Neys Provincial Park is located along the northern shores of Lake Superior and features a beautiful sandy beach. It also offers a variety of hiking trails that weave their way across different habitats in the park, including ancient sand dunes, dense forests, pebble beaches, and rocky overcrops. These rugged landscapes of Neys provided much inspiration to the Group of Seven painters.
We’ve been to Neys twice:
Neys offers six hiking trails through the different landscapes in the park, four of which can be combined to form a longer loop.
(1) Pic Island Overlook (4.5km one-way, rated difficult). The trail consists of four separate trails, along with a small road portion, that join to form a larger loop. The trail consists of a steady walk up an old road that leads to a lookout of Pic Island. There’s a gazebo here with seating and a “Moments of Algoma” sign, which explains how Pic Island and the surrounding landscape that is now Neys inspired The Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris’ famous painting, Pic Island, in 1924.
A more detailed description of the hike can be found here
(2) Kopa Cove Trail (2.6km one-way, rated very difficult). From the gazebo at the Pic Island Overlook, the trail continues onwards through the forest. It’s mostly downhill with lots of steep sections. The trail ends at a small beach.
(3) Under the Volcano Trail (2.5km one-way, rated difficult) involves hiking over rolling hills and through rocky areas. From the end of the Kopa Cove Trail, the path leads to another beach and rocky area before ending at a scenic lookout along a rocky overcrop near the shore of Lake Superior.
(4) Point Trail (1.0km one-way, rated easy). The path leads to a rocky out from that features a few old boats. These boats were used in the mid 1940s by the Pigeon River Timber Company to haul workers and supplies to logging camps that were located up the Pic and Little Pic rivers. Prisoners of war from Neys Camp 100 (which is now Neys Provincial Park) provided some of the labour for logging in this area in the Pic and Little Pic River valleys.
(5) Lookout Trail (1.6km, rated moderate), which winds through the forest before leading up onto a granite ridge, providing sweeping views of Ashburton Bay and the surrounding area. The trail then weaves down the ridge and back through the forest. Towards the end of the trail, the path leads through some sand dunes before looping back to the parking lot.
(6) Dune Trail (1.3km, rated easy), which loops around an ancient sand dune system. Towards the end of the trail, the landscape becomes more representative of the boreal forest.
Other Activities and Attractions
Neys also offers a variety of other activities and facilities, including a:
- Beautiful sandy beach with lots of driftwood
- Picnic area with a sheltered section near the beach
- Two Moments of Algoma signs that highlights some interesting information about the Group of Seven painters – one of the signs is near the visitor centre and the other at the Pic Island Overlook
Neys offers almost 150 front country campsites in four areas, some of which have their own private path down to the beach. Many of the sites provide ample shade and privacy. There is also one camp cabin available to rent.