Pukaskwa National Park is situated along the shore of Lake Superior, 25 km before Marathon, Ontario and is located next to Pic River First Nation. Pukaskwa is one of five National Parks in Ontario and has 1,878 km of boreal forest, along with rocky shorelines, sandy and driftwood beaches overlooking Lake Superior and the Pic River Dunes. Pukaskwa’s Coastal Route, White and Pukaskwa Rivers are for the paddler in you.
The Hattie Cove Campground is where you would stay if you prefer the “Front-Country.” The campground provides you with a choice of 67 campsites that are very private and clean, with access to six trails close by. There are some sites with electricity and some Accessible Sites. The easy and moderate trails range from thirty minutes up to two hours to hike. The trails are well marked and can be hiked at your leisure.
The easy trails are the Boardwalk Beach Trail and the Hattie Cove Fire Walk Via the Coastal Hiking Trail. The moderate trails are the Beach Trail, the Southern Headland Trail, the Manito Miikana Trail and the Bimose Kinoomagewnan Trail. Each of these trails traverses a pristine boreal forest that takes your breath away with its beauty. Learn the seven grandfather teachings as you “walk the teachings” along the Bimose Kinoomagewnan Trail that circles Half Way Lake. To make the hike enjoyable, be sure to wear proper hiking footwear and bring bug spray, water, and sunscreen.
Where is Pukaskwa National Park
Pukaskwa NP (pronounced PUK-a-SAW) covers a vast 1,880 square kilometres of land off Lake Superior’s northern tip. The park sits on one of the longest sections of undeveloped shoreline throughout the Great Lakes.
The considerable size makes this Ontario’s largest national park. And, while it has remained relatively unknown to all but the most intrepid campers, the campground within Pukaskwa offers most of the services you’ve come to expect from some of the best Parks Canada camping experiences. The park offers mostly backcountry campsites as well as one front-country site. For those who prefer comfort, Pukaskwa also offers five oTENTik glamping sites. These include a wood stove, electricity, cooking amenities, and enough room to sleep six.
There is also WiFi and There is also WiFi and a heated comfort room available in the well-equipped visitors centre.
The park is about halfway between the cities of Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay. And the closest towns are Marathon, in the north, and the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh, White River in the east.
The remote location means that visitors experience nature at its most raw, from driftwood-strewn beaches to rocky coastal hiking trails. Yet, among all of this stunning, untouched nature lies a park that is well cared for with a team of hard work and friendly wardens and rangers.
Camping in Pukaskwa National Park
This campground is the quietest site we have ever stayed at. For a family that enjoys camping between 20 and 40 nights a year, that’s saying a lot. There are no car alarms, beep beeps, or generators running that we could hear. And it was the most blissful sleep that we’ve ever had.
We woke up refreshed, enjoyed a great breakfast, and felt it was time to hit the trails.
Hiking at Pukaskwa National Park
Pukaskwa has some of the most unreal landscapes. And hiking is one of the top ways to experience the gorgeous forests and stunning Lake Superior shorelines.
We enjoyed the Beach Boardwalk Trail, which includes areas that inspired famous paintings from the Group of Seven. The Hattie’s Cove Firewalk contains sections of the epic Lake Superior Coastal Trail that stretches up to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
For those intrepid adventurers, the White River Suspension Bridge trail is one of the most scenic hikes in the park. However, this out-and-back trail requires a commitment of at least 6-8 hours to complete.
Paddling in Pukaskwa National Park
If there is a better way than hiking to experience the natural shorelines of Pukaskwa National Park, it’s from the water. We had traveled north from Brampton with our canoe with the very intention of exploring some northern Ontario paddling. And Pukaskwa was among the best destinations we took to the waters. If you don’t have your own equipment, though, canoe and stand-up paddleboard rentals are available at the park kiosk.
The borders of Pukaskwa NP encircle a considerable number of lakes and rivers. It’s genuinely a water-lovers paradise. For adventurers, there are Lake Superior’s wild and unpredictable waters (please make sure you’re experienced and prepared before paddling these frigid waters), but for us, launching from Hattie’s Cove boat launch made for the perfect accessible canoe experience.
The protected waters of Hattie’s Cove helps paddlers avoid the choppy waves of the world’s largest lake. The scenery here is mind-blowing with towering cliffs, tree-dotted islands, and crystal clear water that might make you feel as though you’re gliding across glass.
For anglers, getting out on the water also means the chance to bag some pretty impressive fish. Just make sure that you have a fishing license before visiting. For more information on paddling in the park.
Pukaskwa Is Perfect For Families
There is simply no better place to visit for families that need an escape than Pukaskwa NP. You won’t be arguing about WiFi and video games, your boss won’t be able to call you for those “after-hours emergencies,” and you’ll have the chance to experience some of the most breathtaking nature in the province.