Lake Superior Provincial Park, Part 5: Agawa Rocks Pictographs and Sinclair Cove
The Agawa Rocks Pictographs were created by the Ojibwe people over the course of two thousand years though the ones that reman visible are believed to date from four hundred years ago at most. Like other Native American petroglyph and pictograph sites, no one can be certain why specific figures were used, but recurring themes found at multiple locations and knowledge gleaned from Ojibwe tribal members both past and present suggest that the pictographs here depict clan associations as well as tell the story of a 17th century victory over the Iroquois.
The short trail leading down to the lakeside cliffs on which the pictographs were painted is beautiful and leads through a fantastic joint in the granite, fractured approximately a billion years ago. Lava sped through this and similar cracks, hardening into diabase and then eroding, leaving the much harder granite. The trail then deposits hikers on the rocky coast where you have the option of climbing down to the cliffs and working your way across the sloped slabs of granite. Most of the pictographs are visible if walking right along the cliff base but some require you to hang onto ropes in order to lean back far enough to see.
In summary, Agawa Rock is amazing. In addition to the painted figures, the view of the green and blue lake, accented with a forested island, is spectacular and well worth seeing even if you have no interest in the pictographs.
After viewing the pictographs we hiked a shot stretch of the Coastal Trail across and down the headland to Sinclair Cove, a rock and pebble beach with extremely clear waters and more fantastic views.