Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Pancake Bay Provincial Park is located on the northern shores of Lake Superior. It features a large sandy beach that is sheltered from the open lake, shallow, and is reputed to be one of the finest beaches in Ontario. In addition to swimming, Pancake Bay offers a couple of hiking trails that weave through a sand dune ecology and provide panoramic views of the surrounding area. We’ve been to Pancake Bay twice:

Hiking Trails

There are two hiking trails in the park:

(1) Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout Trail – The trail consists of three routes, so you can scale up or down depending on how much time you went to spend hiking (range in length from 6km to 13.5km, rated moderate). One of the main highlights of the trail is a scenic lookout which provide panoramic views of Lake Superior and Pancake Bay. From the lookout you can see across to Whitefish Point. This stretch of Lake Superior is known as the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes” where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank.

A more detailed description of the hike here

(2) Pancake Bay Nature Trail (3.5km, rated easy) – The trail begins along the shoreline of Lake Superior before winding through a dense forest along ancient beach ridges. The trail also features a boardwalk and passes through a wetland. There are nine interpretive signs, providing background information on the geology and plant life of the area.

Other Activities and Facilities

Besides hiking, Pancake Bay offers a variety of other activities and facilities, including a:

  • Beautiful sandy beach that is protected from the open lake
  • Picnic area with a sheltered section near the beach
  • Moments of Algoma sign that highlights some interesting information about the Group of Seven painters.

Camping

Pancake Bay offers over 300 front country campsites, some of which back onto the beach. There is a radio-free zone in the Hilltop Campground, but these sites aren’t nearly as private and don’t provide as much shade compared to the other campground. There is also a camp cabin and five yurts available to rent.

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