One of the hardest things about the Pukaskwa Coastal hiking trail (besides the actual hiking) is the logistics involved with planning the trip. Thisertk 60-km trek is considered one of the toughest in the province and it is recommended that you take 5-7 days to complete one way of the linear trail.
Perks for going with a guide:
They dehydrate and organize all of the food
Sharing of group equipment
They come equipped with safety gear like Sat Phone or SPOT messenger
They cook your meals (and do dishes too)
They organize the one-way boat shuttle to (or from the trail)
Adventurers Dave and Deb from The Planet D recently hiked this trail with Naturally Superior Adventures – you can read about their trip prep and planning here on their blog.
“The Slates” are a little island archipelago not as well known as some of the other bigger islands on Lake Superior, only about 14km off the north shore near Terrace Bay. Most of the land is protected as a Provincial Park however there are no facilities or user fees.
There are 2 main islands and a handful of smaller islands to explore. One of the unique features is the geology of these islands. Although not made of slate at all, the islands are a result of a meteorite crater impact and has one of the best known examples of shatter cones (located in McGreevy Harbour). Some other neat aspects of this trip include an almost-guaranteed siting of caribou (there are no predators on the island so the population keeps growing until it crashes naturally). There is also a lighthouse on the south side of Patterson Island.
If the weather is agreeable you can circumnavigate the entire archipelago but you have options if the lake kicks up as well. In between Patterson and Mortimer islands is a great sheltered channel with plenty of coves to explore. A number of human history remains can be found including the Devil’s Roost and the Come and Rest. Because of the proximity to shore, you will most likely see more people; kayakers, sailboats and others out and about than you would on some other sections of the lake. We take a boat shuttle out and back from the islands to save on doing the open water crossing.
Take this as a guided sea kayak trip with Naturally Superior Adventures:
When this trip is offered: Sun July 24-Fri July 29 2011. Meet at 2pm on Sunday
Cost: $1650 (includes: Full guiding and outfitting, meals, boat shuttles, one night accommodation. Note: registration is limited for this trip due to space on the boat shuttle.