Terrace Bay is a mesmerizing town tucked away on the stunning North shore of Lake Superior. This quaint community is a veritable paradise that will steal your heart from the moment you arrive. What makes Terrace Bay the perfect spot for a family weekend? Let me tell you…

Picture this: rugged shoreline, crystal clear waters that stretch as far as the eye can see, dense forests that teem with wildlife and beckon you to lose yourself in adventure. The natural beauty of Terrace Bay is nothing short of awe-inspiring, whether you are seeking chill vibes for a weekend of beaches and relaxation, a thrilling new sport like freshwater surfing, or hiking some of the most beautiful back country trails in Ontario, this place offers a symphony of sights and sounds that will leave you breathless at every turn.

A Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Casque Isle Trail - Mount Gwynne

Terrace Bay is one of my favourite destinations for a family weekend getaway.  We have so many memories of building sandcastles on the beach, embarking on exhilarating hikes through the wilderness and bonding over shared experiences that have become cherished memories. Terrace Bay offers a magical blend of relaxation, adventure, and pure joy that’s perfect for families looking to escape the daily grind and to reconnect.  Let me tell you about one of my favourite itineraries for a family weekend in Terrace Bay!

Terrace Bay - Aguasabon Falls

Our weekend getaway in this amazing town almost always starts with a visit to the famous Aguasabon Falls & Gorge.  We are always spellbound by the sheer magnificence of this incredible attraction.  In the summer it is a quick drive right off the highway and it is the perfect way to start your weekend. After you make your way down a charming blue boardwalk, you reach an incredible lookout that will leave you breathless. A huge torrent of water thunders over rugged cliffs, sending misty plumes into the air and sends the powerful river through the gorge all the way to Lake Superior. It is the perfect spot for nature photographers, adventurers looking for an accessible, wondrous viewpoint or a nature lover looking for solace and inspiration.

A Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Aguasabon Falls

After you take in the majesty of this amazing waterfall, you can make your way back down the board walk to the parking area and opt to hike down to Terrace Bay Beach. The Casque Isles has a trail entry spot here.  Follow the signs marked for the Lyda Bay section, and make sure you take the trail leading to Terrace Bay Beach, unless you want to hike further on the Casque Isles Trail. It is about a 3.5 km round trip to the beach and back.

Terrace Bay Beach

Terrace Bay Beach is a truly hidden oasis on the North shore. It is a slice of paradise at the intersection of natural splendor and tranquility. I love spending time here, sinking my toes into the powdery pinkish white sand and scouring the shoreline for beach treasures.  A quick stop here is never enough. So, the short visit for an evening hike is just to wet your taste buds for a bigger beach day.

Drifters Hotel and Restaurant

Once back at the parking area, make your way to Drifters Motel and Restaurant for an incredible meal and a clean, welcoming place to rest and recharge.  I must recommend the Signature Salad and Meaty MJ pizza for dinner it is SO yummy!  If you are looking for takeout, the Drifters store front always has an assortment of sandwiches, wraps and pastries to grab a quick bite. They also have a small selection of delicious sushi, which is my favourite go-to for a fast snack.

Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Terrace Bay Lighthouse

After dinner we make a point to walk over to the iconic Terrace Bay Lighthouse! A 50-foot replica of the lighthouse from the Slate Islands. It is a fantastic photo op and the most incredible view at sunset if you make your way up the steps to the observation deck.

After taking in the sights, you can explore Simcoe Plaza and stop in at the Slate Island Brewing Company, a fantastic place for a refreshing beverage and to connect with locals to get an insider scoop on other amazing things to see and do.

Terrace Bay - Simcoe Plaza

We always make sure to get up bright and early the next day, because there are so many incredible things to do! We make a quick stop a Costas Food Market to grab supplies for a delicious picnic and supplies for camping and hit the shoreline for a full day of exploring and beaches.

If you are interested in a relaxing day by the lake, you can head down to Terrace Bay Beach and spend the entire day lounging, snacking, and exploring. You can bring a paddle board, kayak, or canoe to go for a paddle, or a volleyball, or some badminton racquets to play beach games.  Your family will have a full day of endless entertainment! If you are interested in a more adventurous beach experience, you can do what we love, and have a trifecta beach day! We often set off from Terrace Bay Beach and hike along Casque Isles trail to the beach at Danny’s Cove and then further to Lyda Bay Beach. Three amazing beaches in one day!

A Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Casque Isle Trail - Lyda Bay

Lyda Bay is a back country beach only accessible by hiking in or by boat. It is an incredible panorama of soft white sand and secluded charm. It truly is pristine.  The cold, clear water of Lake Superior is incredibly inviting at this spot, with shallow pools and a sandy bottom, it is the perfect spot for a swim.  It is also an amazing spot to camp out and stay the night.  It is usually a quiet spot and the perfect opportunity to camp on a beach, where you are likely to have it all to yourself!

After setting up tents and having a fire, we lounge on the beach for sunset and then stargaze in quiet solitude. After a cozy night in the wilderness, we wake up early, make coffee in the early morning sunshine, pack up our things and hike back to Terrace Bay Beach.

Casque Isles Trail - Worthington Bay

If camping in the backcountry isn’t your style, you can always decide to hike out after a day enjoying sun and sand and stay at one of the other great accommodations in town.

There are always endless options for the last day of our weekend getaway.  Sometimes we just want to walk down Simcoe Plaza and shop at the local stores, or head back to Drifters for nachos and a few cold beverages.  If the weather is right, you can check out the local surf scene.  When the waves are out, you will almost always find locals out at Pumphouse Beach.

A Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Casque Isle Trail - Mount Gwynne

If you are like me and want to cram every ounce of awesome into a weekend, there is no better view in Northwestern Ontario’s Superior Country than the top of Mt. Gwynne on the Casque Isles Trail.  Some of my favourite weekend adventures with my son and our dogs have been on this hike.  It’s a short drive from Terrace Bay to the Worthington Beach access road. From there you can hike down to Worthington and then up to the summit of Mount Gwynne.  If you park near the highway, it’s a 14 km (ish) round trip, but absolutely worth every step.  The 360-degree view from the summit of Mount Gwynne is nothing short of breathtaking.  As you ascend the rocky peak of this majestic lookout, each step is a testament to nature’s grandeur, rewarding your efforts with an unparalleled panorama.  You can see Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Rossport from this amazing spot.  In late summer there are blankets of blueberries up there and it’s the most incredible place for a picnic. It’s not just the natural beauty that makes this spot so incredible, but also the profound sense of connection and perspective that it offers.  A beautiful place to create memories with the people you love most. There really is no better way to end a weekend adventure than with a massive send off like this.

Family Weekend in Terrace Bay - Casque Isle Trail - Mount Gwynne

So, if you are ready to fall head over heels in love with this community, pack your bags, grab your loved ones and dive headfirst into the captivating world of Terrace Bay. Your next extraordinary adventure is just around the corner, and trust me, you won’t want to miss a family weekend in Terrace Bay!