Visit The “Superior Six” In Terrace Bay, Ontario
Published: Friday, May 1, 2020
Although Terrace Bay started as a mill town in the mid-1940s, it is anything but run-of-the-mill! It is a gem sitting on the North shore of Lake Superior along the Trans-Canada Highway, offering numerous activities for both highway and waterway visitors. Whether it is by car or by boat, Terrace Bay’s Superior Six is a must-see for all travelers: Terrace Bay Beach, Casque Isles Hiking Trail, the Aguasabon Falls and Gorge, Slate Islands Provincial Park, the Aguasabon Golf Course, and Terrace Bay Lighthouse.
Terrace Bay Beach welcomes sailors with a boat launch for up to three-foot drafts. Its seasonal dockage is wheelchair accessible and serves as a launching point to the Slate Islands Provincial Park; visitor’s can depart from it to enjoy a wonderful kayaking and paddling experience; and of course, it can be used simply as a fishing dock!
Not too far from the docks, sits a picnic table sheltered by a neighbouring shade tree. It hosts a beautiful view of the Lower Aguasabon Falls where you can rest and enjoy snacks under the cooling shade while listening to the relaxing sound of the cascading waterfall.
Terrace Bay Beach is also a trailhead to the Casque Isles Trail, a 53-km coastal trail consisting of five sub-trails that appeal to anyone from beginners to advanced hikers. Follow the trail from the beach up to the bridge where you can drink in the majestic view of Lake Superior. Continue hiking the trail and it will lead you through to the upper part of Aguasabon Falls and Gorge, nestled within natural boreal forest.
Visiting by vehicle? Turn down Aguasabon Road off Highway 17 and leave your ride at an auto and RV accessible parking lot with on site bathroom facilities. After a short stroll down the indigo blue railing boardwalk surrounded by forest greenery, the 100-ft Aguasabon Falls will welcome you with its serene cascading waterfall that flows into the Aguasabon Gorge that is covered with 2.6 billion-year-old granodiorite. The enchanting scenery accompanied by the cool mist radiating off the waterfalls is a sight and feeling one mustn’t miss.
Stop for lunch or just take a seat and relax on the upper patio of the Aguasabon Clubhouse that overlooks a stunning view of Lake Superior and the Aguasabon Golf Course. For those who enjoy golfing, the Aguasabon Golf Course, designed by Howard Watson, is a beautiful, yet challenging, nine hole course that features awe-inspiring scenery that borders the Aguasabon River and touches Lake Superior. Cool, breezy summers and no tee times are what make this course so enjoyable.
Have your own canoe, kayak, or boat? Take off from the Terrace Bay Beach boat launch and make your way to the group of eight islands formed by a meteorite collision millions of years ago—the Slate Islands Provincial Park. Boaters across the country are attracted to the unique wilderness of the park, which sports the highest lighthouse on the Great Lakes standing 224 feet high, rendering spectacular views of the lake and surroundings from atop. It is home to one of the rarest woodland caribous, and they often greet visitors! Be sure to explore the islands of wonders for caribou watching, wildlife photography, and be sure to gear up for camping under the Milky Way. If you are lucky enough, you could even have the chance to experience the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
If you don’t have your own commute down to the Islands, be sure to check out Evan’s Fishing Edge to book a tour of the Slate Islands or for any fishing trips, tours, and lake adventure needs!
Feeling adventurous? Experience North offers outdoor sports supplies, clothing, and equipment rentals to indulge all your outdoor needs. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is there to guide anyone, from beginners to experts, and to help make the best of any chosen activity whether that be canoeing, kayaking, paddling, fishing, surfing, and so much more.
Feeling festive? Come for a tour in August and indulge yourself with festivals specific to Terrace Bay. Dragfest is an annual quarter-mile car racing event where racers, enthusiasts, and fans gather for various fast cars, races, delicious food, and fun. Extend your stay at Drifter’s Motel or the Red Dogg Inn to have a chance to attend a local favourite: the Lighthouse Festival! This festival is a FREE event for all, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. It hosts a street craft market, live music, children's inflatables, clowns, food and beer gardens, and more! Special events are full of opportunities to immerse yourself in the true spirit of the local community. You can see all of them at www.terracebay.ca/special-events.
Be sure to stop by the iconic 50-ft Terrace Bay Lighthouse, a replica of the lighthouse on the Slate Islands, which stands as a symbol of their long-lasting connection. The Terrace Bay Lighthouse is situated right in the centre of town at the entrance of the Simcoe Plaza, the business district. Take a tour up to the top of the lighthouse, which is equipped with a loonie-operated tourist telescope, to experience a one of a kind bird’s eye view of Terrace Bay and Lake Superior.
Explore downtown Terrace Bay; only a short walk away from the lighthouse is the Simcoe Plaza, our vibrant community hub that hosts many of our local businesses and restaurants. Near the beginning of the Plaza sits the Lighthouse Gallery, a treasure trove of local artwork that flows with a nautical sense and representation of Northwestern Ontario. The gallery is inspired by the Slate Islands and currently showcases more than eighteen artists from around the North shore of Lake Superior. There is always something unique and special to be found here that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Take a gift home to remember us and to share a piece of your adventure with others.
Township of Terrace Bay
Terrace Bay Municipal Office
1 Selkirk Avenue, P0T 2W0
Tel: +1 807-825-3315 | Website: www.terracebay.ca
Tourist Information Centre
Information & Circle Tour Stamp Location
1008A Highway 17, P0T 2W0
Tel: +1 800-968-8616 | Email: [email protected]
North of Superior Travel Association
425 Highway 11/17 Nipigon, ON, POT 2JO
Tel: +1 807- 887-3188 | Website: www.superiorcountry.ca
Casque Isles Hiking Club
Member of the Great Trail and the Voyageur Hiking Trail
Tel: +1 807-229-6454 | Email: [email protected]
This article first appeared in the Launch Issue (May/Jun) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.