slate islands provincial park

Slate Islands Provincial Park is where you can camp with caribou in Ontario

Slate Islands Provincial Park has historically been a haven for the largest concentration of woodland caribou in the province, found on the waters of Lake Superior. 

A herd of the threatened North American reindeer migrated over on an ice bridge in 1907 and found safe refuge on the rugged islands. As many as 600 caribou were estimated to be there at one point. 

Wolves also made their way over after an ice bridge formed again on the lake in 2018 and nearly wiped out the entire herd. Since then, caribou have been emergency airlifted there to help restore the herd and 30 were estimated to be on the islands, last summer. 

As that number grows and fewer predators exist on the island today, caribou tend to be less fearful, resulting in plenty of wildlife sightings for anyone pitching a tent on the islands. The animals have even been known to venture right up to campsites. 

Caribou aside, the small group of islands, which were actually formed by a meteorite impact around 500 million years ago, is also just a really picturesque place to visit. 

Though the only way to access the islands is by a boat or kayak out of Terrace Bay. Once there, several quiet beaches, wooded trails and ample fishing opportunities await you. 

There's also a lighthouse that you can hike to situated more than 220 feet (68 metres) above the lake. It was built in 1903 and the lighthouse keeper's home is also still in pristine condition, just below on the beach.

A lack of light pollution also gives way to perfect viewing conditions for the Northern Lights, which are best witnessed from October to March. 

Slate Islands Provincial Park is a non-operating park and there are no visitor facilities available. 

Make sure to respect the rules of the area during your visit. Adhere to social distancing measures by visiting with a small group and pick up your trash to leave the area just as beautiful as you found it.

Lead photo by

Township of Terrace Bay

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