Thunder Bay's proximity to the great outdoors has always been considered an advantage for residents and visitors.

Explore the Lakehead Watershed - Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA)

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) offers a variety of amazing recreational and educational opportunities at its Conservation Areas, including access to Lake Superior and some exciting events throughout the year!

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) manages 2,500 hectares of conservation lands including eight Conservation Areas which are all within one hour of the City of Thunder Bay.

Explore networks of trails and view cascading falls and sparkling waters. Excellent bird-watching, fishing, and recreational opportunities await. All sites are day-use only (7am - 11pm).


5.5 km of trails, 162 hectares of land and one of the most popular dog walking spots in Thunder Bay. The Cascades are a great place to visit on a hot summer’s day. Be sure to check out the Trails & Tails Dog Adoption Fair in September!
Located in Thunder Bay city limits at the end of Balsam Street. Open Year Round. Features a paved accessible trail.

 Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls is a great spot for a short hike to a picturesque cascading waterfall. 
Located in O'Connor Township. Open spring to fall only.

 Hazelwood Lake

7.0 km of trails on over 618 hectares of land, this pristine inland lake provides great paddling opportunities and is a great spot to go geocaching! Visit Hazelwood in both March and July for the Hazelwood Lake Family Fun Days!

Located in Gorham Township, 14 km north of Dawson Road on Hazelwood Drive. Open year round. Swim at the beach, try fishing or just enjoy a leisurely walk along one of the many trails. In the winter you can explore the trails by snowshoe.

 Hurkett Cove

This is one of the best birding spots in Northwestern Ontario! Located on Lake Superior, Hurkett Cove is also home to Dorion’s Canyon Country Birding Festival each May!
Located in Dorion Township. Open spring to fall only.

 Little Trout Bay

Another boat launch provides access to Lake Superior. Little Trout Bay also features some great geocaching!
Located in the Municipality of Neebing. Access to Lake Superior. Open spring to fall only. Public Boat Launch.

 MacKenzie Point

This granite outcrop into Lake Superior is a superb location for capturing sunrise photos. It’s also a great sunbathing spot.
Located in the Municipality of Shuniah. Open spring to fall only.

 Mission Island Marsh

2.4 km of trails, 16.7 hectares of land and an incredible birding spot in the fall. Mission Island Marsh features four distinct ecosystems and is home to the LRCA’s annual Fall Waterfowl Viewing Day!

At Mission Island Marsh Conservation Area there is a fully accessible boardwalk, viewing mound, a pavilion and an unbeatable view of the Sleeping Giant.

 Silver Harbour

Silver Harbour provides a boat launch with access to Lake Superior and offers great ice fishing opportunities. Be sure to come out in August for Silver Harbour Day!
Located in the Municipality of Shuniah. Access to Lake Superior. Open year round. Public Boat Launch.

Did You Know?

Conservation Areas in the Lakehead Region are privately owned by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA). They are not City Parks or Crown Land.

The LRCA pays property taxes on all land owned by the Authority, including Conservation Areas.

The LRCA maintains the trails, parking areas, boat launches and other facilities located within our Conservation Areas without the support of Federal or Provincial funding.

Your purchase of an Explore Card Parking Pass or payment of the parking fee supports development, maintenance and improvements to the LRCA’s existing trail networks, as well as general Conservation Area maintenance.

Purchase an Explore Card Parking Pass Today!

Display your Explore Card Parking Pass at Conservation Areas (and publicly accessible Forest Management Properties) and forgo the daily parking fee! Visit as often as you like. Enjoy a full year of recreation activities, such as boating, fishing, hiking and more at our seasonal and year-round Conservation Areas.

It’s convenient for frequent users, and a great gift idea! You may purchase your Explore Card Parking Pass through the LRCA Administrative Office or online at

Trail maps are available from the LRCA office or visit the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority website.

Paddle The Top of Lake Superior! - Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA)

Indigenous people have been paddling this region for thousands of years, and there’s a reason that Kitchi-gami continues to inspire. Connect with spectacular vistas, unique paddling experiences, and beautiful blue waters. Start planning your #TopOfLakeSuperior adventure today!

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA), once established, will be part of a nationwide system of protected areas managed by Parks Canada. It will be approximately 10,880 square kilometres in size, occupying almost 13% of the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.

Get Out There!
There are plenty of reasons to experience Lake Superior NMCA, and lots of ways to get there. You can start your paddling adventure from many north shore communities such as Silver Islet, Hurkett Cove, Red Rock, Nipigon, Rossport, Schreiber and Terrace Bay.
 Safety First
Lake Superior is a deep, cold and open lake. Conditions can change quickly on Lake Superior without a moment’s notice, so be prepared. Observe and listen to the lake before getting on the water and always stay in tune with the weather. Be mindful of your abilities before beginning any paddling or boating excursion. There’s plenty to do on shore if the wind picks up!
 Share The Chair
Parks Canada wants to share Canada’s most incredible places with you! You’ll find Red Chairs located across Lake Superior NMCA guiding you to stunning places this area has to offer. Find them all on our website and don’t forget to #ShareTheChair with us on social media!
 Paddle The Rossport Islands
Rossport is a paddler’s paradise. Scattered islands, sheltered coves and wildlife sightings make this a great place for your next paddle. Enjoy a short paddle to Quarry Island and hike to the top for some terrific views.
 A Rugged Shoreline
A wild beauty is waiting to be discovered. These columnar basalts formed 1.1 billion years ago when conditions allowed lava to harden into many hexagon-shaped pillars.
 Charters And Outfitters
Being on the water is one of the best ways to explore Lake Superior NMCA. Whether you’re looking to canoe, kayak, sail, fish or find a guided trip, there’s a local outfitter that’s ready to make your plan a reality.
 Stay A While At Porphyry Island Lighthouse
Visit one of Lake Superior’s best-kept secrets. Explore authentic lighthouse buildings and let new interpretive panels paint a narrative from the past. For a truly unique experience, stay the night under a starry sky. Visit for more information.
 Lace Up Those Hiking Boots
Prefer to stay on shore? No problem! Discover Lake Superior NMCA’s scenic coastline; hike the Casque Isles Trail – a 53 km route with 11 points of access that passes through the communities of Rossport, Schreiber and Terrace Bay. Test yourself with a multi-day journey or spend an afternoon hiking to one of many beautiful lookout points. For more information, check out the Casque Isles Trail Facebook page: @CasqueIsles.

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
22 Third Street, P.O. Box 998, Nipigon, ON P0T 2J0
Tel: (807) 887-5467 | Email:

Contact Us