Discover Pukaskwa National Park

Have you ever longed to explore somewhere truly wild and untouched? Pukaskwa National Park, on the shores of the magnificent Lake Superior, could be the adventure you’re seeking. As Ontario’s largest national park, Pukaskwa covers nearly 1,900 square kilometers, so you’re bound to find a peaceful corner in this vast wilderness. The Coastal Hiking Trail offers the perfect backdrop for hiking, letting you immerse yourself in the park’s rugged splendor.

Has the spirit of adventure got you fired up for backcountry escapades? Paddling in Hattie Cove or hiking through Boreal Forests, each moment in Pukaskwa is an opportunity to connect with nature and oneself.

With its protected boreal forests and the Cultural Foundation of the Anishinaabe, Pukaskwa is not just a park; it’s a testament to both the power of nature and the resiliency of indigenous cultures. Ready to trace the steps on the Spirit Trail or gaze upon the vast Canadian Shield? Your next adventure begins here.


Top 3 Facts About Puksaskwa National Park



Pukaskwa National Park covers an expansive area of approximately 1,878 square kilometers (726 square miles), making it one of the largest national parks in Ontario. Its vast wilderness encompasses diverse landscapes, including pristine forests, rocky shorelines, inland lakes, and rivers.


The Coastal Hiking Trail

Pukaskwa National Park is home to the renowned Coastal Hiking Trail, a challenging trek that extends for approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) along the Lake Superior shoreline. This rugged trail takes hikers through some of the park’s most spectacular scenery, including dense forests, rocky headlands, and secluded beaches.



The park boasts a stunning and rugged coastline along Lake Superior, stretching over 80 kilometers (50 miles). This dramatic shoreline is characterized by towering cliffs, hidden coves, and picturesque sandy beaches, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration.

Camping and transportation in Pukaskwa National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Pukaskwa National Park

Getting to Pukaskwa National Park, located on the rugged shores of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada, requires some planning due to its remote location. Here are the primary ways to access the park:

  • By Car: The most common way to reach Pukaskwa National Park is by car. The park is situated along the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 17), approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of Sault Ste. Marie. From Highway 17, visitors can access the park via Highway 627 (White River Road), which leads directly to the park’s entrance.
  • By Air: While there are no airports within Pukaskwa National Park, visitors can fly to nearby cities such as Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) or Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM). From there, they can rent a car and drive to the park, which is accessible via Highway 17.
  • By Bus: Some intercity bus services, such as Greyhound Canada, serve communities along the Trans-Canada Highway, including White River and Marathon, which are relatively close to Pukaskwa National Park. From these communities, visitors may need to arrange alternative transportation, such as a taxi or shuttle service, to reach the park.
  • By Train: Via Rail Canada operates passenger train service along the Trans-Canada Railway, with stops in communities like White River and Marathon. Visitors can disembark at these stations and arrange transportation to Pukaskwa National Park.
  • Guided Tours: Another option for accessing Pukaskwa National Park is to join a guided tour operated by tour companies or outfitters specializing in wilderness adventures. These tours often include transportation to and from the park, guided activities and accommodations.

Places to Stay Near Pukaskwa National Park

Pukaskwa National Park itself offers camping options, including frontcountry and backcountry camping. Here are the camping options within and near Pukaskwa National Park:

  • Hattie Cove Campground (Pukaskwa National Park): Hattie Cove Campground is the main camping area within Pukaskwa National Park. It offers frontcountry camping, drive-in sites equipped with picnic tables and fire pits, and backcountry camping options for those exploring the park’s wilderness. Facilities include washrooms, showers, potable water, and interpretive programs.
  • Mdaabii Miikna and Bimose Kinoomagewnan Backcountry Campgrounds (Pukaskwa National Park): For a more rugged camping experience, Pukaskwa National Park offers backcountry camping at Mdaabii Miikna and Bimose Kinoomagewnan campgrounds. These remote campsites are accessible via hiking trails and require advanced reservations. Visitors must be prepared to carry all necessary gear and follow Leave No Trace principles.
  • Wilderness Lodges and Outfitters: For those seeking a more rustic or remote camping experience, several wilderness lodges and outfitters operate in the region surrounding Pukaskwa National Park. These establishments offer accommodations like cabins, tent platforms, backcountry campsites, guided excursions, and outdoor activities.
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Best Time to Go to Pukaskwa National Park



Summer is the peak season for outdoor adventure in Pukaskwa National Park. From July to August, visitors can bask in the sun’s warmth and cool off with a refreshing swim in Lake Superior’s crystal-clear waters. The park’s sandy beaches, such as Hattie Cove and White Sands, beckon sun-seekers and families alike for picnics, beachcombing, and kayaking. Hiking enthusiasts can tackle the renowned Coastal Hiking Trail, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and opportunities to spot wildlife such as black bears, moose, and bald eagles.



Winter casts a serene spell over Pukaskwa National Park, offering a peaceful retreat for those seeking solitude amidst the snow-covered wilderness. The park’s trails transform into snowy pathways for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures from November to March. Ice fishing enthusiasts can try their luck on frozen inland lakes. At the same time, those seeking a more relaxed experience can marvel at the park’s frozen waterfalls and dramatic ice formations along the Lake Superior shoreline. Wildlife enthusiasts may also have the chance to spot elusive creatures such as wolves and lynx against the backdrop of a winter wonderland.



Spring is a captivating time to visit Pukaskwa National Park as the landscape awakens from winter’s slumber. From April to June, the park bursts into life with vibrant wildflowers blooming along the rugged shores of Lake Superior. It’s an ideal season for hiking, as the trails come alive with lush greenery and cascading waterfalls fed by melting snow. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting migratory songbirds returning to the boreal forests, while anglers can enjoy fishing for trout in the park’s pristine rivers and streams.

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Fall transforms Pukaskwa National Park into a kaleidoscope of color as the leaves of the boreal forest change from green to vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. From September to October, the park’s hiking trails, including the White River Suspension Bridge Trail and Southern Headland Trail, offer unparalleled opportunities for fall foliage viewing. Anglers can cast their lines for salmon and trout in the park’s rivers, while photographers can capture the stunning beauty of the landscape reflected in the calm waters of Lake Superior.

Must-See Attractions

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Coastal Hiking Trail

The Coastal Hiking Trail is one of the most iconic features of Pukaskwa National Park, offering an unforgettable trek along Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline. Stretching for approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles), this challenging trail takes hikers through dense forests, rocky headlands, and secluded beaches, providing breathtaking views of the world’s largest freshwater lake.

White River Suspension Bridge

Spanning the White River Canyon, the White River Suspension Bridge is a breathtaking sight and a highlight of the park’s hiking trails. This suspension bridge offers stunning views of the river’s cascading waterfalls and provides access to the park’s interior, including backcountry camping areas and pristine wilderness.

Hattie Cove

Hattie Cove is the gateway to Pukaskwa National Park and is home to the park’s visitor center, campground, and day-use area. Visitors can explore interpretive exhibits, enjoy scenic views of Lake Superior, and embark on hiking trails such as the Southern Headland Trail, which offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Pukaskwa National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Research the park’s facilities, trails, and activities before your visit. Make campground reservations, especially during peak seasons, to secure your accommodations.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Be prepared for changing weather conditions by packing layers, waterproof clothing, sturdy footwear, and essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and snacks for your outdoor adventures.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Pukaskwa National Park is home to various wildlife, including black bears, moose, and wolves. Keep a safe distance from wildlife, never feed them, and store food securely to prevent attracting animals to your campsite.

Stay Informed

Prepare for Remote Conditions

Pukaskwa National Park is located in a remote area with limited services and facilities. Be prepared for limited cell phone reception and bring a map, compass, or GPS device for navigation. Inform someone of your plans before heading into the wilderness.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pukaskwa National Park

At Pukaskwa National Park, you can immerse yourself in outdoor adventures. You’ve got options from hiking rugged trails with breathtaking views to backcountry camping for the intrepid soul. And if you’re feeling bold, take a plunge into the waters of Lake Superior.

Pack accordingly for the weather—it can change on a dime. Use bear-proof containers because wildlife is abundant, and always leave your site cleaner than you found it. Remember, you’re in their home.

Navigating is a breeze with a map, and you can grab one from the park’s Administration Office or download it from the Parks Canada website. Stay on marked trails to preserve the natural habitat.

Keep your eyes peeled for moose, black bears, and the elusive lynx. Birdwatchers, you’re in for a treat with various feathered friends ranging from the majestic bald eagle to the chatty gray jay.

‘Pukaskwa’ rolls off the tongue as “puck-a-saw.” Say it a few times, and you’ll feel like a local in no time!

Pukaskwa teems with rich Anishinaabe cultural heritage and offers a window into the history of the people of the north shore of Lake Superior. Explore the park to discover the legacy etched into this rugged landscape.

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