Rainbow Falls Provincial Park

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park in Ontario has stunning cascades and boardwalk trails

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park is a lesser-known gem of a destination in Ontario for nature-lovers, with gorgeous forested trails, a sandy beach, and picturesque cascading waterfall.

Located on Lake Superior's northern shore, you'll find Rainbow Falls off the Trans-Canada Highway in Terrace Bay, roughly 12 hours from Toronto and just west of Pukaskwa National Park.

While it's definitely a trek to get there, this part of the province has some of the most striking rugged scenery, and Rainbow Falls is no exception.

Surrounded by boreal forest, the park spans 575 hectares of varied terrain, offering visitors plenty of recreational activities to experience.

Encompassing Whitesand Lake and bordering Lake Superior, the park offers two very different options for those looking to get into the water. Lake Superior, notoriously frigid in temperature, has rocky outcrops and cobblestone beaches.

Whitesand Lake, on the other hand, is calmer and much warmer than Lake Superior, making it ideal for swimming or paddling. This lake also has two sandy beaches with designated swimming areas.

The park's centrepiece, unsurprisingly, is Rainbow Falls itself, which cascades over large rock ledges before spilling into Lake Superior. It's named after the beautiful rainbows often seen in the mist of the waterfall on sunny days.

Hikers can choose from a variety of leisurely trails, all with different difficulty levels. The Rainbow Falls Trail is an easy 1.1-km hike over a series of stairs, boardwalks, and platforms, leading you to a scenic bridge the crosses over the waterfalls.

If you continue past the cascades, the trail joins with the longer (and more difficult) 13-km Schreiber Channel Trail, which is part of the epic 52-km Casque Isle Trail.

You can also follow the Superior Trail, a moderate 1.1-km trek winding along the top of a granite ridge that'll reward you with panoramic views of Lake Superior.

For those looking to extend their stay, Rainbow Falls Provincial Park has incredible camping facilities, with two campgrounds offering over 100 campsites. 

Camping reservations can be booked directly on the Ontario Parks website. Day-trippers will have to pay a day-use fee to access the park, which can be paid at the gate upon entrance.

Lead photo by

Tom Worsley


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