A Fall Colour Chaser's Dream

Five Trails to Experience a Real Northern Ontario Fall Colour Season

For the outdoor enthusiast, hiking trails that lead you through a brightly coloured forest and feeling the crisp fresh air is the way to go.

Experience the fall colours in Algoma Country on foot: hiking trails that lead to extraordinary panoramic views from mountain-top lookouts, peaceful solitude and no noisy urban traffic. Indulge in simple pleasures like sharing a picnic lunch under a brilliant maple tree, or maybe you just love the crunchy sound that gravel and fallen leaves make under your shoe.

The provincial parks and conservation areas located in the region have trails designed for the outdoor adventure you've been looking for.

Here are five hiking trails in Algoma Country you'll love. These trails can be completed in a day and will bring you to some amazing scenic lookouts, and breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged landscape and Lake Superior -- all photo-worthy for Instagram, Facebook or travel blog.

1. Pancake Bay Lookout Trail - Pancake Bay Provincial Park

stairs to the edmund fitzgerald lookout
The Lookout Trail at Pancake Bay overlooks the spot where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975. (Photo credit: Dave Sproule, Ontario Parks)

14 km (5 - 7 hours), 7 km return (2 - 3 hours) to the lookout  
What makes this trail special? From the lookout, you can see Whitefish Point -- this stretch of Lake Superior is also called the "graveyard of the Great Lakes" where the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce storm in 1975. There are two lookout platforms offering magnificent views of Lake Superior and Pancake Bay. Access to the trail is across Hwy 17 from the Pancake Bay campground. The trail leads through a forest and there are opportunities for wildlife viewing.  
Trail Type: Moderate  
Be Prepared: Water, a picnic lunch, wear suitable clothing and sturdy hiking boots/shoes

2. Helenbar Lookout Trail - Mississagi Provincial Park

Helenbar Lake Mississagi Provincial Park
View from the Helenbar Lookout Trail at Mississagi Provincial Park. (Photo credit: Ontario Parks)

7 km (2 - 4 hours)  
Enjoy this spectacular lookout with views of the surrounding mountain landscape. There's a lovely sandy beach on Semiwite Lake where the Helenbar and the Semiwite Lake Trails meet.  
Trail Type: Moderate  
How to Get Here: Take the Deer Trail Touring Route

3. Robertson Cliffs, Algoma Highlands Conservancy

algoma highlands
(Photo credit: Sofie Sharom)

5 km (about an hour)  
Named for Ila Aho who hiked and developed the trail herself, the Robertson Cliffs trail offers a breathtaking view of the valley in the Algoma Highlands. This trail is a loop but it's not necessary to do the entire loop.  
Trail Type: Challenging  
Be Prepared: Wear sturdy hiking boots, wear layers to stay warm or cool, and bring bug spray, sunscreen and a hat. It's always a good idea to carry some food and water.

4. Rock Candy Mountain, Hwy 129

fall hiking overlooking lake

(Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors)

3 km (uphill)  
This trail offers a breathtaking view overlooking three inland lakes: Tunnel Lake, Cumming Lake and Axe Lake, in the Mississagi Valley. The majority of this trail is uphill, so make sure to wear sturdy footwear and take your time as the incline increases, which will also add to the anticipation and excitement of reaching the top!   
Trail Type: Moderate  
Recommended Time of Day: early morning as there are other interesting trails in the area to enjoy

5. Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area

(Photo credit: Colin Field)

Offers 35 km of nature trails  
Located within Sault Ste. Marie city limits, Hiawatha Highlands offers breathtaking scenery including Crystal Falls and nature trails of varying length and skill levels. The conservation area is a large forested area with creeks, lakes and wetlands, home to a variety of birds and animals.   
Trail Type: all levels  
What to Know: mountain biking trails available

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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