Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2020
Mississagi Provincial Park is located north of Elliot Lake and is situated in pristine wilderness. It is secluded and offers a range of camping options from car camping to backcountry camping for hikers and paddlers. Mississagi also offers seven hiking trails that weave through the park’s rugged landscape and several clear lakes for canoeing, boating and fishing.
We spent the morning hiking in Lake Superior Provincial Park and arrived at Mississagi just before 6:30p.m. The drive in was super sketchy as most of the road was gravel and under construction. The park is located in the middle of nowhere and we didn’t really pass much along the way in terms of houses, stores or even other vehicles. You know you’re in for a good time when the park sign has bullet holes in it. Then as you enter the park, there’s a sign with a massive mosquito carrying a human away.
We checked in at the gatehouse, collected our permit and purchased a bag of firewood. Mississagi has a small campground (about 70 sites) and many of the sites are on a slope, but it was very quiet and our site (#15) offered a lot of privacy.
It rained throughout the night and we woke up to overcast. Luckily our picnic table wasn’t too wet, so we made some breakfast there (unfortunately there is no sheltered picnic area at Mississagi). Afterwards we went hiking.
We first hiked along the Flack Lake Nature Trail (800m, easy). The trailhead is located on the west side of Highway 639. The first few steps along the trail seemed promising and provide a nice view of the lake. But then things went downhill real fast. We weren’t sure where the path proceeded. We followed some blue markers, but they led down a path that was in rough shape with fallen trees everywhere. We eventually gave up and walked back to our car.
We drove back to our campsite and then set out to hike along the Helenbar Trail (7km, rated moderate), which was one of the main reasons for coming to this park. The trail leads through the forest and is reputed to feature interesting geological features and a great view over Helenbar Lake.
The trail starts from the northern part of the campground. The first stretch of the trail gradually ascends through the forest along a ridge, and features two scenic lookouts of Helenbar Lake.
The path leads away from the lake and down the ridge. At this point the trail becomes more rugged. The path eventually reaches a junction and we followed the signs towards Semiwite Lake. We hiked along part of the Semiwite Lake Trail, which leads to the western side of the campground. When we completed the trail, we just had to walk back to our campsite.
When we returned to our site, we took a small break and packed up our tent. On our way out of the park, we stopped to hike along the Semiwite Creek Trail (1.5km, rated easy). The trail is signed with yellow markers and leads through the forest along the west shore of Semiwite Lake to the park gatehouse. The creek was once used for logging between 1908 to 1911 in the spring when water levels were higher.
The trail comes out to the road by the gatehouse where this is a random anchor. The path follows along the road for a few hundred metres before winding back through the forest. Shortly after the path loops back to the trailhead.
We wrapped up our hike at 1p.m and then headed out to the next and final stop on our Northern Ontario road trip at Killbear Provincial Park.