5 reasons to visit Lake Superior Provincial Park this fall

Amber reds, warm yellows, and oranges as brilliant as a nighttime campfire – there are few places with fall colours as memorable as Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Here are five other reasons why we think Lake Superior is a top northern park to visit this autumn:

1. Scenic views from the trails

Lake Superior Provincial Park has unparalleled hiking trails at any time of the year. The fall colours make them just that much better!

And as a bonus: the dropping temperatures mean a comfortable hike with fewer insects.

view of forested shoreline with fall colours

The vibrant reds and oranges are found in the south of the park, and the yellows and greens in the north.

The Nokomis Trail should be on everyone’s list during the peak colour period. This five kilometre trail sections through the boreal forest and ancient beach terraces from when the water levels of Lake Superior were higher thousands of years ago, with lookouts over Old Woman Bay and the Old Woman River Valley.

2. Nighttime stargazing (and the Northern Lights) 

In 2018, Lake Superior Provincial Park was officially designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. That means the park is essentially free from light pollution, giving unhindered views of the night sky.

Lake Superior starscape
Photo: Paula Trus

What better time to experience this than in the fall when the nights get longer? Gaze upwards and you’ll see a dome of stars above and, if you’re lucky, the dancing of the Northern Lights. The fall has plenty of cool, clear nights on which nature’s greatest light show might make an appearance.

3. Fishing opportunities abound

Anglers have known for a long time that Lake Superior Provincial Park is a premier destination for great fishing.

A fish caught at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Fall campers can try their luck fishing for Chinook, Coho, or Pink Salmon in rivers flowing into Lake Superior, or for Brook Trout in its inland lakes. We recommend taking Orphan Lake Trail to fish at the Baldhead River.

4. Wave-watching

Along its soaring cliffs and long beaches, Lake Superior Provincial Park is the staging ground for another awe-inspiring spectacle each fall. The lake winds produce large, powerful waves that crash into the rocky shoreline with force.

Waves crashing into a rocky shoreline at Lake Superior

Fall camping along the shore in the Agawa Campground, or a trek to Old Woman Bay, provides you a front row seat. For photographers and nature-enthusiasts alike, it’s a display of the natural world that can’t be missed.

However, when the waters are calmer, the Lake Superior coast is great for experienced paddlers to explore for a different look at the fall colours.

5. A quiet time to explore the Visitor Centre

Lake Superior’s Visitor Centre is open in the fall season until the park closes. It highlights the park’s cultural and natural history, as well as recreational activities in the park.

staff with visitors in visitor centre

Away from the summer crowds, visitors can take their time and enjoy each exhibit at their leisure. After Labour Day, the centre is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until October 12.

Please remember to wear a mask and practice physical distancing when entering the Visitor Centre. Capacity is limited. The Visitor Centre is closed from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily for afternoon sanitizing. 

Start planning your trip!

These are only a few of the reasons to visit Lake Superior Provincial Park this fall. There are many more, like the chance to see migrating raptors heading to their wintering grounds.

Overnight camping and day use are available until October 12. Backcountry camping is available until October 24.

This year, you need to book your permit in advance to guarantee entry.

Daily vehicle permits will become available at 7:00 a.m., five days in advance of your arrival date. Reservations can be made:

  • online (here’s a walkthrough of how to book, including how to use your seasonal permit)
  • by phone: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

Whether you’re looking to drive in and tent, stay in an RV, or explore Lake Superior’s backcountry, there’s an option for you at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

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