26 Things to Do in Algoma Country

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Credit: Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Algoma Country is known across the country for its beauty. The region is spectacular in any season, and is known for its plethora of outdoor activities. Even if you don’t think you’re outdoorsy, the region still has something for you. You might be surprised at all you can do and see without having to rough it. If you do want to rough it, though, the region definitely has everything you could ask for. There are all sorts of unique places and quirky little things to do and see, so it’s not hard to see why Algoma Country is a great destination all year round.

1. A bay named after pancakes

Pancake Bay Provincial Park might have a bit of a strange name, but it’s seriously a great place to visit. The park boasts a 3km long white sand beach, interpretive trails, hiking trails, lookout areas, dense forests, abundant wildlife, and is known as a great bay for canoeing and kayaking. The park has a decent sized campsite, but they also have yurts, so if you’re looking for a real adventure, you should look into booking one. From the viewing platform located on the Lookout Trail, you can see all the way to Whitefish Point, which is known as the graveyard of the Great Lakes. It’s where the famed Edmund Fitzgerald sank. The bay actually was named after fur traders and voyagers who would come to the area and since their food supplies were often low before they made it to Sault Ste. Marie to replenish, they’d eat pancakes. Or so the story goes…
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2. Book a getaway

If roughing it or camping isn’t your idea of the ideal summer vacation, you should consider staying at a resort. With full service cabins and all the comforts of home, you can spend your time enjoying your vacation and not sweating the small things. Lang Lake is located in the beautiful La Cloche Mountain Range. Lang Lake Resort has everything you need to help make your vacation as stress free as possible. The resort has everything you need including boats, tackle, bait, and so much more. The lake is an excellent fishery and there a ton of other on land activities to enjoy.
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3. Experience Spanish

Located between Sudburyand Sault Ste. Marie, Spanish is an incredible area to explore. Located right on Lake Huron on the Whaleseback and North Channel, it is also close to the Benjamins and other groups of islands. The area is not only known for its natural beauty. It’s been touted as a premier sailing area. Spanish is the perfect area for outdoor adventure. Whether you’re an avid angler, love canoeing and kayaking, enjoy hiking, or just want to challenge yourself to explore new areas and try new things, you should consider a getaway to Spanish.
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4. A look at aviation history

Now thirty years old, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre is the place to visit, especially if you’re fascinated by aviation history. Located in Sault Ste. Marie, the Centre is so much more than just a fascinating look back in time. Take in the exciting bushplane collection, view the many different exhibits, articles and photographs, or participate in the many different events offered throughout the year. The Centre also hosts guided tours and is open all year round.
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5. Arts and culture

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Credit: Art Gallery of Algoma

Located in Sault Ste. Marie, the Art Gallery of Algoma is a premier art destination in Northwestern Ontario. The 10,000 sqft Gallery has amazing exhibits and offers events, classes and workshops throughout the year. Book a tour or come by yourself, the Gallery has an impressive collection and it will take some time to see everything. Established as a non-profit in 1975, the gallery has celebrated culture and education for 45 years.
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6. Learn about local history

Located in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, the museum is a must see for the building alone. The iconic red brick building with the green roof is hard to miss. The museum is a non-profit and contains many materials and exhibits related to the history and development of Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area. The museum has a permanent collection and galleries and also hosts travelling exhibits on displays from other museums. The galleries aren’t just informative, they’re set up in a way that really brings history to life and is fun for people of all ages to explore and see.
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7. The heart of Hearst

If you happen to find yourself in Hearst, stop in and see the Heritage Sawmill. Called the heart of the community, the sawmill is a place where people can gather and the access point to the downtown area. The sawmill helps celebrate and rich history of the area, especially the town’s forest heritage. The sawmill plays an integral part in the community. You can learn all about the history of Hearst and the surrounding area through the exhibits on display in the summer months.
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8. A village museum

Welcome to the Blind River Timber Village Museum. The museum is a fascinating place that is home to local art and historical exhibits. You can book a guided tour to help you get the most out of your visit and there are often special programs and events offered. The gift shop offers a whole host of unique items, including works by local artisans and maple syrup!
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9. Sample local cuisine

Blaq Bear Culinary Adventures offers the opportunity for something unique. The company does walking tours in Sault Ste. Marie and area and pairs it with a culinary experience you won’t soon forget. The tours will help you learn all about the culture and history of the region while you sample some of the best food and beverages that can be found in the Algoma region. The tours include locally made foods and also aim to preserve heritage recipes. There are two different tours available to be booked, and they both promise to be informative and delicious!
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10. Get muddy

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Credit: Mukwa Adventures

If ATV’s are a passion and you’ve always wanted to explore the trail system of Northwestern Ontario, you should think about booking with Mukwa Adventures. They offer ATV adventures all year round. Even if you’re not experienced driving an ATV, Mukwa provides the machines, the training, all the safety gear, and experienced guides. The company has access to over a thousand kilometers of trails. No matter which trails you choose, whether you want to take it easy or experience the more rugged version of the Canadian wilderness, your trip is sure to be a memorable adventure filled with discovery.
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11. All aboard

There really isn’t a more exciting way to discover and see the Agawa Canyon than to take a tour on the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The one day rail excursion is sure to be a highlight of your trip and one you’ll remember for years to come. There are overnight packages, some for two and three nights, that can also be booked and include the train and accommodations after. The rail operates from June until October. The canyon is incredible at every time of year, but especially so in the fall, when the leaves have changed colours. The Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park features many different trails, lookout spots, and four different waterfalls.
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12. Wildlife viewing at its finest

The Chapeau Crown Game Preserve, at two million acres, is the largest game preserve in the entire world. The preserve is home to moose, black bears, Timberwolves, hawks, loons, foxes, otters, fishers, ducks, great blue heron, sand hill cranes, lynx, beaver, bald eagles, osprey, and different species of owls. If you just want to get out and experience the scenic wilderness and enjoy nature, then the preserve is the perfect place for you. Of course, the preserve is also the perfect destination if you have a passion for wildlife photography.
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13. Fish Algoma Country

The fishing in Algoma Country is world-renown. Whether you’re a beginner angler just starting to find a love for the sport or an advanced angler who knows exactly what species you love to fish for, this region is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. There are a ton of different ways to fish in Algoma Country including remote fly-ins, fishing charters, lakes and rivers you can drive or hike to, fly fishing opportunities, and the unique train-in fishing where you can take a train right to your angling destination. The area is an excellent fishery for smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, brook, steelhead and lake trout, muskie, and salmon. Come for the fishing, stay for the incredible natural beauty and wilderness experience!
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14. An incredible drive

You might not have even thought about simply driving Algoma Country, but there are four designated driving tours in the area that will help you see the best of what the region has to offer. In the spring the region is just starting to reawaken after winter. The waterfalls in the area are often most spectacular at this time, after the snow melt. The region is always gorgeous in the summer with lots to take in, and in the fall, the trees come alive with blazing fall colours. Take in all the small towns, culture, history, festivals, markets, and natural wonders along the way!
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15. Boat watching

Built in 1895, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal was once the world’s longest lock. It was also the first to operate using electricity. Now the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site is used only for recreational purposes and is a great place to watch the boats come and go. The canal connections Lake Huron and Lake Superior. If you’re up for a bit more adventure, there is a 2.2km trail in the area where you can take in some wondrous sights right in Sault Ste. Marie.
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16. An iconic general store

If you’re going to be driving by Wawa, be sure to visit one of the most talked about stops along the Trans-Canada. Young’s General Store was the original home of the famous Wawa Goose (which you can see along the highway now) and has been a staple of the community for forty years. You’ll know the General Store when you see it! It’s quite iconic, and has a moose right on the front porch. Please be sure to try your hand at fishing a pickle out of the pickle barrel and be sure to try the locally made sausage and the to die for fudge. The store has everything from souvenirs to fishing tackle.
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17. Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site

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Credit: Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site

If you find old architecture fascinating, then you have to see the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site in Sault Ste. Marie. The Ermatinger Old Stone House and the Clergue Blockhouse are two of the oldest stone buildings west of Toronto. The Ermatinger Old Stone House has been restored to depict what it was like in the past for previous residents. The Heritage Discovery Centre is on site and includes many exciting and interactive historical exhibits.
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18. Potholes Provincial Nature Reserve

Located on the Kinniwabi River east of Wawa, is the Potholes Provincial Nature Reserve. A short interpretive trail complete with a boardwalk, will take you right to the incredible geological site. Over 10,000 years ago, holes in the bedrock were formed by glacier meltwater. The holes are named potholes, but they’re much more spectacular than any regular old pothole that you might have seen before. In fact, you’ve probably never seen anything like them in your life- they’re that neat! The area also features beautiful boreal forest and you can spot mini-falls.
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19. Pukaskwa National Park

If you’re looking for the perfect wilderness getaway this summer, look no further than the Pukaskwa National Park. On the shores of Lake Superior, the park will delight nature lovers, back country hikers, canoers, kayakers, and those looking to take in some of scenic Northwestern Ontario. The park features diverse terrain including granite cliffs and rocky shores, crystal clear waters, and even a beautiful waterfall which you can see from the suspension bridge that crosses over it. There are so many things to do, you’ll want to come back year after year to keep exploring.
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20. The halfway point

Batchawana Bay boasts stunning views of Lake Superior. If you visit the Bay at Chippewa Falls, you can see the sign that marks the halfway point in the Trans-Canada highway. Batchawana Bay Provincial Park is a day use park where you can hike, boat, canoe, fish, swim, go for a picnic, and enjoy the stunning scenery.
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21. Explore a mining community

The town of Bruce Mine was established in 1846 as the first copper mine in the entire country. The town might be a smaller, quiet one, but that makes it the perfect setting for planning your next getaway. Located 65km east of Sault Ste. Marie, the town boasts awesome fishing, since it’s located on the shores of Lake Huron. You can also go for tours of a mine shaft, visit the museum, or take in the scenery in the area.
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22. Come see the way the Precambrian bedrock has been transformed by glaciers

Aubrey Falls is a result of an outwash plain and a former glacier meltwater spillway. The falls are definitely a mark on your list destination spot to see if you’re going to be driving through or vacationing in the region. The area is gorgeous, with bedrock, and towering white pine. Go for a hike to experience the best the area has to offer, then head to the lookout area to take in the falls.
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23. A true gem

All of Algoma Country is scenic and beautiful, but the Mississagi Valley might just be the true gem of the entire region. The valley is home to many different rivers and lakes, which are popular with angler for the trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, and pike fishing. If you’re a wildlife photographer or a photography enthusiast, the valley is the perfect setting for that unbelievable photo. There are a host of groomed trails throughout the area, perfect for ATVing in the warmer months, and great for snowmobiling in the winter. The hiking in the area is also spectacular. There are a whole host of different resorts and outfitters in the area that can help make your stay a comfortable and memorable one
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24. Camp out this summer

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Credit: Wakami Lake Provincial Park

No summer vacation would be complete without the authentic camping experience. Wakami Lake is the perfect place for summer adventures. The park boasts both backcountry and regular camping sites so you can decide how rustic you want to get with your back to nature experience. The entire family can enjoy hiking or biking through the boreal forests with the towering white pines. Take an afternoon and see the historic logging exhibit in the park. The lake is perfect for fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
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25. A very famous bear

Located between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, White River’s claim to fame is Winnie the Pooh. That’s right. The Winnie the Pooh. In 1914 a little black bear cub was brought into the town of White River when her mother was killed by a hunter. The town was an important train stop, and the trapper that found the bear cub sold her to Lieutenant Harry Colebourn. He was the one who named her Winnipeg, after his hometown, which was shortened to Winnie, and made arrangements for her to be kept in the London Zoo while he was overseas. He eventually donated her to the zoo, when he saw how much the public loved her. A.A. Milne and his son fell in love with the bear at the zoo, and the rest is history. A statue of Winnie the Pooh stands in the visitor park in White River right near the Visitor Centre and the town celebrates a Winnie the Pooh festival. The White River Heritage Museum has a large display of Winnie the Pooh artifacts and memorabilia that have been donated over the years.

26. Village of Nakina

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Credit: Ontario’s Algoma Country

Established in 1923, the small village of Nakina is known as a gateway to some of the best remote wilderness fishing in the entire country. Many lodges and resorts offer fly-in services from Nakina to their outposts and remote camps. If you enjoy fishing for walleye, pike, brook trout, or lake trout, you should consider planning a more remote fishing trip. Not only will it be an adventure, but because of the lower fishing pressure on some of these remote areas, both the quality and quantity of fish can be quite impressive. Of course, the Algoma Country region is also tremendously beautiful.
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