The 14-km Trail
Cycling is permitted on the 14 km Lookout Trail. This is a rugged backcountry trail, therefore proper safety precautions, including wearing a bike helmet, should be taken.
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.
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.
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.
Join Discovery staff at an Exploration Station during the months of July & August. Bring along your Discovery Activity Book (or pick one up at the Exploration Station), and use the equipment and materials provided to explore the park, observe plants and animals, and discover the wonders of nature. Be sure to share your observations with park staff and to take the Discovery Ranger Pledge! For more information keep an eye out for weekly calendar of events posted throughout the park.
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.
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.
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.