Superior Country is full of beautiful, quaint communities. Peaceful places and hidden gems that are waiting to be visited and enjoyed. One of these incredible places is Red Rock. A little off the beaten path, Red Rock is located 8 km off the Trans-Canada highway 11/17. It is a picturesque and charming town, with a rich history and the friendliest people you will ever meet. However, don’t let this little community, fool you, there is a lot to explore and big adventures to behold!
The perfect day trip in Red Rock should start with a hot coffee and beautiful stroll at sunrise at the marina. Whether you decide to stay at the historic treasure, the Red Rock Inn, or come in for the day, this is one of the most incredible places to watch the sun come up over Lake Superior any time of year.
You can meander along the shoreline and take in the beautiful landscape as the sky transforms. Bright pinks and oranges build from the horizon as the world wakes up. You are likely to come across geese, eagles, chickadees, otters, and blue heron. Make sure you bring your camera, as it is one of the most photogenic places in Northwestern Ontario. The marina and waterfront are incredibly beautiful. There are walking trails, a board walk, ample seating and picnic tables. All of which make the marina area an accessible place to explore or come and enjoy a restful road trip break.
In summer months, you can visit the interpretive center and check out the interactive displays or cool off at the splash pad. If you are here the second weekend of August, you can even enjoy Live from The Rock Folk Festival! Here you can camp out for the weekend and participate in this annual music and arts festival. This is a fantastic gathering. The vibes are chill, you can connect with amazing people, participate in interactive workshops and check out delicious food vendors.
Red Rock is also the perfect location to set off from and explore the Nipigon River or Lake Superior. You can launch a power boat, sail craft or kayak at the fully serviced marina. There are docking options and fuel, making it a convenient and beautiful spot for boaters. The fishing close to Red Rock is incredible, so you don’t have to sail far to have access to word class angling.
You can paddle across from the marina and check out the beautiful palisades and find the pictographs featuring Maymaygwayshi, an Indigenous water spirit. The pictographs are only accessible by water. They are a wondrous attraction to remind us of the powerful impact of the First Peoples of Canada.
You can also paddle around the islands in the Nipigon Bay and explore the epic Lake Superior in more protected waters. The turquoise water here is glorious! The islands are full of interesting features that draw you into the immense beauty of the region. Keep your eyes peeled, as you might see a majestic moose.
Red Rock also has some incredible hiking trails. You can get a beautiful view from the iconic mountain that watches over the sleepy town. The Red Rock Mountain trail can be accessed from highway 11/17 by turning off onto highway 628 and following the blue signage at Red Rock Road No 1. The trail will lead you along the foot of the mountain and up a switch back trail to several breathtaking lookout points and three viewing platforms. The trail is well marked and features the most beautiful elements of the outdoors in Northwestern Ontario.
Another wonderful hike you can access from Red Rock is the Nipigon River Recreation trail. The trail head is on the left side of the road just before the community. This beautiful hike is 10 km one way and ends at the Nipigon Marina. It offers adventurers panoramic views of the Nipigon River and Nipigon Bay with glorious lookouts and viewing platforms. This trail system is also home to the Hike for Health, which is an annual charity event the last Saturday of September. This is a great time to explore the trail. Meet up with fellow hikers and donate funds back into the community to support local health and wellness initiatives.
If you are not keen on a 10 km adventure, a great alternative is the short and steady incline up to Lloyds Lookout. It takes about 20 minutes to get up to this incredible lookout from the Red Rock trail head. Your reward is an incredible view of the town and Nipigon Bay. There is a fire pit, picnic tables and viewing platform. You can head a little further along the trail and find the Parks Canada Red Chairs. If you are planning to explore this section of the trail, be sure to bring a handful of sunflower seeds. The Chickadees are friendly and are happy to enjoy a snack right out of your hand.
If you are hungry at the end of your day touring, adventuring or fishing, you can stop in at the Red Pebbles restaurant. It is located inside of the Red Rock Recreation Centre. It is licensed, so you can also enjoy a cold beverage. Highly recommend is the buffalo chicken pizza or the Red Pebbles breakfast (be sure to get fried bologna and perogies instead of home fries, it is perfection!).
So, whether you are looking for an epic adventure, the perfect launching place for a fishing trip, a place to photograph the immense beauty of Superior Country, or a relaxing break from a road trip, Red Rock is the perfect place to visit!