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'