Superior Picnics Highlights North Shore Gems
By Marcia Arpin
Since its creation in June 2022, Superior Country’s Superior Picnics program has highlighted new, creative incentives for visitors to explore our region. The program provides picnic tables in popular locations in North Shore communities and promotes local eateries through the Lake Superior North Shore Tourism Strategy, with a variety of itineraries available on its website for eating and outdoor adventure. Travellers can look forward to finding Superior Picnic tables in seven communities: Dorion, Red Rock, Nipigon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, Marathon, and Manitouwadge.
“There are unique aspects of each area, but common to each of them is a beautiful view of Lake Superior and proximity to a hiking trail,” says Dan Bevilacqua, president and executive director of Superior Country. He adds that Hurkett Cove Conservation Area in Dorion is a hidden gem. “The table is just a few feet from the water’s edge. There’s a wonderful nature trail that is perfect for folks of all ages,” he says. Bevilacqua also points to another gem along the North Shore. “The table at Schreiber Beach is another one of those breathtaking places. The table is just up off the beach, and there’s a short little hike along a portion of the Casque Isles Trail to the Parks Canada red chairs. It’s just one of the most beautiful, serene spots on Lake Superior.”
The Nipigon Superior Picnic table is located at its marina and one can enjoy a lunch from Ducky’s Diner while admiring a view of the Nipigon River Bridge. In nearby Red Rock, the Red Rock Mountain serves as a backdrop to its table at the Red Rock Marina, which is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic with local activities accessible close by. The Terrace Bay Superior Picnic table is located on the far end of Terrace Bay Beach with places close by to explore, such as the Terrace Bay Lighthouse, the Casque Isles Trail, and Aguasabon Falls and Gorge. Further east, in Marathon, Penn Lake Park offers a Superior Picnic table, a playground, and camping—as well as the opportunity to hike sections of the Group of Seven Lake Superior Trail. And finally, Manitouwadge offers opportunities for swimming, hiking, or a round of golf. Their Superior Picnic table is located at the summit of Manitouwadge Lookout Trail, offering a panoramic view of the community.
“Some of the participating restaurants have sold 250 of their picnic lunches since the project launched. It’s been great being able to bring local producers and food operators together,” Bevilacqua says. “We had a case in one community where a food operator was having trouble figuring out how to get a local component into their special. They hadn’t realized there was a market garden down the road from them. Now the restaurant uses seasonal veggies from that garden. The project has offered the opportunity to support local businesses and help to get the freshest food to the visitors and local customers as well.”
Bevilacqua adds that the program is slated to continue into October. “I know from some conversations we’ve had with operators that they are looking forward to participating again next year.” The organization continues to brainstorm new ideas for next year to feature more local components for travellers to discover and appreciate.
For more information, visit superiorcountry.ca/play/superior-picnics.