Baldhead Beach

Lake Superior Provincial Park -- Orphan Lake Trail, ON (2-8-10)

The Orphan Lake Trail is a 4.5 mile loop through some of the prettiest terrain in Lake Superior Provincial Park. The path leaves the Trans-Canada in the south end of the park. It climbs to a beautiful overlook of its namesake lake, which is landlocked some 400 feet above Lake Superior. From the overlook it follows Orphan Lake for a bit, crosses a burned area from the 1990's which offers beautiful views, and then makes the steep descent to the lakeshore. After a brief time along Superior the trail turns back inland past what, in warmer seasons, is a series of nice cascades and then makes the STEEP climb back to Orphan Lake past some impressive cliffs.

After a two year absence from Lake Superior Provincial Park my calendar and clear skies finally aligned and I was blessed to a truly amazing day on the trail. This hike is sure to be one of my most memorable from winter '09/10...


Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  47.490125, -84.810591


Route Type:  Lollipop                   Difficulty:  HARD

Hike Length: 4.5 miles                  Hike Duration: 3:00

Trailhead Temp: 24'F                    Trail Traffic:  None!

Min. Elevation: 600'                       Max. Elevation: 1,020'

Total Vertical Gain: 800'               Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile:  178'

  • Ryan

    on July 11, 2013

    Thanks for these pictures. I am a Michigan native that has already looked through all of your Michigan photos, and have never been to this side of Superior. Just an amazing trail.

  • steve

    on June 26, 2011

    Thanks for the views of the park in winter. FYI, the '98 fire was caused by fishermen, smoking probably. I think it happened in May and was quickly doused by water tanker. I find burns interesting to observe over time as the plant and animal communities change. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Pam and Steve

    on May 29, 2010

    Thank you so much for this winter travelogue of one our favorite Lake Superior Provincial Park hikes in the summer. We visit The Park every summer (from Indiana), and have often wondered what winter is like there. We are planning to hike a ways Norrth of the beach on the Coastal Trail just as you did. Thanks for the preview! You're right, the cascades that you got to walk on are very nice from the trail in the summer, but with all the leaves, there are just a few overlooks of them, but you still hear them very well. On the bridge across the river, we were forced off the trail by a red squirrel with a face full of baby pine cones who stood his ground on the bridge. :) We have been talking about our upcoming July trip to Agawa Bay a lot lately, and as we were googling around, found your photos. Thanks again for making our day! Pam and Steve

  • Dave--Kathy

    on February 20, 2010

    Wow!!!! Thanks for letting us 'hike along with you'! What a place to explore!