Whether you are new to RVing or a long-timer, we agree that it's all about the destination. With the promise of rugged Lake Superior shores, hidden waterfalls, white sand beaches, and welcoming campgrounds, Ontario's Algoma region is a must on any RVing bucket list. With a week at our disposal, and the RV idling in the driveway, we set our sights on the world's largest freshwater lake and hit play.
Day One - let's roll. In an RV, getting here is half the fun. With the comforts of home in tow there is no need to rush as we cruised north along the Trans-Canada Highway. Destination - Lake Huron North Chanel.
Serpent River Campground offers pull-through sites, an on-site general store, and an inviting in-ground pool that’s perfect for a couple days of R&R. With the self-leveling Coachmen Leprechaun class C, getting setup is as easy as pushing a few buttons for the slide-outs and the awning. Next we set up the chairs by the fire-pit. Sounds of laughter and the clink of a game of horseshoes filled the air as the day faded to darkness.
Day Two - our goal, as the crow flies, is just a few kilometers down the road. But, when RV touring the best way to get from here to there never follows the path of least resistance. Algoma's popular Deer Trail touring loop took us north to Elliot Lake. We stopped at Miners' Memorial Park, a picturesque setting on the shores of Horne Lake dedicated to the area's heritage and history of uranium mining. We drove up to the Fire Tower Lookout and took in the grand view, then followed Highway 546 along the Little White River before setting up just in time for the sunset at McAlpine Beach Campground on the shore of Bright Lake.
Day Three - Highway 129 snaked its way north from Thessalon to Chapleau for 200 kilometers along the Mississagi River. The drive and scenery are exhilarating. Around the halfway point, keep an eye out for the inconspicuous sign and entry to Aubrey Falls, perhaps the most spectacular waterfall in Algoma. The access road is narrow but the parking area is sizeable, offering plenty of room to turn around. A short hike will get you to a bridge offering an impressive view of the gorge and falls. In Chapleau, be sure to stop by Engine 5433 and get a glimpse into the community's railway heritage. This is also the location for the area's tourism information office if you need any assistance.
Located 25 km north of the town of Chapleau along a gravel road, Racine Lake Campground offers a chance to park your home away from home beneath the pines on the sandy shores of the lake. Primarily a seasonal campground, overnight sites are limited and reservations are necessary. Here the primary entertainment is sunrise, sunset, and star-filled skies.
Day Four - the Wawa RV Resort, a perfect base camp to explore the area with pull-through sites, a swimming pool, laundry, and showers, assures a comfortable stay. But first, we stopped in at Wawa's waterfront to enjoy the spectacular beach and the view to match. More to explore nearby - a selfie with the Wawa Goose and ice cream at Young's General Store. Sandy Beach might be the most stunning shoreline along Lake Superior, and the cascading waters of High Falls are well worth venturing down the gravel road. If you are interested in paddle sports, Naturally Superior Adventures will be happy to make it happen.
Day Five - Hearst. Animal statues were the theme of the day. A photo-op with Winnie-the-Pooh in White River, the three bear statues in Hornepayne, and wolves and moose in Hearst along Highway 631 provided driving entertainment while winding through a breathtaking landscape. The out-of-the-way Ontario Provincial Park Ngagamisis offers a chance to stop for a swim and a picnic. In Hearst, you can learn about the area's lumberjacking history at the Heritage Sawmill Museum and visit the Rheault Distillery to taste some local spirits. The family-run Veillieux Marina and Campground was our home for the night, and we ended the day with another stunning sunset.
Day Six - we retraced our steps back to Wawa, then followed the Trans-Canada Highway south along the edge of Lake Superior, in what many consider the best drive in Ontario. We partook in the spoils of Lake Superior Provincial Park, where beaches, hikes along rushing rivers, and scenic lookouts are all part of the experience. We made a shopping stop at Agawa Crafts to browse Canadian native crafts, furs, moccasins, pottery, and jewelry. A famous (and delicious) apple fritter at the Voyageurs' Lodge & Cookhouse is a must-do, followed by some beach R&R at Batchavana Bay Provincial Park to round out a busy day. The evening’s campfire was enjoyed at Glenview Cottages and Campground at the edge of Sault Ste. Marie.
Day Seven, - homebound. Tell me it isn't true, but all good things must end. We followed the Lake Huron North Chanel, and despite retracing our route we still managed to discover new highlights along the way. There is the Group of Seven interpretive panel in Bruce Mines, marking the spot where Tom Thomson painted the town's waterfront. The charming Main Street in Blind River, where we searched for gifts and lunch, and the long climb up the stairs at the Spanish Municipal Marina was spectacular and, unfortunately, our last view of the Lake Huron North Chanel.
Yes, RVing is all about the destination, and with welcoming campgrounds, parks, beaches, waterfalls, lakes, and more. So much more. Algoma is definitely bucket-list worthy.