Trail Classification and Safety

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Trail Classification

All third-party trails listed on Parks Canada’s website have been classified according to Parks Canada’s Trail Classification System.  An overall preliminary classification has been assigned to each trail.  Note: Sections of a trail may be a little easier or a little more difficult than the overall trail classification.

Easy: Suitable for all visitors including those with no trail experience; hard packed surface with no obstacles and minimal stairs; estimated time to complete the trail is under 2 hours; little to no elevation gain or loss.

Moderate: Suitable for most visitors with basic trail experience who are generally prepared; mostly stable surface with infrequent obstacles, stairs may be present; estimated time to complete the trail is under 5 hours; may experience moderate elevation gain with some short steep sections.

Difficult: Suitable for visitors with trail experience and prepared with proper equipment and water; variety of surface types including non-established surfaces; estimated time to complete the trail may exceed 5 hours; may experience major elevation gains with long steep sections.

Trail Safety and Etiquette

  • Please stay on marked trails. Some areas have sensitive vegetation that can be damaged by off-trail use.
  • Pack out what you packed in. Leave the trail in better condition than you found it.
  • Always bring along water, food and a whistle.
  • Hike with others: don’t go alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Don’t rely on cell service for communication or mapping. Not all areas in the region have cellular coverage. In an emergency, call 911 as soon as you do have a cell signal.
  • Bring a first aid kit with you and know how to use it.
  • Keep dogs on leash: don’t let them disturb wildlife in their natural environment.
  • Wear sturdy footwear as trails have uneven terrain and some slippery surfaces that make open-toed shoes or formal footwear unsuitable.
  • Come prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Stretch before, during, and after your hike. Your muscles will appreciate it!

You are in Bear Country

Learn about bear behaviour and bear safety tips before heading out on the trail. Carry bear spray. Talk or sing when hiking to make wildlife aware of your presence. 

If you see a bear, make yourself look big, stay with your hiking partner(s), speak calmly, and slowly back away. Don’t run.

If you are backcountry camping, make sure to store food and anything with an odour safely, away from your tent.

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