Neys Provincial Park is on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northwestern Ontario in Canada. It is 30 kilometres away from Marathon town. You can reach this park via Highway 17, which offers fantastic views of Lake Superior during your journey. This park is a suitable destination for those who love nature.
The unique features of Neys Provincial Park are its Rugged coastal lines, Pristine Lake Superior shoreline, Sandy beaches, Sub-arctic plants, Woodland Caribou, Glacial History, Boreal Forests, Coastal Wetlands, Diverse World Life, Internment camp (pow camp) during World War II, and many more.
Take a glimpse at Neys Provincial Park. Get to know its unique attractions, activities to try, and tips to make your journey joyful and cheerful. So, let’s start.
1. Location and Access
Neys Provincial Park is approximately 30 kilometres from Marathon Town. You can reach this town by car or any other vehicle through Highway 17. You can even access the nearest airport. From there, you can make arrangements to visit the park. Please remember that there might be entrance charges for the park.
Now, let us look at the various hiking trails in Neys Provincial Park.
2. Hiking Trails in Neys Provincial Park
Neys Provincial Park is renowned for its hiking trails. We have listed them below.
2.1. Kopa Cove Trail
The origin of the Kopa Cove Trail is at the cobble beach found by the shores of Lake Superior. This hike offers beautiful views of Thompson Channel and Pic Island. You can find this trail to be a challenging one.
2.2. Dune Trail
Dune Trail is one of the lovely trails for hikers, formed by sandy dunes and grassy areas. You can see the dune environment with beautiful and rare plants and learn the importance of the sand dunes ecosystem during your hike.
Also, remember to observe a few of the delicate vegetation here. This is a total contrast to the boreal forest comprising much of Northern Ontario.
2.3. Point Trail
Point Trail is also one of the most beautiful trails. It starts at Prisoner’s Cove, continues its journey along the shore and finishes at Rocky Prisoner Point.
This hike gives stunning views of the lake and rare plants, which are perhaps medicinal. The rocks are slippery if wet, so you should be careful.
2.4. Lookout Trail
The Lookout Trail is 1.6 kilometres long. It takes one hour to finish this trail. Ensure you enjoy the views of the beautiful landscapes and Ashburton Bay. A map will be available at the park office. You can avail of it if required.
During your hike, you can observe countless habitats, namely sand dunes, spruce forests, rocky exposures and more.
2.5. Under the Volcano Trail
The Under the Volcano Trail is 2.5 kilometres long. It may take 2 hours to finish this trail. You may find it somewhat tricky, but with proper arrangements, you can enjoy it a lot.
While hiking, you can see the rocky coastlines, glaciers, and volcanic history. The rocks here are also slippery during wet conditions. Hence choose appropriate footwear.
2.6. Pic Island Overlook Trail
The Pic Island Overlook Trail is also a challenging one. A rugged road will await you when you go on this trail. However, once you arrive at the Pic Island Overlook, all your hard work will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Thompson Channel and Pic Island.
These were the ones which inspired none other than Lawren Harris, a renowned painter.
Now, let us move on to the Campgrounds in the park.
3. Four Campgrounds in Neys Provincial Park
Neys Provincial Park offers several campsites. Here are the four Campgrounds where you can enjoy watching the sandy beaches and sub-arctic plants. Let’s consider them one after the other.
3.1. Area 1
Area 1 is the first campground area for camping. It is spacious and surrounded by electrical hookups, making it suitable for accessing electricity when required.
It offers stunning views of the pristine Lake Superior shoreline from the front side of Area 1. You can also access picnic tables, fire pits, washrooms, and showers.
3.2. Area 2&3
Speaking of Area 2 and Area 3, these campgrounds also have electrical sites and easy water access. You can relish the scintillating views of Lake Superior from here. Compared to Area 2, it is Area 3 that provides more shade.
You can also find various amenities, including comfort stations, laundry facility, grills and more.
3.3. Area 4
This campground is the only non-electrical one in Neys Provincial Park. It is mainly suitable for tents and tent trailers and provides partially shaded campsites.
If you need any additional details, you can seek the help of the staff members at the visitor center and get the same.
It is now time to know the historical connections of World War II with Neys Provincial Park.
4. Historical Connections of World War II with Neys Provincial Park
An interesting fact about Neys Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, is that during World War II, this park was temporarily a Pow Camp termed Camp 100. You can get an idea of this scenario by seeing the photographs of war camps and the remnants of the German Pow Camp at the visitor centre.
During World War II, German Prisoners were detained as captives here. Once you visit this park, you can enjoy its natural beauty and also learn about its history.
Now, let’s look at the family fun activities in Neys Provincial Park.
5. Family Fun Activities in Neys Provincial Park
5.1. Beach Fun
Families can enjoy various beach activities here. As Neys Provincial Park is located along the shore of Lake Superior, it offers several water activities, namely swimming, beach walking, and sunbathing.
Don’t worry about your experience in paddling. You can simply cruise along the pristine Lake Superior and have fun in the water. Additionally, you can also play water games and build sand castles. If possible, bring your skin protection creams too.
5.2. Interpretive Programs
The staff of the park will take you on a guided tour. They will tell you about the historical connections to Neys Provincial Park, flora, fauna, vegetation, and plants.
You can also learn the importance of this park, its ecosystem, and Camp R.
5.3. Wildlife Viewing
You can spot various wildfires along the trails. As part of wildlife viewing, you can see different birds, including eagles, ospreys, warblers, and herons. Since the park is on Lake Superior’s north shore, you might also witness several marine life.
You can find fish, including Rainbow Trout, Salmon, Lake Trout, and Whitefish. Furthermore, you can encounter different types of animals, namely white-tailed deer, foxes, squirrels, and many more. But ensure you watch them from a designated area.
6. Other Highlights of Neys Provincial Park
6.1. Pic River
Pic River is one more beautiful feature of Neys Provincial Park. It has alluring landscapes. The river provides stunning views, and you can try fishing here. Experienced as well as novice paddlers, can showcase their boating skills.
Pic River is a habitat for many birds, aquatic animals, fish, and plants. You can enjoy a lot by having a boat launch with your family on this river. Get mesmerized by its beauty.
6.2. Winter Activities
If you plan to visit Neys Provincial Park in the winter, you will feel like you have stepped inside a Winter Wonderland. Be prepared to enjoy the panoramic views of landscapes, forests, and trails covered with snow. You will be stunned by its beauty.
Gear up for a novel experience. Hold on, there are more activities to enjoy in winter. Try Winter Hiking. It is one of the most preferred activities in Neys Provincial Park. Be prepared to embark on an adventurous hike.
Also, wear appropriate clothes and footwear without fail to avoid any inconvenience during your hike.
6.2.1. Wildlife Spotting
Winter is the perfect time to spot various wild animals in Neys Provincial Park. Ensure to watch them from a good distance. You can also see the footprints of animals, including dogs, rabbits, foxes, and others.
6.3. Summer Activities
Neys Provincial Park is the perfect destination for summer vacations. There are several activities to try during this season. Hit the beach. It is the perfect spot during summer. You can engage in water activities, namely swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, and many more.
Have fun indulging in water games too. Also, try other activities, including exploring the trails, fishing, wildlife spotting, and camping.
6.3.1. Discovery Program
The Natural Heritage Education leaders provide various programs in the summer. These include programs for kids, movie nights, guided walks, and evening slide talks.
If you are at the park during weekends, get ready to witness special events. The event Neys Nostalgia Days is held during the second weekend of August.
6.4. Spring Activities
The spring season adds extra beauty to the park. During this season, you can see enchanting views of the park. Furthermore, you can also witness the following highlights in spring at the park.
Different birds, namely waterfowls, songbirds, and warblers, migrate to this park during spring. Wouldn’t you like to spot them? Keep waiting with your fingers crossed. You will spot them very soon.
6.4.1. Wildflower Blooms
In spring, you can enjoy watching the beautiful flowers bloom. Go for a walk while also getting captivated by these natural phenomena.
6.5. Volunteer and Conservation Opportunities in Neys Provincial Park
Neys Provincial Park gives opportunities to people who want to become volunteers or contributors at this park. Some of the volunteer programs are listed below.
6.5.1. Park Maintenance
Park Maintenance involves keeping the park clean and healthy. Some of the activities in this scheme include trail maintenance, campground upkeeping, and vegetation management.
This work is the best choice for anyone who wishes to live closer to nature.
6.5.2. Wildlife Monitoring and Research
Wildlife Monitoring and Research include observing and monitoring bird populations, mammal movement observation, and collecting data related to ecological systems.
You must possess some previous experience if you want to work in this program.
6.5.3. Interpretive and Educational Programs
Interpretive and Educational Programs include explaining to the visitors, details of historical places in Neys Provincial Park, namely war camps and their remnants, the importance of the park, and providing proper guidance to them.
You can prepare for this role by keeping yourself updated about the park.
6.5.4. Environmental Cleanup
Environmental Cleanup and Restoration involve various activities to keep the park tidy. Some of those are cleanup events, tree planting, offering food to animals, and observing the environmental conditions around them.
6.5.5. Park Monitoring and Visitor Services
Park Monitoring and Visitor Services include giving information to the visitors about the park. It also involves telling them how to access the park’s functions and facilities.
What is the Significance of Neys Nostalgia Days Held in the Park?
This event gives you the opportunity to encounter past spirits. These include the war prisoners who were once the occupants of this spot, fishermen, and Canadian Pacific Rail navvies.
Are Any Events and Festivals Hosted near Neys Provincial Park to Enjoy During Your Visit?
Yes. Marathon Town, near Neys Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, hosts various events and festivals. They are:
- Summer Music Festival- You can witness local artists and musicians participating in this festival. It is held in summer, creating a lively atmosphere for visitors. Different styles are played here, including folk, rock, and country songs.
- Canada Day Celebrations- Each year, Canada Day is celebrated on the first of July. Live music, water and family fun activities are held on this day. If you plan to visit Neys Provincial Park in July, try not to skip participating in this event.
What Are the Attractions Nearby Neys Provincial Park?
The nearby attractions are listed below:
- Terrace Bay
- Pukaskwa National Park
Neys Provincial Park is a must-visit place when in Ontario, Canada. It has several features causing you to enjoy nature. You can witness many animals visiting Lake Superior, one of the Park’s major attractions.
Enjoy the scintillating shorelines of the beach. Try activities, namely swimming, hiking, sunbathing, kayaking, fishing and many more.
Its charm is such that it inspired the renowned painter Lawren Harris. So, plan your trip to Neys Provincial Park and cherish beautiful memories without further delay.