Superior Country is not only big in size, but also big in surprises. This region in northwestern Ontario is bordered by Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. It is known for its natural beauty, outdoor adventure, fishing, hunting, and friendly communities. But did you know that Superior Country also has some of the biggest things you’ve ever seen?
Here are 10 of Superior Country’s biggest!
The Slate Islands are a group of islands in Lake Superior that are part of the Slate Islands Provincial Park. They are known for their geological features, such as shatter cones and ring dykes, that were formed by a meteorite impact about 450 million years ago. They are also home to a herd of woodland caribou, which are rare and endangered in the region. You can boat or paddle to the islands from Terrace Bay or Rossport and explore the islands by hiking, camping, fishing, or wildlife viewing. You can also see the original lighthouse on Patterson Island, which is the highest lighthouse above sea level on the Great Lakes at 224 m.
The town of Beardmore is famous for having the world’s largest snowman statue. The snowman is 35 feet tall and weighs over 13 tonnes. It was built in 1960 as a winter attraction and has become a landmark of Beardmore ever since. You can see the snowman year-round on Highway 11 near Beardmore.
Amethyst Mine Panorama is a mine near Thunder Bay that produces high-quality amethysts, which are purple quartz crystals that are used for jewelry and decoration. The mine was discovered in 1949 by a road crew that were blasting rocks. The mine has an area of about 80 hectares and contains millions of amethysts of various shapes and sizes. You can visit the mine and dig for your own amethysts or buy them from the gift shop.
The Eagle Canyon Suspension Foot Bridge is the longest foot suspension bridge in Canada, and one of the most thrilling attractions in Superior Country. The bridge is 183 m long and 60 m high, and spans across the Eagle Canyon, a 152 m deep gorge carved by glacial meltwater. The bridge offers a spectacular view of the canyon and its surroundings. You can walk across the bridge and feel the wind and the sway of the bridge.
Another BIG attraction at Eagle Canyon is the Eagle Canyon Zip Line. It is the longest zip line in Canada at 548 m long and reaches speeds of up to 72 km/h. It flies over the 152 m deep Eagle Canyon. The zip line offers a thrilling view of the canyon and its surroundings, as well as a sense of adventure and adrenaline. You can ride the zip line and feel the rush and the breeze of the zip line.
Kakabeka Falls is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge. The falls have a drop of 40 m, cascading into a gorge carved out of the Precambrian Shield by meltwater following the last glacial maximum. Because of its size and ease of access, it has been consequently nicknamed “the Niagara of the North”. The rock face of the falls and the escarpments along the gorge are composed primarily of unstable shale, and are eroding. These rocks host sensitive flora, and contain some of the oldest fossils in existence, some 1.6 billion years of age.
The world record brook trout was caught by Dr. JW Cook in 1915 in the Nipigon River. The brook trout weighed 14.5 pounds and was 31.5 inches long. It was certified by the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology as a pure bred brook trout. A replica of this record breaking brook trout is on display at the Nipigon Historical Museum. The record still stands today, after more than a century.
The Sleeping Giant is a massive formation of mesas and sills that resembles a giant lying on its back on the shore of Lake Superior. It is part of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, which offers over 100 km of hiking trails with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding forest. You can choose from easy, moderate, or difficult trails, depending on your skill level and how much time you have. One of the most popular trails is the Top of the Giant Trail, which takes you 750 feet above Lake Superior. From there, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the lake and the islands.
Lake Nipigon is the largest lake entirely within the boundaries of Ontario, with a surface area of 4,848 square km. It is also the largest tributary of Lake Superior, contributing about 25% of its water inflow. Lake Nipigon has a unique shape, with several large islands and peninsulas that divide it into five basins. The lake is known for its clear water, diverse wildlife, and scenic beauty. You can visit Lake Nipigon by driving along Highway 11 or Highway 17, or by taking a boat or a plane from nearby towns. You can also enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, and boating on the lake.
Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area holding 10% of the world’s surface fresh water. It has a surface area of 82,170 square km, which is larger than the combined areas of Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. It also has a volume of 12,100 cubic km, which is enough to cover the entire land area of North and South America with 30 cm of water. Lake Superior is shared by Ontario and the U.S. states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It has over 400 islands, the largest of which is Isle Royale in Michigan which can be seen from the shores of Thunder Bay.