Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sand River Falls - Ontario

Sand River
north of Agawa Bay, ON

Our rainy first day of the Lake Superior Circle Tour made it tough to get great pictures, but Sand River Falls was another awesome stop along the way. From the parking lot a trail takes you to the river, where numerous cascades and rapids meander towards the lake. We shortly reached an outlook over taller, more powerful falls with a great view upstream. Just when we thought this was it, we pressed on to an amazing vantage point of the powerful, surging upper section of these falls. The sound of rushing water filled our ears, and the light rain added to a very soggy feeling overall - we seemed to be surrounded by water! The trail was well maintained, somewhat steep in spots, and I would definitely advise caution on wet days!

Getting there: The parking lot for the Sand River Falls is well signed and about an hour and a half north of Sault Ste. Marie on Hwy. 17. If I remember right, there is a small day use fee.

Hike: Moderate
Overall: Excellent

Friday, April 20, 2012

Crystal Falls - Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Crystal Creek
north of Sault Ste. Marie, ON

This was the first waterfall we visited on our Lake Superior Circle Tour. Crystal Falls was mentioned in the Circle Tour guide and excellent directions were included in Waterfalls of Ontario by Mark Harris and George Fischer. These falls far surpassed the photos and descriptions in the book, however, with its multiple drops, excellent vantage points and easy access. There is a pond that the river empties into (home to several geese when we were there) and below a dam at the southern edge is the smaller, seasonal flow Minnehaha Falls (pretty much nonexistent when we were there in June).
Here's a better close up of the two main drops, looking straight on:
And one of my dad ambling up the rocks for a better and closer view. He knows waterfalls can be slippery and dangerous, he just doesn't care!

Getting there: When heading north on 17 out of Sault Ste. Marie, ON take a right (east) on Fifth Line Rd. and follow it to the entrance to Kinsmen Park. Follow the Kinsmen Park drive (rough in spots) to a parking lot - Crystal Falls is to the north, Minnehaha Falls to the south.

Overall: Great
Hike: Easy