Ontario has some Great Lakes

03 November, 2020 4 comments Leave a comment

Pukaskwa National Park photo by Karen Richardson

When Ontario was on full COVID-19 lock down last spring, including campgrounds, provincial parks, and national parks, my husband and I thought we might not be able to go camping in our travel trailer this year. That is the main reason we decided to grow a food garden and complete some house renovations while we sheltered at home.

Fortunately for us, Ontario travel restrictions started to loosen in June and we managed to fit in a few wonderful camping trips to several scenic lake regions of our home province between July and October.

These trips to natural settings allow us to relax and unwind, without all the to-do list-pressures that life at home entails, and let me immerse myself in Nature to gather reference photos and sketches for future paintings.

In this post, I am sharing with you a selection of inspiring landscape photographs I was able to capture this past summer and fall while camping. The photo at the top of this post was taken in September at Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior.

Full moon over Lake Ontario photo by Karen Richardson

Shown above is the full moon over Lake Ontario on July 4, steps from our beach front campsite at Quinte's Isle Camppark in Prince Edward County. We spent an enjoyable and relaxing week camping there under sunny, blue skies.

Mississagi River photo by Karen Richardson

Pictured above is the Mississagi River, north of the North Channel of Lake Huron. I love the little islands and perfect reflections. The Trans-Canada Highway follows the shore of this pretty river for many kilometers between Blind River and Iron Bridge. When we are driving eastward, I have an unobstructed view of the river from my passenger side window.

Lake Superior photo by Karen Richardson

Lake Superior (pictured above) remains my favourite Great Lake. It looks like a magnificent inland sea, with dramatic headlands and rocky islands, and simply takes my breath away whenever I see it. Lake Superior contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, plus three extra Lake Erie's.

Batchawana Beach Lake Superior photo by Karen Richardson

Pictured above is the beach at Batchawana Bay Park, between Lake Superior Provincial Park and Sault Ste. Marie, in September. Lake Superior contains ten percent of all the fresh water on our planet, enough to cover all of North and South America with water one foot deep. I find such facts about this lake utterly astounding, and they help to convey the vastness of this magical place.

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park photo by Karen Richardson

Shown above is the pebble beach and rocky island at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park near Rossport. We have stayed in this picturesque beach front campground several times in the past, and finally the weather gods smiled on us one August day, so we could paddle along the tranquil shoreline in our kayaks. This was the first time in our lives that we kayaked on Lake Superior and I think I grinned the whole time.

Shown below are another couple of views of this beautiful park, seen from my kayak. The water is so clear that the bottom can be seen distinctly in shallow areas. I have about 100 stunning reference photos taken during our most recent stay here.

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park from my kayak, photo by Karen Richardson

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park photo by Karen Richardson

This also was the summer we discovered Pukaskwa National Park, which is between Wawa and Marathon on the north shore of Lake Superior. We visited the park twice, briefly, checking out the serviced campsites to confirm our travel trailer could fit there (it would), and hiking the short Southern Headland Trail to enjoy scenic vistas, such as the ones pictured below and at the beginning of this post.

Horseshoe Bay in Pukaskwa National Park photo by Karen Richardson

Above is the gorgeous view from the beach at Horseshoe Bay in Pukaskwa (pronounced 'PUCK-a-saw').

We are eager to return to Pukaskwa another year, perhaps for a week-long stay, to camp in our trailer and spend some time kayaking among the scenic islands and hiking back country trails. This park is truly spectacular and has captured our hearts.

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson

Although the lake scenery takes centre stage for me, I have to share some photos of the vistas seen from the Trans-Canada Highway that took us along the north shore of the Great Lakes. The iconic white pines tower above the other trees on forest-clad hills of the Canadian Shield that flank Highway 17 (shown above and below).

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson

Ontario's autumn colours were fantastic this year, and we journeyed through the Lake Superior region at just the right time (late September) to see the glorious fall foliage (shown below).

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson
Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson

On our journey, we noticed that the autumn forests west of Wawa are yellow and green. These photos all were taken east and south of Wawa and include the glorious red maples and sumacs.

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson

Huge rock cuts such as those shown above and below are an intrinsic part of this route, blasted and carved through the Canadian Shield to make road travel possible in this mountainous region.

Hwy 17 photo by Karen Richardson


I am feeling blessed to have been able to explore these beautiful regions of Ontario this summer and fall, despite the pandemic. I hope you were able to get out into Nature and feel her healing effect too. If not, I hope these photos have given you the feeling of being there.

Now I am back in the studio, starting to work on new paintings from the Great Lakes region. Stay tuned folks.

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  1. Fred Ford November 12, 2020

    Beautiful. When I was about 10 my Dad drove us all through that area. One of my best memories. Pancake Bay park was my favourite.

  2. Tessa November 09, 2020

    What beautiful photos. I agree, we are so blessed to live in this wonderful country and to be able to travel and experience these places. I feel inspired to paint when I see these lovely scenes.

  3. Diane Lackie November 09, 2020

    Thanks for the micro trip. I drove this one myself in Oct. many years ago; wonderful, inspirational views; true Canada at its best. Enjoyed the memories. D.

  4. Ruth Spearing November 09, 2020

    I enjoyed looking at your pictures of Ontario very much. It was like a mini trip through regions I am considering exploring next summer.
    Aren’t we lucky to be surrounded by such beauty and tranquility in these times. It feeds the soul.
    Thanks and stay well.