lake or trolling for the world record brook trout on Lake Nipigon, catch the Superior spirit and soothe your soul.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Superior Country, scroll down or visit its tourism website

Where is Superior Country?

Superior Country stretches up from the north shore of the mighty Lake Superior. The area borders Minnesota to the south, Sunset Country to the west and Algoma Country to the east.

The city of Thunder Bay is the largest populated area in Superior Country and is located at the crossroads of Ontario Highways 11, 17 and 61. Fly into Thunder Bay International Airport (IATA: YQT, ICAO: CYQT) or boat into the Thunder Bay port.

Things to Do in Superior Country

Outdoor adventures like camping and hiking, top fishing and hunting and inviting cities and communities await in Superior Country.

Home to awe-inspiring protected parks like Quetico, Woodland Caribou Park, Wabakimi, Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area and the mighty Sleeping Giant, few places can equal the magnificent scenery and unspoiled wilderness found here. Hike, kayak, cycle or camp — however you choose to experience nature, you can count on an adventure you’ll never forget.

Nipigon is surrounded by majestic rock faces with incredible opportunities for ice climbing, and the Nipigon Ice Fest offers clinics from beginner to advanced the first weekend in March.

The world-renowned Lake Superior Circle Tour is another excellent way to explore the north shore by car, RV or motorcycle.

There’s a reason Lake Superior has been referred to as an inland ocean. It’s the world’s largest freshwater lake by area, and you can charter a boat, find a fly-casting spot on shore or head for an ice-fishing hole and cast for trout, Chinook salmon, pike, walleye and perch.

Superior Country is considered a prime moose and black bear hunting destination, and that makes for some exciting wildlife spotting. Majestic moose, crowned with massive antlers, roam the rivers, lake shores and logging clearings across the region, so keep your eyes peeled for them.

Learn about local Indigenous heritage and culture at a Pow Wow. Get to know the locals at one of the area’s annual festivals, including the Thunder Bay Blues Festival, Live From The Rock Folk Festival, Trout Forest Music Festival or Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival.

Ouimet Canyon is one of the most notable sites in Superior Country. Just outside Thunder Bay in Dorion is this massive gorge surrounded by high vertical cliffs and gorgeous greenery. The canyon itself is three km long and 152 metres high.

Superior Country region is home to some of the largest Amethyst deposits in all of Canada. East of Thunder Bay towards Nipigon), you’ll find Diamond Willow Amethyst Mine and Amethyst Mine Panorama.

Superior Country Neighbourhoods & Districts

Superior Country is made up of three main districts.

Greenstone Region

Home to the communities of Beardmore, Caramat, Geraldton, Jellicoe, Longlac and Nakina.

The North Shore

Home to the communities of Dorian, Manitouwadge, Marathon, Nipigon, Pays Plat, Pic River, Red Rock, Red Rock Indian Band, Rossport, Schreiber, Shuniah, Terrace Bay, Wawa and Hurkett.

Thunder Bay Region

Home to the communities of Armstrong, Atikokan, Fort William First Nation, Kakabeka Falls, Neebing, Nolalu, Shebandowan, Thunder Bay, Upsala and Pickle Lake.

Things to Know About Visiting Superior Country

Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Superior Country, it’s nice to learn what the locals know.

Favourite local beach

Terrace Bay Beach is a beautiful sandy beach along the shore of Lake Superior with convenient amenities for visitors. The beach is a gateway to Slate Island Provincial Park and the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, and is just one km away from the Lyda Bay Segment of the Casque Isles Trails.

Where to snap a great Instagram pic

Climb 65 steps up the 12 metre Brideview Lookout Tower in Nipigon to be rewarded with a 360-degree view from Lake Helen to the Nipigon River Bridge to the Marina and beyond.

Hidden gem

Pukaskwa National Park outside Thunder Bay on Lake Superior offers the best of everything in outdoor recreation. Explore rivers and lakes, see rock structures from the original inhabitants of this land dating back thousands of years, check out sandy beaches, traverse a suspension bridge with incredible views of a waterfall and find both car access and backcountry camping opportunities.

Where to go for a hike

The Casque Isles Trail is an adventurer’s dream. The trail weaves 53 km along the north shore of Lake Superior, highlighting some of the most stunning vistas of Lake Superior and linking the communities of Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Rossport.

Little-known fact

Steeped in legend, Lake Superior is called gichigamiing or “The Big Lake'' by the Anishinaabe people of the region and is known for its raging storms. Mishipeshu is an Ojibwe water creature with the head and paws of an enormous cat, the horns of a bison, the scaly body of a snake, a spikey back and tail. Sometimes called the underwater panther (or in direct translation, ‘the Great Lynx’), Mishipeshu is said to speak in a roaring hiss that emulates the sound of rushing water. It dwells in the depths of Lake Superior near Michipicoten Island and is considered a malevolent being guarding large quantities of copper on the island and occasionally causing storms.

Last updated: February 3, 2023

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