The Northern Ontario highway 17 is home to many picturesque views and one-of-a- kind experiences that make the perfect getaway. There are even some hidden gems that you might not know about. Now, you’re probably thinking, “What?! Northern Ontario is so beautiful I can’t miss anything that could add to my love for the area”, well, fear no more, I am about to share with you one of my favourite places that’s just out of eye-sight right off of the highway and could be missed if you turn away for just a moment: this little hidden gem is known as Rossport, Ontario.
Okay, so, if you have left to do a quick google search of this new mysterious place that I have revealed to you, don’t let the 65 people in population fool you into thinking it’s much “too small” to be of any interest. I promise, if you give it a chance it will not let you down. In fact, I think it just might take your breath away. I used to spend so many of my summers here and I still try to go as often as I can. So what better person to tell you about this hidden treasure other than me?
Why Should You Visit?
You might be thinking “what makes this place so special?” And that, my friend, is a great question! Along with every other town on the North shore, it has dazzling views of Lake Superior and the surrounding greenery of the great Canadian Shield. However, it also has cool little shops and beaches distinctive to Rossport and Rossport only!
Up on Nicol island, located just off of the one main street, there is an enchanting little shop called Island Pottery. Owned and run by a local artist who grew up in Thunder Bay he molds, paints, and crafts all of the products himself. The artwork and craftsmanship is absolutely stunning as it reflects the nature and wildlife that is living and breathing all around us. I have come here many times over the years, and have NEVER left empty-handed or disappointed. I very highly recommend checking this place out and hopefully picking yourself up an Island treasure or two! For more information, check out the website here .
Serendipity Gardens Cafe and Guest house is the perfect place to both relax and grab a delicious meal. The café offers a variety of delicious food that you can enjoy with a view! The café also hangs artwork in support of local artists in which you can admire and adore (I know I sure do). Do I sometimes take a trip to just solely eat dessert while looking out onto the beautiful blue, glistening, stunning lake that lies before me as if my life is a movie? Well, yes, yes I do and I can honestly say, I’m never disappointed.
The guest house is a beautifully handcrafted building with incredible woodwork that provides a cozy atmosphere, perfect for getting a refreshing rest so that you can continue on your happy travels. Consider stopping here next time you’re passing through! Imagine the regret you’ll have for not stopping here. As a result, you’ll have a sore back for the next however many hours you’ll be stuck in your car, when you could be exploring this tranquil and beautiful place. Just a thought, definitely worth thinking about if you ask me. For more information, check out their website here.
The Willows Bed and Breakfast
If rooms with a view and one of the best breakfasts you could ever ask for is more your preferred choice for a night’s accommodation, well, The Willows Bed and Breakfast is THE PLACE for you. Directly across from the marina dock overlooking the bay, the Willows Bed and Breakfast is a nook of beauty, comfort and serenity for a perfect night’s rest. Plus, who doesn’t love feeling like they’re lodging in a fairy tale? Does it get any better than that? For more information, check out their website here.
“The Shed” Antique Shop
Not a lot of people know about this one, but there is a tiny antique shop right downtown and if you blink, you might just miss it! True to its name, the unique historical artifacts are hung up in a tiny shed and it is a real blast from the past! The precious artifacts you can find include old pop bottles, vintage hockey skates, and… Well, I won’t give too much away, you’ll have to make a visit for yourself to find out the rest!
Not only is this an antique shop, but the owner also sells handmade jewelry and homemade jams that you will want to continue going back for time and time again (my family does!). This little shop filled with all kinds of treasure is a must visit! Oh, and make sure to sign their guest book so that you can be a part of the history too!
Down by the Water
Now, you can’t have a town by the water and not have a great beach. Although the water can get a bit high during the spring and early summer months, the water stays fairly shallow and goes pretty far off from shore. This is a perfect spot to dip your feet in to feel the cool chill of Lake Superior refresh your soul. It’s also a great spot to swim for you and the family… that is, if you can brave the cold water, of course!
One of my all-time favorite things about Rossport are the super cool, very unique, rock formations that lay along the water’s edge. They are smooth to the touch with glorious colors that shimmer and shine in the bright summer sun; a perfect pair with sparkling water and the soft sound of the gentle waves up against the rocky shores. I love to come here and hop along the trail of rocks while also laying on top of the soft surface to soak in the warm sunny rays.
Not only can you swim, bask in the glowing sun, and bear witness to the unforgettable views, it’s also a great place to fish and kayak! You will see many people with their fishing lines hanging in the water, and boy, do the fish put up an epic fight! Alongside the ambitious fishers, there are also lots of kayakers who love to wrestle with the great lake’s strong current. And, if you catch the lake on a calm day or evening, you can glide along the pure reflective surface effortlessly, while taking in the unbelievable sight of watching nature make its own art. The different shades of green from the strong boreal forest will paint the calm surface of the water beneath you, where you too will become part of this natural artistry. I know, sounds amazing right? If you don’t travel with a kayak but are wanting to try it out, don’t fret, Rossport’s got your back with its very own kayak rental business called Superior Outfitters and Such A Nice Day Adventures. Check out the website here.
Time to Make Some Memories
Even after all of the amazing places I just described, I haven’t even covered all that Rossport has to offer! This town is a little thing I like to call ‘fun-sized’, it may be small, but the possibilities of fun are endless! Well, I hope I’ve at least shared enough to convince you to visit this wonderful place that I am lucky enough to consider as part of my home. Even though I live in a town over, this place truly makes you feel like you have been living there for years. I have had the immense pleasure of being able to spend my summers there for weeks on end when I was younger. The memories I have in this humble little town with my friends and family will be cherished forever. I trust by now you’re thinking “she’s right, I should visit this amazing place because it will add pizzazz to my wonderful vacation in Superior Country”. Okay, maybe pizzazz isn’t the right word, but you get what I mean. I wish for you the best vacation you and your family could ever ask for. Relax and enjoy the ride.