Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Location: Batchawana Bay, Ontario
Region: Northeastern
Character: Recreation
Length/Size: 4,257.6 acres

Pancake Bay Provincial Park
By Ontario Parks

This wide, sheltered, sandy bay on Lake Superior's east shore offers a respite for weary travellers. From a viewing platform you can see the lake and the spot where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce November gale in 1975. Voyageurs used to stop here, with just enough flour left to make pancakes before restocking supplies in nearby Sault Ste. Marie.

There are 325 campsites, including 160 with electricity. Most sites are large enough to take trailers, and there are five reservable group camping sites. Camp in the woods, at a site with a view of Lake Superior or in the quiet, radio-free Hilltop Campground. Each campsite has a fireplace and picnic table. Drinking water taps, vault toilets and garbage disposal are located throughout the campgrounds. There are two comfort stations with flush toilets and showers, a trailer sanitation station and a firewood yard.

Electric Sites - 160

Group Camping – Pancake Bay provides 5 group camping sites that can accommodate anywhere from 13-40 people. Vault privies and water taps are found on site. Campsite rental fees include usage of the central comfort station facilities (flush toilets, showers and laundry). Group camping sites are located at two separate areas in the park: at the west end of the campground adjacent to the 3.5 km nature trail and at the east end of the campground east of the main park entrance.
Reservations for group camping sites are made by contacting Pancake Bay Provincial Park directly. (705) 882-2209 Group camping site reservations are taken annually starting on the first Monday in May for the current spring to fall camping season.

The Pancake Bay Nature Trail – 3.5 km (1-2 hours) easy

Located next to the campground, this trail begins along the dramatic Lake Superior shoreline, takes you over forested ancient beach ridges, through a fascinating wetland and then ends along a shallow meandering creek. Highlights of this trail include a boardwalk crossing the wetland, spring and summer wildflowers and a huge billion year old conglomerate boulder. Interpretive signs posted along the trail will guide you in experiencing the natural features of this walk.

The Lookout Trail – 14 km (5-7 hours) moderate

- 7 km return (2-3 hours) to the lookout
Located across the road from the campground, this hiking trail takes you through a lush forest dominated by tall maples and yellow birch. This hike provides you with the best views of Pancake Bay and opportunities to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, including moose. From the lookout you can see across to Whitefish Point known as the “graveyard of the Great Lakes” where the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a fierce Superior storm in 1975. Highlights of this trail include: two lookout platforms offering spectacular views of Lake Superior and Pancake Bay, secluded inland lakes where you may hear the call of the loon and the scenic Pancake River Falls.

Natural Heritage Education

A Natural Heritage Education Program is run by Park Naturalists at Pancake Bay during the summer months from late June to Labour Day. This program is for enthusiasts of all ages wishing to experience the natural wonders and cultural history of the Pancake Bay area. Programs change weekly and include: daytime and evening guided walks, evening amphitheatre programs, movie nights, special events and active programs especially for kids.

Check the Calendar of Events postings on park bulletin boards for times and locations of programs during your stay. Special events are posted on park bulletin boards and on the “Events” link on this website.

Wildlife Viewing
Situated in the transition zone between the Great Lakes and Boreal forest regions, Pancake Bay is home to a variety of wildlife. In the campground look for red squirrels, chipmunks, red fox and several bird species including pileated and downy woodpeckers. On the trails keep a lookout for moose, wolves, black bears and birds such as bald eagles, loons, sand hill cranes and cedar waxwings. Over 200 bird species have been recorded in the park. The wetlands within park boundaries provide habitat for a number of amphibians. These include spring peepers and green frogs, which are sure to be a favourite with younger wildlife enthusiasts.

Spring is the best time to fish for stocked lake trout, rainbow trout, salmon, perch.
More information on fishing.

Boats must be carried into the water or driven to a launch 11 km south at the mouth of the Batchawana River. Sudden squalls occur frequently and can be hazardous.

Pancake Bay has one of finest beaches in North America. The beach -- 3.2 km of fine sand - is sheltered from the open lake by two protective promontories that form the bay. The water warms up enough for swimming in late July and August.

For more information:
Pancake Bay Provincial Park
Box 61
Batchawana Bay, Ontario
P0S 1A0