All Aboard The Agawa Canyon Train
Located northwest of Sault Ste. Marie in the picturesque Algoma district, the Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park was created more than 1.2 billion years ago and is one of the lavish landscapes that inspired the Canadian artists that would later become the iconic Group of Seven.
The area is only accessible by hiking trails and the Algoma Central Railway, a train tour offered from June to October. With our tickets secured in advance, we hop on our short Porter flight to Sault Ste. Marie and let the beauty of the region, literally, take our breath away.
The scenic, day-long excursion is one of the biggest attractions in the region, taking you 114 miles into untouched wilderness, guaranteeing the most picturesque views of Northern Ontario.
As we settled in, we got acquainted with our virtual tour guide – a sophisticated series of mounted flat-screen monitors that provide real-time commentary throughout the tour. In a smart attempt to ensure you don’t miss any Instagram-worthy moments, the train’s system is GPS-triggered, and switches to a live view of the engineer’s eye whenever the train is approaching a photo-worthy sight.
After we settled into our seats, we felt breakfast was in order. We made our way to the dining car and ordered pancakes, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee. The staff were both welcoming and friendly, and we enjoy our breakfast with a side of spectacular views.
Back to our comfortable seats, the train began to climb on higher ground and the landscape started to change dramatically. Signs of beautiful, fall foliage were clearly visible as we made our way through forests, lakes, rivers and rock formations. The Montréal River Trestle left us speechless as we peered back and realized how long the train really was. Seated 130 feet above the river, the curved steel structure is truly spectacular.
Shortly after noon, we arrived at the Canyon, and decided to hike towards the waterfalls and trails rather than the lookout. We had an hour and a half to explore, so we followed the Bridal Veil Fall’s path along the Agawa River and stopped at the majestic views. Further up we stopped to marvel at the North Black Beaver Falls, which, even on a rainy day, is nothing short of spectacular.
After exploring, we boarded the train and got comfortable for the journey back to Sault Ste. Marie. It was our time to reflect on the beauty we had just witnessed and a second chance to enjoy our favourite parts of the tour. We had a light lunch, and before we knew it, our remarkable experience aboard the Agawa Canyon Train came to an end.