Superior Picnic Adventures

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June 28th, 2021

There was a gorgeous breeze on a particularly splendid overcast day. It was warm, and I could feel the new summer sun relentlessly pushing past the cloud cover. I was sitting at the Bridgeview Lookout, just on top of railway street in my hometown of Nipigon, Ontario.  My Ducky’s Diner takeout was patiently sitting on the picnic table in front of me. Usually, I would be immersed in my beautiful surroundings looking out into Lake Superior’s Nipigon Bay, but today I was completely distracted by the aroma coming from my takeout container! I was embarking on my first Superior Picnic Adventure and anticipating the mouthwatering feast that I had been longing for ever since I saw the picnic special posted on Ducky’s Facebook page. I knew that inside was resting a Zechner’s store made honey garlic sausage covered in crispy onions, Dijon, sitting in a buttermilk bun and snuggled next to freshly made kettle cooked chips. If that wasn’t enough to get me excited, I was going to wash it all down with a cup of freshly made blueberry lemonade.

The anticipation was killing me, so I dove in! The first bite was incredible. I got a bit of every flavor and it was out of this world. You can really taste the passion in the food coming from Ducky’s Diner in Nipigon, chef Cory does an incredible job and puts his heart into his food. The combination of locally made sausage and homemade chips, swig of deliciously flavorful blueberry awesomeness was impeccable.  To top it all off, a view of Lake Superior! It doesn’t get much better than that.

I tried my best to savor every bite at the lookout. I wanted to make this delicious experience last forever, but it was a serious challenge not to devour this tasty treat. I am positive that the traffic going by (or perhaps even boaters on Nipigon River) could hear me. I let out some pretty loud, satisfied “MMMMMM’s” and “NOM NOM NOM’s”. I exclaimed to myself “HOLY MOLY, THIS IS DELICIOUS” loud enough to scare away the seagull’s enjoying the view.

After I finished eating I took a moment to really appreciate my surroundings and climbed up to the Bridgeview Lookout Tower right beside my picnic table. The view from the top of the staircase is breath taking. Looking to the left, you can see Lake Helen and the beautiful structure of the Nipigon Bridge. Looking out the front, you can see the end of the Nipigon River as it expands into Nipigon Bay, the marina and all the way to Red Rock. It really is an incredible perspective and worth stopping if you are ever travelling through.

With a full belly, happy heart and lots of energy, I decided to embark on one of the recommended hikes from the Superior Picnic Adventures. I drove down to the marina to set out on the Nipigon River Recreational Trail.  Now that I was in the picnic mood, I noticed that the marina its self is full of amazing spots to relax and have a meal. I made a mental note to ensure that I return to the marina for another one of Ducky’s sausages or to try another picnic special from one of the other amazing restaurants in Nipigon.

I parked and made my way to the trailhead with the plan to do a 4 km up and back to the Rotary Club Lookout. In early summer, the forest in Northwestern Ontario is so green and lush.  As you start out on the Nipigon River Trail, the beauty of the boreal forest welcomes you with open arms and encloses you into a fragrant, magnificent world of greenery and life. The trail gently meanders through a well-kept and marked trail following the shore of Lake Superior.

You encounter countless squirrels, chipmunks, chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches and other wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the many feeders along the trail and see how many you can spot.  There are also a few opportunities to overlook the lake where there is ample opportunity to see Canada geese, eagles, blue herons, pelicans and maybe even a moose.

About 2 km in, I reached my destination.  It is one of my favourite spots on this trail, the causeway and the Rotary Lookout. It is the perfect spot to take a rest, grab a drink of water and take in the beautiful surroundings of the great lake. You can see the town of Nipigon, the bridge and where Nipigon river opens into Nipigon Bay. Across from the lookout are beautiful palisades and the iconic Doghead Mountain. I sat here for a few moments and reflected on how enjoyable this adventure had been. I then made a promise to myself that I was going to try out more of these amazing picnic spots, adventures and delicious treats in Superior Country!

Dining al fresco in beautiful places has a completely different feel and for some reason, food always tastes better outside (especially if it is locally sourced and freshly made by our talented restaurants on the North shore). Our region is the perfect place to picnic with easily accessible locations and amazing views! I had such a great time that I am going to set out to try as many Superior Picnic Adventures as I can. The itineraries are so much fun, and this is a great way to try new treats from new places. There is even a contest where you can enter to win one of three Lake Superior charcuterie boards and it is so easy to enter. I posted the pics of my adventure, chowing down on my delicious treats and tagged #SuperiorPicnic and that was it!  Get outside and enjoy all the incredible things that this region has to offer and have your own Superior Picnic Adventure.