Nipigon River Trail and Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park
The Nipigon River Trail is a 17km out and back that follows the river from the town of Nipigon until it flows into Lake Superior at the town of Red Rock. We began in Nipigon, walking through flat forest and passing wetlands with views across the river, then moved inland into denser forest. Approximately 2/3 of the way through the trail we began a steep ascent over rocky trail that became aided by anchored ropes and then 199 wooden steps built into the sheer cliff face. At the top was Eagle’s Ridge lookout, which provided the best views on the trail. Continuing on, we descended through wet forest then hiked back up to Lloyd’s Lookout overlooking the town of Red Rock and the bay before retracing our steps.
Our next (brief) stop was Ouimet Provincial Park, a 100m gorge that shelters rare arctic plant life of mosses, lichens, and arctic winter green in the cool micro climate that exists in its depths. The canyon itself was created by a magma intrusion of softer rock in the vertically jointed diabase that has since eroded away, leaving the harder rock exposed. There is a short 1km trail that provides two viewing areas into the canyon.
Possibly the most spectacular photos however were taken when leaving Oiumet Canyon as there was a black bear in the road. As we approached he moved off and sat down on the side of the road looking pretty non-threatening, but I as I snapped a few pictures off I was saying, “Keep going!”