Great features of the Great Lakes region: Ontario

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The rocky ledges of Lake Superior Provincial Park feature more than a great view. Visitors can see Pictographs. Image: Ontario Parks

By Carin Tunney

Editor’s note:  This is part of a daily series featuring one natural attraction in a Great Lake state or province. Of course, with more than 4,500 miles of coast and a landscape carved by glaciers, each state and province has many more than one great natural feature. So nominate and make the case for your favorite in this state in the comments below. At the end of the series we’ll poll you on the region’s greatest natural feature.

Today: Ontario

Ontario is known for its wilderness areas. Nature lovers can wander miles of rugged terrain within the province’s 300 parks.

Cool temperatures help preserve the pictographs along Lake Superior. Image: D. Gordon E. Robertson

Wildlife, trees and water are almost a given, but tourists can find something extra at Lake Superior Provincial Park in Wawa, Ontario, about three hours north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Centuries-old cliff paintings endure on the narrow, rocky ledge of Lake Superior’s coastline. When the water is calm, visitors can catch a glimpse, said park superintendent, Bob Elliott.

Archeologists believe the Ojibwa created the pictographs using ground rocks from nearby Devil’s Warehouse Island between 150 and 400 years ago.

Lake Superior Provincial Park offers hikes along a rocky coastline. Image: Adam Kahtava

The images include moose, bear, canoes and spirit animals.

“The pictographs have proven to be remarkably durable, withstanding the harshest of elements,” Elliot said.

The narrow path that leads to the pictographs is dangerous when wet. Elliott suggests visitors use “extreme caution” even when the water is calm.

The site is considered sacred by the Ojibwa, so the pictographs are hands-off, he said.

But visitors are free to explore the unique rock formations, forested hills, pristine lakes, tumbling streams and waterfalls tucked within more than 600 square miles of the park.

Share your favorite natural feature in Ohio in the comments. We especially seek suggestions within the Great Lakes basin.

We’ll list the top nominees for each area at the end of this series and submit them all to a vote for the best natural feature within the Great Lakes basin.

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