By Sault Tourism
How to Experience one of Ontario's best lookout hikes
The Edmund Fitzgerald lookout trail, in Pancake Bay Provincial Park, is the perfect day trip activity from Sault Ste. Marie.
Just an hour north of the city, it’s one of best lookout hikes in all of Ontario. A beautiful woodland walk through towering maple trees leads you to spectacular views of Lake Superior, as far out as the resting position of the Edmund Fitzgerald ship.
WHERE IS THE TRAIL LOCATED?
The lookout trail is located just a few minutes north of Pancake Bay Provincial Park along highway 17. There is ample parking located about a hundred metres off the highway. Click here for a Google Maps link to directions.
The trail, parking and trailhead are all within the park, so day-use fee applies. You can get your daily vehicle permits in advance online here – both Pancake Bay and Batchewana Bay are both currently offering the advance daily permit online. And of course by buying a day pass you can have a swim at the beach after your hike!
IS THERE A MAP AND HOW LONG DOES THE HIKE TAKE?
A clearly marked trail-head sign with route information and a map marks the start of the trail. The hike to the lookout and back is around 6km and takes 2-3 hours. Longer side routes are available taking you to Pancake Falls or Tower Lakes.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT AND ARE THE TRAILS CLEARLY MARKED?
The route to the lookout is a mix of flat hiking through forests, with some occasional up hill sections. All trails are well maintained by Parks Ontario crew!
The trails are clearly marked with blue signs, and there are maps at each trail intersection. The trails is described a ‘moderate’ difficulty because there may be some scrambling over rocks or small branches.
The climb to lookout...
The most strenuous part of the trail is the climb up the wooden stairs to the lookout itself…
TOP TIP – Spend a few minutes reading the information sign in the middle of the climb as a way to gather your breath before the final ascent.
WHAT ABOUT THE LOOKOUTS AND WHAT IS VIEW LIKE?
There are a couple of lookouts before you reach the actual top… and when you reach the top the views are simply stunning.
A Beautiful drive South
It won’t take long before you’re back at your car, and a beautiful drive south back to Sault Ste. Marie awaits. Why not stop for an ice cream at Agawa Crafts and the Canadian Carver? They also have some fantastic souvenirs. The Voyageur Lodge also has some great souvenirs and food options. Chippewa Falls is a great spot for a break and the falls are right beside parking lot just off the highway. Check out the Group of Seven art easel while you are there.
Or maybe you’ll spend the drive planning your return trip in a different season…
Picture this view in the fall… 🙂