Distance hiked: 5.0km
Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: August 15, 2020
Lake Superior Provincial Park is nestled along the eastern coast of Lake Superior and features dense forests, rocky overcrops, towering cliffs, pristine lakes, ponds, waterfalls and beautiful sandy beaches. There is one main road, Highway 17, that cuts through the park and many of the hiking trails are easily accessible from it. When entering Lake Superior from Wawa, Nokomis (5.0km loop, rated moderate) is the first trail you’ll come across. And trust me, you don’t want to pass on this one.
The trail winds uphill through the boreal forest and features a number of scenic lookouts that are reputed to provide some of the best views of Lake Superior. The trailhead is located across the highway from the Old Woman Bay day-use area.
The trail forms a loop, which we hiked counter-clockwise. The path is well signed with a series of blue markers on the trees. The first part is relatively flat and involves walking along a pebbly path through the forest. There are a few places which provide a nice view of the Old Woman River.
The path becomes noticeably steeper and it’s a steady climb up to the scenic lookouts, which provide sweeping views of the forest and Lake Superior. The cliff in Old Woman Bay rises 200 metres above the water and is reputed to contain the face of an old woman, Nokomis, immortalized in the rock face. She is thought to be Nokomis, grandmother of the Ojibway spirit Nanabozho who is featured prominently in traditional stories, including the story of the world’s creation.
The path leads to several of these rocky outcrops and ledges that provide sweeping views of the surrounding area. We were lucky to have such fabulous weather and clear skies as the views were just outstanding.
From the last scenic lookout, the path starts to descend rather steeply. We followed the blue markers down through the shaded forest, carefully stepping over rocks and boulders.
The path eventually levels out and leads back to the trailhead. Overall it took us 1.5 hours to complete the hike, which included a small break at the first lookout. Afterwards we walked back to the parking lot and down to the beach at Old Woman’s Bay. It was a little too cold for swimming, but it still felt nice to get our feet wet after a long day of hiking.
Afterwards we drove to our campsite at Rabbit Blanket Campground to check-in and take a longer break.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here