The Deer Trail Route

Experience the natural wonders of East Algoma.

It's always fun to take the road less travelled. Old highways and backroads can lead you to adventures that you wouldn't have found any other way. Roads like these are generally low traffic and always lead to magnificent panoramic views of the charming rural countryside. The Deer Trail Touring Route is no different. This 120-km route follows old highways into some of the best scenery in Ontario.

It's a winding road with breathtaking views: rugged rock faces and cliffs, old-style bridges, old-growth forests and the open road. In summer, the landscape is lush and green, while in the fall the landscape is vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. But it's more than just a road through the wilderness. The Deer Trail Route leads to many outdoor activities that everyone can enjoy.

1. The Fire Tower Lookout

woman and dog over looking view)
View from the Cupola Gazebo. (Photo credit: Lortz Photo)

Located just outside of Elliot Lake is a replica of an old-fashioned fire ranger lookout station. It provides a 360-degree, panoramic view of the city and surrounding area: the North Channel of Lake Huron, Manitoulin Island, and even the United States. The Fire Tower Lookout stands 1,000 feet above sea level.

Onsite: Telescope, restored Ranger's cabin originally built in the mid-1950s, picnic area, the Cupola Gazebo and playground

2. Hikes and Nature Walks

fallhiking HollyWitteman
(Photo credit: Holly Witteman)

Nothing beats a hike surrounded by bright fall colours and pure crisp air! There is a wide range of hiking trails on the Deer Trail that lead to spectacular fall colour views and chances for wildlife viewing. Mississagi Provincial Park is home to six trails for beginners, intermediates and hikers who are looking for a challenge. Elliot Lake is home to the Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and local trails as well.

Try the Boom Camp Interpretive Park in Blind River. The Boom Camp trails offer 12 km of trail that lead to really amazing vistas and coastal views.

Remember to pack: water, snacks, trail maps

3. Geocaching

If you're going to hike, why not geocache too? This is definitely a great way to explore the Deer Trail on foot as it combines hiking and treasure hunting. There are many geocaches hidden in the areas of Elliot Lake, Blind River, Iron Bridge, Spragge and Algoma Mills.

From June 2022 to June 2023 take part in the Huron Shores GeoTour.

Don't forget to pack: water, snacks, and some trinkets to add to the caches

4. A Fall Picnic at the Beach

Just because the water is a bit chilly for a swim, doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the beach. Fall is a beautiful time of year for a picnic on a sandy beach. Pack a lunch, fill the thermos with hot chocolate, grab a snuggle blanket and you're off. Beaches on the Deer Trail that you will want to picnic at Spruce Beach or Spine Beach (Elliot Lake), Lauzon Beach (Algoma Mills), and Fourth Sands Beach (Blind River). Don't feel like making lunch? That's ok! There are many restaurants, coffee shops, food trucks and grocery stores along the route where you can purchase take-out or pick-up fixings to make your own lunch. Combine this with a hike or nature walk and you've got a date that's sure to impress.
Facilities: washrooms/change rooms, picnic areas

5. Artisan Tours, Fall Festivals, and Fairs

There are some excellent fall festivals, artisan tours and events that take place in the month of September:

Communities on the Deer Trail Touring Route

More Activities to Do

  • Timber Village Museum (Blind River)
  • Elliot Lake Nuclear and Mining Museum
  • Iron Bridge Historical Museum
  • Heritage Park Museum (Little Rapids)
  • Cycling the North Channel of the Lake Huron section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

Leg Stretch Stops

  • Tally Ho Park (Iron Bridge)
  • Miners' Memorial Park (Elliot Lake)
About Heather Bot

I'm a staff writer for Algoma Country and I hope my articles entice you to plan your next vacation in Algoma. Our beautiful area has everything you need for a true outdoor adventure: fishing and hunting, epic touring routes and breathtaking outdoors. We are home to many awesome places to eat, cool places to shop, museums and galleries, festivals and events. 

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