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.

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Crossing a tributary of Nipigon River, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Crossing a tributary of Nipigon River, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Beginning of the rocky ascent, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Beginning of the rocky ascent, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Eagle's Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Eagle’s Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Water please, Eagle's Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Water please, Eagle’s Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Eagle's Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Eagle’s Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Fearless, Eagle's Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Fearless, Eagle’s Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

I am not fearless – I laid on my belly to hang over the edge to take this photo, Eagle's Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

I am not fearless – I laid on my belly to hang over the edge to take this photo, Eagle’s Ridge lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Lloyds Lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Lloyds Lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Overlooking town of Red Rock from Lloyd's Lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

Overlooking town of Red Rock from Lloyd’s Lookout, Nipigon River Trail, Ontario

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.

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Canyon walls and floor, Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Canyon walls and floor, Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Me, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Me, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Me taking pictures, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Me taking pictures, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

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!”

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario

Bear in the road outside Oiumet Canyon Provincial Park, Ontario