Hiking Robertson Cliffs
Robertson Cliffs is a challenging hike, but worth the climb to view Goulais’ magnificent autumn colours. There is a marked trail called Ila’s Loop to venture on. Robertson Cliffs are situated north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in the Algoma Region.
Ila’s Trail was named after an avid hiker (Iila Aho) who hiked and developed this trail herself. The trail in total is 5 km, but you do not need to do the whole loop. You can just do the uphill ascent directly to the cliffs, which are part of the Algoma Highlands Conservancy. If you do the whole loop, you will walk through Algoma’s beautiful Boreal Forest, peer out from the cliffs overlooking the valley, and encounter a waterfall along the way.
Robertson Cliffs can be found by driving north on Highway 17 for 28 km. After the Goulais River Bridge, turn right onto Old Highway 17, then take the first right onto Robertson Lake Road.
Drive approximately 5 km and you will see a parking area on the right side of the road. The trail is located across from the parking area. Follow the white blazes until you reach the top of the cliffs. Follow the white blazes past the lookouts until you see the intersection of the white trail and the yellow trail.
Follow the yellow trail to the right heading through the forest until it begins to follow an old road. Keep on the yellow trail for about 2 km. At the bottom of the hill look for the blue flagged trail on the left, that leads to the waterfall on Robertson Creek. It is a quick hike in. Return back to the road and the yellow trail. Continue to follow it as it heads south until you meet back up with the white-flagged trail that leads down to the parking area.
It is important to be prepared for the hike. Wear very sturdy and supportive footwear, as the trail can be very rocky and slippery at times. Light pants will protect your legs from scratches from the bushes and trees. Wearing layers is a good idea so you can stay cool or warm up as needed. Bug spray may be needed, so carry it along with you as well as sunscreen and a hat. A water bottle is essential to keep you hydrated. Packing a light lunch or snack is fun to eat at the top of the cliffs as you enjoy the view and rest, but remember what you take into the trail you take out of the trail and leave no garbage behind.
One of the times we were out hiking, we came across Phil Lemieux from Man Tracker out with his son for a birthday horseback ride. They were out enjoying the Robertson Cliffs area as well.
Thanks, Phil for allowing the photo op! We hope you enjoyed your birthday ride. You just never know whom you will meet along the way.
Hiking is a great activity for the whole family. Get out and enjoy what Algoma has to offer. Robertson Cliffs are gorgeous any time of the year, but especially in the Autumn.