This wide, sheltered, sandy bay on Lake Superior’s eastern shore offers a respite for weary travellers. Car camping is available for a variety of equipment types, group camp sites as well as yurts round out the accommodation options. The park offers full services including comfort stations, a trailer sanitary station and excellent barrier-free access to yurts, campgrounds and amenities. There is also a pet exercise area.
Almost half of the campsites offer electrical service. There are a variety of sites to accommodate a range of trailer sizes, as well as five reserveable group camping sites. Camp in the woods at a site with a view of Lake Superior or in the quiet, radio-free Hilltop Campground. Each campsite has a fireplace and picnic table. Drinking water taps, vault toilets and garbage disposal are located throughout the campgrounds. There are three comfort stations with flush toilets and showers, a trailer sanitation station and two laundry facilities.
The Hilltop Campground is radio-free.
Pancake Bay has five group campsites available. Group camping sites are located at the west end of the campground adjacent to the 3.5 km nature trail. The sites vary in size and can accommode from 15 to 40 people. Water taps are nearby, vault toilets are on site and a comfort station is within walking distance.
Reservations for group camping sites are made by contacting Pancake Bay Provincial Park directly. (705) 882-2209.
Three of Pancake Bay’s yurts are located in the east side of the park. A mini comfort station is on site with toilet, shower facilities and hot water. There are also two yurts within the main campground. All are a short walk from the beach.
Each yurt is equipped with two sets of futon bunk beds and sleeps up to six. Inside the yurt campers will also find a table and chairs, mini fridge, shelving unit, and a broom and dustpan. Outside, yurt sites are equipped with a propane BBQ, picnic table and fire pit. Visitors should bring their own bedding, cookware and dishes.
Yurts offer barrier-free access.
Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the yurt or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities. Cooking in yurts is not permitted.
Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee.
Yurts can be reserved by calling Ontario Parks’ reservation system.
Most know Pancake Bay by its excellent beach and swimming. A popular family campground, there are also great hiking trails and Natural Heritage Education programs to help visitors fully enjoy and understand this spectacular natural environment.
The Pancake Bay Nature Trail – 3.5 km (1-2 hours) easy
Located next to the campground, this trail begins along the dramatic Lake Superior shoreline, takes you over forested ancient beach ridges, through a fascinating wetland and then ends along a shallow meandering creek. Highlights of this trail include a boardwalk crossing the wetland, spring and summer wildflowers and a huge billion year-old conglomerate boulder. Interpretive signs posted along the trail will guide you in experiencing the natural features of this walk.
The Lookout Trail – 14 km (5-7 hours) moderate for the entire trail - 7 km return (2-3 hours) to the lookout
Located across Highway 17 from the campground, this hiking trail takes you through a lush forest dominated by tall Sugar Maples and Yellow Birch. This hike provides you with the best views of Pancake Bay and opportunities to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, including moose, further on past the lookout. From the lookout you can see across to Whitefish Point. This stretch of Lake Superior is known as the “graveyard of the Great Lakes” where the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a fierce Superior storm in 1975. Highlights of this trail include two lookout platforms offering spectacular views of Lake Superior and Pancake Bay, secluded inland lakes where you may hear the call of the loon and the scenic Pancake River Falls.
Paddle the spectacular shoreline of Lake Superior, exploring just as the voyageurs once did. Batchawana Bay is large but relatively sheltered, while north of the park the rugged and rocky Lake Superior shoreline shows how powerful the lake can be. Sudden weather changes that can cause large swells and waves to occur can be hazardous. Always wear your personal flotation device and paddle within your ability.
Pancake Bay has one of the finest beaches in North America. The beach - 3.2 km of fine sand - is sheltered from the open lake by two protective promontories that form the bay. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches and pets are not permitted.
There is no boat launch in the park. For access to Lake Superior, boats must be carried into the water or driven to a launch 11 km south, at the mouth of the Batchawana River. Sudden weather changes can occur frequently and can be hazardous.
Spring and fall are the best times to fish for Lake Trout in Lake Superior, and Rainbow Trout and salmon in the Pancake River. A variety of rivers and lakes nearby, provide additional angling opportunities.
Park Naturalists at Pancake Bay run the park’s Natural Heritage Education Program during the summer months, from late June to Labour Day. This program is for enthusiasts of all ages wishing to experience the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the Pancake Bay area. Programs change weekly and include: daytime and evening guided walks, evening amphitheatre programs, movie nights, special events and active programs, especially for kids.
Check the “Calendar of Events” postings on park bulletin boards for times and locations of programs during your stay.
Situated in the transition zone between the Great Lakes and Boreal Forest regions, Pancake Bay is home to a variety of wildlife. In the campground look for Red Squirrels, chipmunks, Red fox and several bird species including Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers. On the trails keep a lookout for moose, wolves, Black Bears and birds such as Bald Eagles, Common Loons, Sandhill Cranes, flycatchers and Cedar Waxwings and many forest warblers like redstarts. Over 200 bird species have been recorded in the park. The wetlands within park boundaries provide habitat for a number of amphibians. These include Spring Peepers and Green Frogs,which are sure to be a favourite with younger wildlife enthusiasts.
Enjoy modern camping facilities on beautiful Lake Superior. Offering the luxuries of home, comfort stations with showers, laundry facilities and flush toilets are located within the campground.
Paddle as the Voyageurs once did - the gatehouse offers kayak rentals and a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) loan program. Stop by the gatehouse for souvenirs, nature books and Ontario Parks clothing. For the four-legged campers, Pancake Bay offers a pet exercise area and a pet-friendly swimming area. Owners are responsible for their pets.
Comfort stations (complete with showers and flush toilets) are located in Hilltop, East and West Campgrounds.
Flush toilets are found in all comfort stations.
Barrier-free access is available at all comfort stations. There are four barrier-free campsites and a wheelchair ramp for beachfront access.
Located at the east end of the park is a beach front area with picnic tables, water taps and vault toilets.
High-efficiency washers and dryers are located at the East and West Campground comfort stations.
There is no boat launch within the park. For access to Lake Superior, boats must be carried into the water or driven to a launch, 11 km south at the mouth of the Batchawana River. Sudden weather changes can occur frequently and can be hazardous.
Kayaks and Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are available.
French speaking staff is available to answer questions.
There is one picnic shelter in the park which is located at the day-use area. The shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There is no fire ban at this time.
There is no boil water advisory at this time.
There is no beach posting at this time.