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Steel River Provincial Park

Visiting Attractions Steel River Provincial Park
Canoeing Down the Steel River

The Steel River is located 24 km east of Terrace Bay, off Highway 17, above Lake Superior’s north shore. The area consists of long, narrow lakes, rugged cliffs, ravines, swamps, ponds, oxbow lakes and a 20-meter waterfall. The waterway is home to a wide variety of Northern Ontario plant and animal communities, including the Great blue herons, which nest on the islands of Cairngorm Lake.

The Steel is one of the finest freestone steelhead rivers on the north shore. It has good flow throughout the year, with an average width of more than 50 feet. One of the few north shore rivers never used for log drives, the Steel has deep pools and long riffles and rapids. An old road on the east side and heading south provides access to Henry’s Pool and to the mouth entering Santoy Bay. On the west shore, a hiking trail leads north as the river transcends steep canyons and rugged bedrock terrain. Deep pools on the bends can hold steelhead all year. The Steel has more than 5.2 miles of steelhead water and is often fishable well into December.
The Steel River Loop goes north through a series of lakes before turning 180 degrees into the Steel River and running south and back to the route’s beginning. It eventually flows into Lake Superior between the towns of Marathon and Terrace Bay. There are several versions of this canoe route ranging from 3 – 10 days in length .It is an adventure for the hardy traveler as it features several very difficult portages.
Bald Eagle at Steel RiverSteel River Bridge

There are many beautiful sights to see along the loop, including several lakes. Diablo Lake is small and scenic, and features a chain of beaver ponds that lead to Cairngorm Lake. This lake is 13 kilometers long and features rocky outcrops, cliffs, and pine trees. Cairngorm Lake then leads into Steel Lake, which is very long and narrow and includes a sand beach on the very north end. At the end of this beach lies Aster Lake.

There are no visitor facilities. Backcountry camping and canoeing are recommended activities.