Batchawana Mountain is, depending on your source, the 3rd, 4th, or 16th highest peak in Ontario. Taken from the Ojibwe word Badjiwanung meaning “water that bubbles up,” Batchawana is fairly unremarkable compared to the uncounted thousands of low, rocky peaks that make up the highlands of Algoma with two important exceptions. First is the peak’s relative proximity to an access road and second, perhaps more importantly, is the fact that it boasts a partially open summit. This provides Batchawana with outstanding views to the north, south, and west.
Batchawana Mountain rises from the north shore of Batchawana Bay about 45 minutes north of Sault Ste. Marie. The mountain is covered in forest dominated by northern hardwoods which, at this latitude, are beginning to give way to the great boreal woodlands of the north. The Sugar Maple is king of the forest here with a mix of conifers, yellow birch, and ash filling in where it is absent. The vegetation is also very thick. Hiking to the summit of Batchawana requires bushwhacking through thick stands of raspberry and other low shrubs which can be disorienting as well as frustrating. What, to me, makes Batchawana so unique is the thick mat of Juniper that clings to the steep western side of the summit. Likely the result of an ancient blow down, the tenacious junipers cling tightly together against the chilly winds off nearby Lake Superior. It really is a remarkable place…
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 47.057951, -84.417552
Route Type: Out-and-back Difficulty: EXTREME (due to ill-defined route & summit bushwhack)
Hike Length: 3.0 miles Hike Duration: 1:45
Trailhead Temp: 56'F Trail Traffic: None!
Min. Elevation: 1,200' Max. Elevation: 2,142'
Total Vertical Gain: 950' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 317'