Lake Superior


Hiking the Hidden Gem of Lake Superior Provincial Park – Noisy Bay Trail

This beautiful, rocky trail is often overlooked in Lake Superior Provincial Park as it sits at the top of the provincial park but is well worth the drive. This 4km hike that leads you to Noisy Bay takes you through beautiful forest paths and ends at a greenstone beach made up of rocks that are estimated to be 2.7 billion years ago. You are likely to be the only ones on the trails as it not in the main stretch of the park and does not even have a write up in the Lake Superior Provincial Park hiking section of the book. It is just a small square on the map of the park and it wasn’t until we inquired about the hike did we find out more.

How to Get to the Noisy Bay Trailhead:

If you are coming from the south of Lake Superior Provincial Park head north on the Trans-Canada Highway about 69km to the Fenton Lake Parking Lot. There are signs for a boat launch area on your right hand side of the highway. Pull into the parking lot and park your car there. Make sure you have stopped in at either the visitors centres at Agawa Bay or Rabbit Blanket to get your parks pass for either the day or overnight camping passes before you start off on your hike to avoid getting a ticket. From the parking lot you will head back out and cross the TransCanada Highway. From the driveway of the parking lot you should see a sign for a hike across the road. Head towards the sign and this is the trail head to the Noisy Bay Trailhead.

The Noisy Bay Hike:

The hike is relatively easy it is 2km each way on a well trodden path out to the beach. You are largely in the forest for the entire time so I recommend you wear a heavy layer of bug spray as the mosquitos were really bad the entire hike. The path was not difficult just a fair among of roots and some rocky areas so good hiking shoes are recommended. Once you make it out to the beach make sure to stay a while and the beautiful views and likely compete serenity of being on your own. We stayed to watch the sunset and were able to make it back to the parking lot just as it was getting dark.

The Noisy Bay Hike was probably one of our favourite hikes to do in Lake Superior Provincial Park. It happened to be the only hike we were the only hikers on the entire time, it was not too challenging and offered stunning views of Lake Superior. The hike only took us about 40 minutes each way and is dog friendly.

The Noisy Bay Hike was probably one of our favourite hikes to do in Lake Superior Provincial Park. It happened to be the only hike we were the only hikers on the entire time, it was not too challenging and offered stunning views of Lake Superior. The hike only took us about 40 minutes each way and is dog friendly.

Getting to Bathtub Island in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Bathtub Island has become a hotspot in Northern Ontario lately so much so that there are lines of cars parked along the street near Katherine Cove to check out this incredible place. Bathtub Island is a bucket list worthy adventure while visiting Lake Superior Provincial Park but there is no map on how to get here. This secret gem of Lake Superior Provincial Park is not marked on any of the Ontario Parks maps but any of the park staff will be happy to tell you how to get there. After driving past the long line of cars mutiple time during the late morning throughout the entire day and never able to get a parking spot we decided we would go for just after sunrise in hops of having no one else exploring Bathtub Island.

Getting to Bathtub Island

If you are travelling north on Highway 17 you will enter Lake Superior Provincial Park. Make sure to stop in at the visitors centre at Agawa Bay to pick up your day pass if you are passing through or your camping pass so you have a valid park permit – otherwise you will get a ticket! While visiting the visitors centre makes sure to grab a map of Lake Superior Provincial Park so you can see where all the other great hikes are! Head north again towards Katherine Cove where you will want to park in the parking lot if there is room. If there is no room in Katherine Cove is full you can also park in the Sand River parking lot. You will often see cars parking along the shoulder of Highway 17 between Katherine Cove and the entrance to Bathtub Island but OPP often patrol this area and will give a ticket so we suggest not doing this!

Once you have found a parking spot if you are coming from Katherine Cove you will want to walk back out the parking lot entrance where you will find yourself at Highway 17. Make a right turn and walk along the shoulder of the highway until you can make it down the hill into the sandy area. You will pass another open area that has a beautiful beach where you can swim, keep walking past this area and follow the cowpath that leads towards the thick forest. There are a few areas that look like you could enter into the forest and head back towards the water but the actual entrance is a few minute walk past the second cove you just passed and once you get on the trail there is an official parks sign as seen in the photo below.

Head along the path until you reach the beautiful sandy beach where you will see Bathtub Island off to your left.

Now that you have arrived at the beach we headed down the sandy shoreline until we were almost directly in front of the beach. We headed out into the water and never went more than just above knee deep as we cross over to Bathtub Island. Keno was able to walk almost most of the way with a short swim to the island!

Once we were on the island we were so fortunate to spend almost an hour here before anyone else join us on the beach. Bathtub Island was not as warm as your typical bath but it certainly far warmer than Lake Superior! All three of us really enjoyed our time sitting on this beautiful island looking around at all the beauty Lake Superior has to offer.

A few things to note when visiting Bathtub Island is the dunes you cross are incredibly fragile – tread lightly and only on the path worn to the beach.  There is also no garbage bins or toilets on the bath to the beach or at the beach. Make sure to pack out all the garbage you bring with you

To see all our photos from our time on Bathtub Island make sure to check out our post here!

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