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Enjoy life’s twists and turns? Take the Deer Trail Tour around Elliot Lake

120-km loop passes through all kinds of terrain, with lots of fun stops along the way.
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If you’re looking for a cool family adventure idea in Algoma—one that includes breathtaking vistas, no less—look no further.

Follow the Deer Trail Drive and see it all, travelling roads full of twists and turns, up and down hills and through sweeping and scenic river valleys.

The 120-km trail forms a loop and the route travels through the city of Elliot Lake to Mississagi Provincial Park, heads southwest to Little White River and Iron Bridge, then winds east to Blind River, Algoma Mills and Spragge.

It offers a multitude of experiences all in one, as there is so much to see and do along the way. You can walk on ancient lake bottoms, hike past cascading waterfalls, and marvel at 100-ft cliffs where you’ll have clear views all the way to the North Channel of Lake Huron, Michigan and Manitoulin Island.

Climb up the Elliot Lake Fire Tower Lookout (it’s 1,000 feet above sea level) and check out the view from the Cupola Gazebo. There’s a telescope and a restored ranger’s cabin that was originally built in the 1950s. Kids will enjoy exploring the playground and you can share a light snack in the picnic area. If you don’t feel like packing your own provisions, there are several coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores along the route where you can dine or stock up on food to go.

Cross the historic 1908 Dean Lake Bridge or go hiking at Mississagi Provincial Park, where there are six trails, including options for beginners, intermediates and those who are more advanced. At Elliot Lake you can visit the Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and in Blind River, take the Boom Camp Interpretive Trail—one of many in the area, this particular route boasts over 12 km of trails, coastal views and incredible vistas.

Go cycling or try your hand at geocaching, a great combination of hiking and searching for treasure; until June 2023 you can take part in the Huron Shores GeoTour. History aficionados won’t want to miss the museums in the area, so plan to make stops at the Iron Bridge Historical Museum, the Elliot Lake Nuclear and Mining Museum, the Timber Village Museum in Blind River or the Heritage Park Museum in Little Rapids.

In the summertime, of course, there’s even more on offer; you can attend a long list of festivals, events and art tours or relax on one of the sunny beaches.

If all of this sounds like too much fun for one afternoon, why not carve out a little extra time for yourself and extend the adventure? You can stay at one of the half-dozen lodgings along the route, where options include rustic lodges, cottages or campgrounds.

The route is a popular destination for motorcycle touring and cyclists as well, offering riders lots of inspiring scenery, no matter what the season.

Take the road less travelled and experience the natural wonders of east Algoma.