During the summer months in Northern Ontario, anyone will tell you this is a place only described as a hiker’s paradise destination. The sun seems to shine a little brighter, the sky becomes a deeper blue, and the lake dances in the rays of the summer sun while our beloved towns hold a little something so magical that it draws residents and visitors alike into its captivating beauty.
The North Shore harbors the greatest of memories for anyone and everyone yearning for adventure only found within our magical trails. Spending even just one day in this hiker’s paradise will fuel your travel stories for a lifetime. Who would want to pass that up? So, here lies the information on where and how you can achieve the perfect day in one of the best hiker’s paradise locations to do so: Terrace Bay. Let’s get started!
Lunch on the Go
What better way to start a magnificent day exploring this hiker’s paradise and all of its mysteries than fueling up with a delicious lunch time snack. Here in Terrace bay, one of the best parts of this little town is the numerous food options they have. Whether you’re in the mood for Chinese take-out at Wah’s Restaurant, freshly baked goods from Mo & Jo’s Lighthouse Variety, or homemade Sushi to go from Boushie Sushi in the downtown square of Simcoe Plaza, Terrace Bay is the place to curb your appetite. Want a suggestion? No problem at all, in fact, I was just about to tell you about the Aguasabon Golf Course Clubhouse Restaurant that has a meal with a little bit of a surprise.
Aguasabon Golf Course Restaurant
The Clubhouse at the Aguasabon Golf Course not only has a delicious menu of classic burgers and fries, poutine, or any salad to your hearts delight, it is also located on the exact same road that takes you down to Terrace Bay’s famous and incredibly gorgeous beach. Just think: you can indulge in your delicious meal as you watch the skyline melt into mighty Lake Superior in the same colour of deep beautiful blue. You can listen to the calming sounds of waves crashing onto the shore while you breathe in the sap filled air escaping the trees that line the beach’s perimeter. You can set yourself up on a blanket in the soft sand, or there are plenty of picnic tables along the beach you can use!
That being said, if the clubhouse doesn’t have what you’re craving, don’t worry one bit. Every restaurant in Terrace Bay has a take-out option, some even have a perfect little lunch meal pre-made to grab on your way out to the beach for your peaceful picnic. For example, the Esso side of Drifters fine dining has wraps, sandwiches, freshly homemade butter tarts, or even yogurt with granola made from scratch by Sonia’s Sourdough Bakery for you to grab on the go. Now that you’ve eaten and are refreshed, it’s time to find your adventure in this hikers paradise!
Terrace Bay Hikes
Terrace Bay, known for being a home to the famous Casque Isle Trail has been fueling the hiker’s paradise reputation for as long as it’s been alive. The whole trail spans from Schreiber to Terrace Bay and is a total of 53 km (33 miles). It has some of the most breathtaking views of the spectacular rocky shores of Lake Superior you will ever see! This trail, I should mention, is classified as a difficult one. That being said, you can split it up into sections so that you can still set your eyes on the unforgettable sights only Lake Superior trails can offer you!
Each trail varies in length and difficulty, but don’t worry, if you’re unsure check out the Superior Country website for more details on each segment of the trail. And remember, people of all skills are welcome! Sections of the Casque Isle Trail include:
- McLean’s — 14 km (8.70 miles)
- Schreiber Channel — 13 km (8.07 miles)
- Mount Gwynne — 7 km (4.35 miles)
- Death Valley — 10 km (6.21 miles)
- Lyda Bay — 6 km (3.73 miles)
- Hydro Bay Walk Around — 3 km (1.86 miles)
An entrance to the Casque Isle Trail is right at Terrace Bay Beach, just make sure you are looking on a map to see which sections of the trail and the views you want to see are closest to you! If you would like a short trail with a phenomenal lookout that is right at your fingertips, however, don’t worry. This hiker’s paradise has so many trails to offer of all skill levels, and I have got the perfect suggestion.
The Red Chair Trail is one that takes you on an excursion through the northern woods plucked right out of a fairytale, with an ending that will take your breath away. Located on the far left side of Terrace Bay Beach’s boardwalk, the entrance will draw you in as tree branches reach out to you in welcome. You will climb over the dark gray, jagged rocks and ancient tree roots poking out beneath the deep rich northern soil. The trees, which will continue to use their branches to guide your way, will also fill the air with their sweet smelling sap, and enchant your eyes with bright green leaves dripping in sunlight.
As you come up to the view, you will be embraced by the cool rush of wind that dances atop this awe-inspiring polar Lake. You will stand on the heights of the great rock formations that have accompanied the shore line for thousands of years, and look out into a horizon that goes far beyond the eye can see. While you’re there, take a seat on the Parks Canada’s red chairs to snap a great picture for the perfect Instagram shot! This sight is one you will only find in a northern Ontario hiker’s paradise.
Whatever trail you decide to go on, trust me when I say you will experience an adventure and a view unlike any other! Your journey through the northern woods awaits!
Dinner, Dessert, and an Ice Cold Brew!
After a day of daring this hiker’s paradise, the perfect thing to end your day is with a delicious meal. Well for that, I would suggest none other than Drifters Restaurant. Located on the left side of Simcoe Plaza, this fully loaded menu of pasta, steak and potatoes, and garlic bread to your heart’s desire is made full of love like it’s cooked from home. Not to mention, it’s also a great place to rest your head for the night, as its motel is located right above. This restaurant and motel have incredible hospitality that embraces you with kindness only found in a town that treats everyone like family. It is definitely a place guaranteed to make you, and your full stomach, smile!
Craving dessert after your wonderful meal at Drifters? Well, just a short walk up the town square you will find yourself at The Visitors Room, where you have your choice of any Chapman’s ice cream that will suit your fancy. You can bring your cone (or bowl!) on a walk through the town square to take in the evening’s refreshing breeze, and to top it all off, you won’t want to miss the view from the town’s famous lighthouse right in the center of the town square. Enjoy your ice cream with a view of Lake Superior as the sun set drapes over it in the prettiest shade of pink and paints the sky in on-coming twilight.
If you’re down for an ice cold drink to kick back and relax before turning it in for the night, going to Slate Island’s Brewery is the place locals and visitors alike come to for that welcoming small town charm only found in a neighborhood bar. You can enjoy the unique beers that Slate Island Brewery is famous for, as they use water straight from Lake Superior herself, and ingredients locals donate right from their backyards! Come and meet the lovely locals over a friendly game of darts as you hear the stories that keep these towns alive. I would highly recommend chatting with the amazing owner to learn more about his flavours that I can assure you won’t find anywhere else!
Ready for Your Adventure?
If you love hiking, delicious food, and a place to fuel your curiosity Terrace Bay is the place for you to stay and play. This hiker’s paradise has so much to offer you between its stunning views and incredible hospitality, it is a sure place that will keep you wanting more!