Lake Superior, Ontario’s most spectacular Riviera

The summer was upon us when I realized there was still a lot I wanted to do before experiencing a new season.

Our love for long road trips started many years ago. We find joy preparing a road trip, and get excitement to the max with every new adventure on the road. Having our own schedule leaves us the flexibility to adjust the plans on the go, giving us a certain freedom, especially in these pandemic times.

Trans-Canada Hwy 17

Three years ago, after enjoying so much a road trip around Lake Huron, we planned a new one around Lake Superior, the biggest Great Lake from North America. This summer was about the time, and although the pandemic and the northern wildfires didn’t help at all, we decided we still have a chance to explore the north side of the lake, to see places I yearned for, the wild and extensive shore of this magnificent lake, the biggest fresh water lake in North America.

Alona bay
Alona Bay

If you love natural beauty, pristine beaches, or visiting cozy villages, then, the breathtaking drive around Lake Superior should be on your list. Trans-Canada Highway 17 is winding along the rocky northern shore, offering some of the best panoramic views of this Lake. Whether you’re standing at the top of the cliffs, or sitting down on a sandy beach, you can watch the splashing waves forever, or be mesmerized by the lullaby song of the shushing waves.

Marathon, Pebble beach
Pebble Beach, Marathon

Although Canada, and the province of Ontario goes up North quite a lot, the region of Northern Ontario starts right here, on the shore of Lake Superior. All 700 kilometres stretch from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay, along Trans Canada Hwy, offers some of the most picturesque coastlines and rocky cliffs that will take your breath away. The road is wide and well maintained, and driving is not too challenging although quite busy in some areas. Wilderness, wildlife, lakes, rivers, canyons, valleys, and waterfalls, you have them all along this scenic drive.

Danny's Cove, Terrace Bay
Danny’s Cove, Terrace Bay
Amethyst Harbour
Amethyst Harbour

The breathtaking scenery from Algoma County inspired the famous Canadian Group of Seven, who had their own unique style of painting landscapes. You can follow the route to see the most famous places where they stopped to dip their brushes in amazing colours, immortalizing the nature forever.

Moments of Algoma

There are plenty of spots to canoe, following historic routes once navigated by voyageurs. You can learn a bit by visiting Fort William Historical Site, in Thunder Bay.

Fort William, Thunder Bay
Fort William, Thunder Bay

Miles of sandy beaches, such as the ones from Terrace Bay, or Wawa are laying their white grains of sand enticing the people to stroll, lay down, or get a swim.

Silver islet - Sleeping Giant PP
Silver Islet

Make sure you are not missing any waterfalls along the way. With a short stroll, reason for a picnic maybe, the waterfalls like Chippewa, or Mink Creek, White Sand, are amazing places to stretch your legs while energizing from the rushing waters.

Mink Creek waterfalls
Mink Creek waterfalls

The plenitude of the provincial parks along the northern shore of Superior Lake offers as many trails as one might even imagine.

Make sure you do not miss Agawa Rock and the pictographs the rock is so famous for,

Agawa Rock, Superior lake PP
Agawa Rock, Lake Superior park

or the Sea Lion geological formation

Sea Lion - Sleeping Giant PP
Sea Lion, Sleeping Giant park

On your journey, you’ll discover spectacular rugged shorelines, cascading rivers and waterfalls, pebbled and sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, unique geological features, and excellent wildlife viewing, all in one making it the most spectacular Riviera in Ontario.

Marathon, Pebble beach

A memorable road trip, I will let you enjoy a little movie.

~ visited in August 2021

32 thoughts on “Lake Superior, Ontario’s most spectacular Riviera

    1. What a better plan than wandering through the beautiful continent. I was surprised to see so many cars and RVs from Alberta and US along our route. The borders were just being opened for you😊

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  1. We stopped at a few of those spots but honestly didn’t spend too much time exploring as we wanted to get to the Maritimes. It was beautiful though and we’ll probably go back one day. Thanks for showing the places we missed! Maggie

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      1. I guess there is always something in the fall on the eastern coast..
        I was wondering if you get a chance to come to Toronto, but it’s too late now.. next time!

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  2. Beautiful shots of a beautiful route, Christie. We were very lucky to travel along the North shore during our 2018 cross Canada trip. Missed the Agawa Rock, but saw so much else. Thanks for the memories. Stay well. Allan

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    1. Wow, a wonderful trip for sure to be able to do a cross-country trip, and Trans-Canada Hwy offers the best of it. 2018 was a wonderful year, we did a road trip around Lake Huron, as the borders were all opened😊

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  3. Lake Superior really is superior to all the other Great Lakes. We’ve done the drive around the north shores of Lake Superior three times now and it never gets old. The landscape is incredible and it’s hard to believe that all this exists in Ontario.

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  4. Whoopee – we love road trips!! And it seems you had a great one … beautiful beaches and a lovely picture of the Mink Creek Waterfalls. Oh, and I love your video too! The lake sometimes looks like the ocean … and wow, what a spectacular sunset picture!

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    1. You wouldn’t believe how true it is, many days I had this impression I was at the ocean, and with those white sand beaches who could blame me😊
      Thank you!! xx

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  5. Great post and amazing photos, Christie. I am glad to see that you had a fantastic time exploring Lake Superior. Its size still boggles me and as someone who loves nothing better than being outdoors enjoying hiking, sailing, camping, trail running, kayaking and mountain biking, this place would be a tremendous getaway spot for me. Thanks for sharing, and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. As the second largest country by total area, there is always so much to explore across Canada, and Ontario is only one province😊 Hope you can come over and enjoy some of these areas, too!
      Have a wonderful week ahead😊
      Christie, xx

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