In the fall of 1921, artist Lawren Harris first travelled the north shore of Lake Superior. Moved by the rugged beauty of the landscape, he continued to return for many years, later accompanied by other members of the Group of Seven. These camping trips to the Superior’s north shore were a creative well-spring and inspired a large number of pieces including Harris’ 1924 work, Pic Island.
Today, travellers can explore the Algoma and Superior North Shore landscape preserved in paint by Lawren Harris while driving the scenic Lake Superior Circle Tour along the TransCanada – Highway 17. Whether you’re a painter, photographer or poet, let these landscapes inspire you to new creative heights.
Along the way include a visit to a provincial park and discover their links to our rich Canadian artistic and cultural history.
Neys Provincial Park (59 km east of Terrace Bay) – The park’s campground is adjacent to a long sandy beach where you can enjoy evening strolls and wonderful sunsets. Be sure to drop by the visitor centre or join naturalist programs to learn about the park’s history including its WWII Prisoner of War Camp. View the Group of Seven display corner or wander along the Under the Volcano and Coastal Trails to be inspired by nature. For the energetic, let your inner artist out by hiking up to the pagoda for a landscape view of Pic Island
Lake Superior Provincial Park (Between Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie) – Highway 17 passes through the park for 83 km giving travellers access to a number of day use picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, lakes, rivers and Lake Superior beaches. Take some time to explore Lake Superior’s rugged coast, mist shrouded hills and deep river valleys. Be sure to include a hike to the Agawa Rock Pictographs (open until mid-September). The park visitor centre, located at Agawa Bay, features exhibits on the park’s natural and cultural history, including a video re-enacting the Group of Seven’s famous boxcar trips. For those driving through the park you can experience the same Algoma landscapes that inspired these famous artists. For the adventurous, hike the Towab Trail along the Agawa River to get closer to the areas where these artists painted from the Algoma Central Railway. The trail is 24 km return to Agawa Falls, or you can hike a portion of the trail along the river.