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Pancake Bay

N 46°58'05" W 084°41'11"

46.968056, -84.686389

For 2021 the provincial parks were all free during the week for day use, so of course I took advantage during my wanderings between campsites. More so than other years, I actually dropped in to this one park three times this summer. The price was right. Last fall the maples were electric they were so red and the birches a peach yellow. A delicious and fiery palette of colours, so if you’re looking for an autumn destination make this it. The name Pancake Bay is supposedly derived from old stories of the voyageurs preparing batches of galettes (a fried bread similar to pancakes) from their remaining flour and salt provisions. As they wrapped up their journeys along the historic route, the sandy beach in the sheltered bay would be a welcome sight. Camping wasn't free but the day use is definitely worth taking advantage of. Another Provincial park located just around the corner, past the point from Batchawana Bay and just adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway. Established in 1968, it’s just a continuation of the same soft sand and the always clear blue waters of Lake Superior are a little warmer in its shallow bay. A little bit warmer is still freezing, trust me, it’s always invigorating. There are three hundred and thirty-eight camp sites for the less adventurous readers to let and despite Ontario Parks rating it as being one of the busiest provincial parks in the district, the beach has never been crowded that I’ve seen. A beautiful spot to visit and spend hours contemplating life and beauty or just great place to pause at for a few minutes and rejuvenate your soul. three kilometers of white sand reminiscent of a tropical beach are in the park boundaries (the whole beach is five and a half kilometers) and two hiking trails measuring fourteen kilometers are part of the appeal of this provincial park. The Nature Trail and the Lookout Trail. This part of Lake Superior is known as the Graveyard of the Great Lakes where thousands of boats including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm. You probably learned about it in school and heard the Gordon Lightfoot song in your class room (and read about it on every web page that referenced pancake bay). The hiking trail includes two lookout platforms including the actual Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout offering amazing views of the Lake and Pancake Bay as well as the inland lakes and Pancake River Falls. There’s a gift shop/gas station/tourist trap across from the park. You can grab booze or ice cream there depending on who you are and what you’re about. It’s also your last chance to gas up until you reach Wawa driving through Lake Superior Provincial Park. The Cell tower built right in the park pretty much guarantees service to share pictures of your visit with your thousands of followers. Most of the bears I’ve crossed paths with during my travels were around this neighbourhood, so heads up.

pancake bay. calm smooth water
the curve of the shore where sand meets water with trees in the backround
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© sleeping under the stars 2021

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