Fairbank Provincial Park

Length of stay1 day
June 2021

Fairbank Provincial Park is situated on a crystal clear spring-fed lake near Sudbury. In addition to providing great opportunities for swimming, fishing, canoeing and boating, Fairbank features a single hiking trail that provides sweeping views of the surrounding area and offers car camping at 160 campsites.

On the drive to Sudbury, we stopped at Fairbank for a couple of hours to have lunch and knock another park off our list. After spending the morning hiking in Manitoulin Island, we rolled into Fairbank just after 12:30p.m and stopped at the Park Office to pick up a park patch and t-shirt.

We first went to hike along the Wa-Shai-Ga-Mog Trail (500m roundtrip, estimated to take 30-45minutes to complete), which is the original name of Fairbank Lake and the Ojibway word for “clear water”. The trailhead is located near the boat launch and loops through the forest and along rocky outcrops.

The trail is well-signed with yellow markers on trees and yellow blazes pained along the rocks. It also contains 12 numbered signs which highlight a nice view or something interesting along the trail. This includes a scenic overlook of Fairbank Lake and the surrounding area at viewpoint #5 and the Fairbanks Fault, a fracture in the earth’s crust at viewpoint #8.

Afterwards we drove by the beach area. While Fairbank is known for its crystal clear water, on an overcast day like today, we weren’t able to see it in its full glory. We had initially planned to go swimming, but the water didn’t look very inviting with all those dark clouds.

Instead we found an empty campsite to make and eat some lunch. Nothing fancy. Just eggs and a cheese quesadilla.

It was then time for us to hit the road again.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

49 thoughts on “Fairbank Provincial Park

  1. Diana says:

    Fairbank Lake looks so pretty, even with the grey skies. Too bad you weren’t able to swim, but it looks like you still had a lovely time!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure, and hey, at least it wasn’t raining! In retrospect we probably wouldn’t have had much time to go swimming anyway as we were on a bit of a time crunch. Our muffler was having some issues and we needed to get that looked at. Not ideal to have car troubles during a road trip! It all worked out in the end though.

  2. kagould17 says:

    A short but varied walk. I love the original lake name better than the current one. It is amazing to see the place names as you drive across Canada and try to pronounce them. Our Kiwi friends have similar fun with the Maori names and jokes there is even a place called Wai-Kik-a-Moo-Kow. Say it out loud. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. For a short trail it still packs a punch in terms of great views. That reminds me of when we visited Iceland and we had some real struggles with pronouncing the name of most of the towns, waterfalls and other attractions. It was still fun to try even though I’m sure we were butchering it. Thanks for the laugh. The Wai-Kik-a-Moo-Kow is a good one! Thanks for reading. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That annual pass has paid for itself within the first month of us purchasing it! I am such an Ontario Parks fan girl and I love that idea of being a provincial parks ambassador! I’m currently wearing a shirt from one of the parks we recently visited (Rondeau Provincial Park), so this seems very fitting.

  3. alisendopf says:

    Did you get a photo of the fault in the earth’s crust?
    You can do an entire presentation – Top 10 Ontario Provincial Parks .
    Or quirky finds in Ontario Parks.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It wasn’t until after we left the park and I went through my pictures that I realized I didn’t get a really good picture of the fault in the earth’s crust. Next time. I have a feeling we’ll be back in the Sudbury area next year. And yes, I feel like I’ve become such an expert in Ontario Parks from our challenge this year. It’s been fun exploring many of these parks and learning more about the history of the area. It would be hard to come up with a top 10 though as I have so many favourites!!

      • alisendopf says:

        I just love it! What a great idea and way to spend your time.

        Hey – are you interested in doing a joint blog? I’m in Ontario at the beginning of September to drop my daughters off a university. I was thinking of either doing one of the trails that you’d most recommend, or if there was something you wanted to do near Peterborough, then perhaps we could go together. Thoughts?

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I LOVE that idea. I might not be around though as I’ll taking off for a two-week road trip around Northern Ontario right before the Labour Day long weekend. When will you be in the Peterborough area? If the timing doesn’t work out, I can certainly provide some great recommendations of nearby trails. There are some great parks in that neck of the woods. Our cabin actually isn’t too far from Peterborough.

      • alisendopf says:

        That would be great! I’ll be there Aug 30 & 31. A few suggestions around Peterborough would be amazing! I will take your most challenging, your most beautiful, or the Do Not Miss This One hikes you can suggest please!!! This will be so much fun!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Safe travels!! Hopefully your flight went well. I sent you a message on your site earlier this morning with some recommendations. I’m curious to hear about how the hiking in Ontario compares to that in Alberta. I imagine it’ll be quite different!! We do have some wonderful lakes for swimming, which I’m sure is most welcome in this heat!

  4. joramiles says:

    Lovely write up and photos! I will have to put Fairbank Provincial Park on my list of places to visit, but until then thanks for letting me briefly travel there through your post.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. While the weather wasn’t ideal and we weren’t able to go for a swim in the crystal clear waters of Fairbank Lake, at least it wasn’t raining! Sudbury is one of my favourite areas in Ontario and there are lots of great parks nearby. I have a feeling we’ll be back someday (probably next summer).

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. And hey, at least it was warm and wasn’t raining! My collection of patches is certainly growing. To date I’ve collected 38 patches so far this year. The park patches and stickers have become quite popular this summer. We visited a few parks last weekend but they were all sold out.

  5. Ab says:

    I’m always amazed at how efficient you and K are with your scheduling and how pack so many visits (and park crests) into a day and trip! 😊

    This looks like a lovely park worth stopping by next time we consider venturing to Killarney side of things.

    How did you prepare your eggs? Do you have a gas cooker?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I enjoy trip planning and sometimes I try to squeeze in as much as I can. It helps that we had pretty decent weather (minus the overcast). Now that I’ve started collecting these park patches, it’s become a bit of an addiction. Last weekend we visited a few parks along Lake Erie and I was devastated that most of the parks had sold out of park patches and stickers.

      There are are lot of great parks around the Sudbury area, including Killarney. Windy Lake is another one of my favourites. And speaking of Killarney, I just booked one of their heated cabins for a few nights in December. I can’t wait.

      We make our eggs on our camp stove in a frying pan. Usually we try to add some veggies to our scrambled eggs, but we were feeling a bit lazy on that particular day. I blame it on the weather!

      • Ab says:

        Yes, as summer is starting to wind down, the crests and stickers start selling out. Very annoying for sure! There’ll be next summer! 😆

        Congrats on getting the cabin for December. I am curious about the yurt rentals for winter. I may look into that as it looks like another pandemic winter is upon us! 😑

        Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I know!! I guess it’s good to set my expectations for when we embark on our Northern Ontario road trip soon. We leave next Friday! I’m glad we booked one of the heated cabins at Killarney in December otherwise I doubt we would have visited in the winter! I like camping, but I don’t enjoy being cold. Speaking of things that I won’t enjoy, I hope we don’t go into lockdown again! Hope you had a good weekend. Linda

      • Ab says:

        I seem to think you and K have gone on your Northern Ontario trip already. How nice that you still have that to look forward to! I hope you have a great time. Hopefully the weather will be cooler in a week’s time. And yes, fingers crossed lockdown is not in the cards this fall. 700 cases now. Yikes. Take care, Linda!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        We initially were planning to go towards the end of August, but reserving campsites became a bit overwhelming given the huge demand for camping this summer. We ended up cancelling whatever sites we managed to book and postponed to the first two weeks in September. And yes, hopefully this heat wave will end soon!! The increase in new cases is definitely cause for concern. I just hope we don’t enter a lockdown when we’re mid-way through our trip. Or at all, really.

      • Ab says:

        I think lockdown probably happen till later in the fall if it does. There would be rumblings of it by now. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

        School starts on a Thursday not Tuesday this year, so FYI! Two extra days of seeing kids in the wild. 🤣

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s true. And based on the second and third waves, this government seems a bit delayed in their approach to deal with rising cases. I imagine they are going to be super reluctant to shut things back down again, including schools.

        I didn’t realize that school starts so late this year! Thursday!? Seriously!? We’ll be up past Timmins then which I don’t think is a popular area to begin with, so we should hopefully be fine.

      • Ab says:

        Have a great time in Timmons. That was on our itinerary for our deferred roadtrip this year. Next summer will be here soon enough! 🙂

  6. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    You are going to be able to write a guide book when you are finished! (I would buy it.) It looks like a very refreshing stop. Too bad you weren’t able to take a dip, but those clouds were rather low and dark looking.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure and thanks! I’ve definitely become much more knowledgeable about many of Ontario’s provincial parks this year. I’m such a fan of the Sudbury area and continue to be impressed at how clean and quiet their parks and campgrounds are. I have a feeling we’ll be back in this area next summer, so it seems like a good excuse to return (hopefully when the weather is nicer) and get the full experience of Fairbank Lake.

  7. wetanddustyroads says:

    I like the way markers on the trails – and another happy day with a new park badge 😁. You’ve said “nothing fancy” about your lunch … well, on any hiking trip, that is quite a dish!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I am terrible with directions and navigation so I appreciate a well-signed trail. It’s also nice that there are numbered posts to highlight a viewpoint or an interesting feature along the trail so you won’t accidentally miss it. And yes, glad to add another badge to the collection! We’ve been camping so often during the pandemic that we’ve gotten a lot better with our meals. You should see some of the stuff we make over the fire for dinner!

      • wetanddustyroads says:

        We love to prepare our food over a fire … if you have time, take a look at our “braai weekends” (“braai” meaning barbeque). The things you teach yourself when you’re camping and hungry … and there’s only a fire to prepare your food 😁.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        You weren’t kidding about how you love to cook food over a fire! I’m getting some good ideas of new things to try to make over the campfire after browsing through your Braai Weekend series. Thanks!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Even though it was warm outside, it was still nice to have a hot meal for lunch, especially since we ate sandwiches for breakfast. Scrambled eggs is one of my favourite foods while camping. I can eat it every day and never get sick of it. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Take care.

  8. carolinehelbig says:

    You guys go to the coolest parks. The water does look beautiful but I imagine even on a non-overcast day it would be pretty chilly in early summer. I may have asked you this before but I’m wondering if this area if sufficiently far away from major population centres to keep it fairly peaceful? It certainly looks that way from your photos.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! We’ve visited most of the parks in Southern Ontario and have since had to venture further afield to explore new ones. In some ways it’s better as the parks up in Northern Ontario typically have smaller campgrounds, are more quiet and pristine. It’s so much more peaceful and relaxing. I have a feeling we’ll be up in this area again next summer so it’s a good excuse to return when the weather is (hopefully) nicer and check out Fairbank again.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. Sometimes it’s nice to take a spontaneous detour. I’m just glad we didn’t get a flat tire or anything as that logging road was quite secluded (we didn’t see another vehicle or pass a single house) and we didn’t have cell signal. It’s never fun to camp (or swim) in the rain, but I’m glad we made the most of it! It’s hard to believe that summer is almost done.

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