Pukaskwa National Park, Part 2: Beach Trail and Manito Mikana Trail

After completing the short and inspiring trail around Halfway Lake we crossed an unused camping loop to access the Beach Trail along Lake Superior. Aptly named, the trail traces two driftwood-littered coves and traverses a small headland. We enjoyed the blues of the lake and the bright sun from the sand, climbed up some basalt and explored a headland, and then viewed a fragile dune area from the beach before connecting with the Manito Miikana Trail, which loops around a larger headland to the east.

The headlands at Pukaskwa are cooled by Lake Superior and thus harbor rare arctic species such as pitcher plants, mosses, and lichens. In combination with the conifers and rugged basalt coastline, it’s easy to think you’re on the north Atlantic coast. Looking down from the headland was amazing โ€“ the views across the baby blue waters as they merge with greens near the rocks and deepen in hue as they retreat from shore were truly spectacular. It was a fantastic way to end our day of exploring the park.

Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Basalt we climbed, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Basalt we climbed, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

View into Lake Superior, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

View into Lake Superior, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Me on top of basalt headland, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Me on top of basalt headland, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

View from the top of the basalt, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

View from the top of the basalt, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Beach Trail over headland, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Beach Trail over headland, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Glacial striations, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Glacial striations, Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Dunes from Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Dunes from Beach Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Tom and Abby, Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Tom and Abby, Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Me taking pictures, Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Me taking pictures, Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Tom taking pictures from a viewing deck on the Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Tom taking pictures from a viewing deck on the Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Manito Miikana Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada