braun's holly fern

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Pancake Bay is a sheltered, south-facing bay on the eastern shore of Lake Superior, north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. A beautiful 3.5 km sand beach lines the bay, and ancient beach ridges are visible more inland. The ecology of the region is characteristic of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence transition forest, but is a northern shelter for more southerly flora and fauna.

Ontario Parks has established a recreation-class Provincial Park here to help preserve the fragile beach dune ecology. Pancake Bay Provincial Park has one of the highest visitor rates of all the Provincial Parks in the north-east region, and the highest number of campsites. Yurt camping is available in the park.

Pancake Bay recently received an extension as part of Ontario's Living Legacy, and is now 17.23 km².

This region is home to a number of regionally rare and vulnerable species, including Braun's holly fern, maidenhair spleenwort, sand reed and the majestic peregrine falcon. Along the Pancake Bay Nature Trail, you can find evidence of beach ridge succession over the millennia, a large conglomerate boulder believed to have been brought by glaciers, and a beautiful and ecologically-sensitive fen (a type of wetland). From the lookout along the Lookout Trail, you can view a magnificent panorama of the Canadian Shield, and can spot the final location of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in a fierce November storm in 1975.

While at this park, you can see moose, black bears, sandhill cranes and other wildlife.

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