Algoma Country
WHERE: beautiful wilderness area in North Central Ontario, Canada hugging the rocky eastern shore of Lake Superior
WHAT: soft adventure, velvet wilderness: waterfalls, sparkling lakes, granite mountains, fast flowing rivers, boreal forests; birds, animals, plants bring it alive
HOW: remote, yet accessible: rail for land excursions – float plane to reach inland lakes and islands
WHEN: anytime, so much to do in every season

More information about what you can do in Algoma Country here.

A long short story
Algoma’s dramatic landscape, a result of Canadian Shield uplift millions of years ago, is gifted with abundant food, water, clean air, diverse plant and animal life. Unique features: oldest rocks in the world, largest fresh water lake in the world, long human history. Men challenged the wilderness and made it their home. The prized natural beauty preserved by remoteness is today accessible safely and comfortably.

Hard to know which landmark event, or individuals, acting alone or together, influenced the course of history in this world. French traders and trappers were the first to come. Later, logging, mining and railroads brought immigrants from many nations who despite uncertainties settled, flourished and prospered. The region’s rugged scenery also inspired Canadian artists, particularly the Group of Seven, whose art works of this area introduced the previously unknown landscape to fellow Canadians.

Year round tourism in Algoma Country appeals to every age group. Summer brings anglers, canoeists, kayakers, hikers. In winter  groomed trails offer ideal snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. In the provincial parks – Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park – swimming, hiking and camping is possible.

Sault Ste. Marie, the largest city in Algoma, situated at the nexus of Lake Huron and Lake Superior, is itself a destination. There are the Hub Trail, Algoma Art Gallery, Historic Soo Locks, International Bridge, Heritage Trail, St. Mary’s River Boardwalk, Bush Plane Museum, and Festival Tents with special events offered all year long. The “Soo” is also visitor base camp with connections to the rest of the area – fly-in fishing, camping, lake drive. To experience the landscapes that inspired the Group of Seven, the Algoma Central Railway has single-day excursions to the Agawa Canyon and its surrounding forests (April – October). The Snow Train showcases the area in winter.

An Art Story – The Group of Seven
These Canadian artists rejected the European painting style of the time, and set out to create a Canadian landscape art style. Particularly inspired by the majestic Algoma area landscapes, they successfully created a Canadian art genre, a “national school of landscape painting”, that influenced generations of artists. Their work – bold, minimal with simplified shapes, loosely impressionistic, sometimes lyrical, emphasized nature’s vastness and grandness.

They believed the only way to find and develop a Canadian style was in nature. Between 1918 and 1923 the painters accessed the remote area in a boxcar, outfitted like a cabin, and lived in it for weeks at a time, eyewitnesses to wonder. As needed the boxcar moved to new sidings; from there they hiked or canoed to remote but choice painting locations. Their work captured the mysterious and breathtaking views of this untamed area on canvas thereby making it known to the world.

Their last exhibition was in 1931 and The Group of Seven ceased to exist two years later. Original members were: Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frank Johnston, J.E.H Macdonald, F.H. Varley and Franklin Carmichael. There were other painters loosely affiliated with the group who came and went over time.

See examples of Group of Seven paintings here

Want to be your own Group of 7? (Really Group of 1-4.)

Try glamping (glamorous camping) in a converted caboose which lets four people camp in comfort. You load your gear into a baggage car and board the passenger train to Agawa Canyon. The Camp Car, once sited in Agawa Canyon, is fully air conditioned. Has a small galley kitchen, separate dining area with 3/4 size refrigerator and 3-piece bathroom with shower. One bedroom with a single bunk bed and a lounge area with two double sofa beds. All linens, dishes, cooking utensils and drinking water provided. Diesel generator provides electricity.

An out-door area nestled in the trees setup with a gas barbecue, screen house, picnic table, lawn chairs and a campfire pit. Comes with two canoes outfitted with paddles and personal flotation devices. Trails lead to the most scenic spots, including four sets of waterfalls. You bring your food, beverages and personal items. This is in a remote wilderness location only accessible by rail, so pack accordingly. You could have a great time! Don’t even need to paint if you don’t want to.