YOU'LL HAVE AN HOUR AND A HALF TO ENJOY THE PRISTINE BEAUTY OF AGAWA CANYON WILDERNESS PARK
In the summer and fall you’ll have an hour and a half to enjoy the pristine beauty of Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park (stopover may be reduced in order to meet safe train schedules). Canyon Park is located at Mile 114 and is only accessible by rail or hiking trail.
During the stopover, where possible, your train seats will be turned for the return trip. Articles left on the floor may be damaged during this procedure and we ask that you place any personal items on your seat.
The park has a variety of trails that lead to the most scenic spots, including four waterfalls and the breathtaking Lookout. There are plenty of picnic areas for those wishing to have lunch during the stopover or you may want to eat prior to arrival or after departure, in order to have as much time as possible to explore the park.
During your stay in the Park, we ask that you watch for any train movements as you cross over or walk beside the tracks. Since the Railway cannot be held responsible for injury to patrons within the wilderness park, we recommend you to use care on all trails, be considerate of others and mindful of children. We also recommend that you wear suitable recreational clothing and footwear.
Park staff will be available to answer questions and to assist you in the event of any emergencies.
The trails in the Park have been developed to provide access to the most scenic spots
The trails are well maintained and are covered in a fine gravel called crusher fines.
Please be gentle with all living things in the park. The balance of nature can be easily and unknowingly upset through picking or damaging plants and trees. Please refrain from smoking on trails. Park staff roam the trails during the tour and you’ll usually find them stationed at the Lookout, Bridal Veil and Otter Creek Falls, should you require assistance. Approximate trail times are for a round-trip from the park Staff House/First Aid Centre.
THE LOOKOUT TRAIL
A challenge for the adventurous and energetic, this trail ascends 250ft/76m above the tracks to provide a breathtaking, panoramic view of the canyon. The trail is a combination of crusher fine paths and over 300 stairs that lead you to large wooden viewing platforms, where you can catch your breath until the view takes it away again. There’s an intermediate platform, 80 steps from the track that provides a more limited view of the park. Allow 40 minutes for a return trip to the top and 20 minutes for a return trip to intermediate lookout.
THE GROUP OF SEVEN
Several members of Canada's Group of Seven painted in the Algoma region between 1918 and 1923, including Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer. To gain access to this remote region they rented a boxcar from the Railway. The car was outfitted like a cabin and was shunted to sidings near choice painting locations. From these locations they would set out on foot or canoe to capture this untamed area on canvas. Their paintings brought this vast, rugged and beautiful part of the country to fellow Canadians and the world.
LOOKING FOR SOME R&R
For visitors looking for a more relaxing visit, there are numerous picnic tables and benches placed throughout the park. There is a stone picnic shelter to enjoy your lunch in. You’ll also find a nearby display of larger antique rail equipment and there’s a small playground area for young children.
THE RIVER TRAIL
Follow this gently rolling trail along the bank of the Agawa River to Black Beaver (30-minute return) and Bridal Veil Falls (40-minute return). The tannin-stained waters of the Agawa River are home to speckled brook trout, beaver, otter, mallard and merganser ducks, which you may catch a glimpse of during your stroll. Picnic tables are located along this route for a private, peaceful lunch. The Talus Trail on the west side of the tracks provides an alternate return route.
AGAWA CANYON FLORA AND FAUNA
We’ve augmented the environment at Agawa Canyon Park to provide optimum habitat for a variety of native plant and animal species.
Beaver and otter are abundant in the Agawa River, as are mergansers, wood ducks and goldeneyes. Small mammals, which are readily seen, include red chipmunks, meadow voles and groundhogs. Bird life in Canyon Park is incredibly varied. The most commonly sighted birds include ravens, robins, grackles, ruffed grouse, flickers and a variety of waders and ducks. Great blue herons often hunt pools in the park and are occasionally seen during the tour.
Agawa Canyon Park is classified as a River Lowland Zone and the resultant plant community is numerous and diverse. Common species in spring and summer include: fireweed, yellow and orange hawkweed, ox-eye daisy, nodding trillium, yellow clintonia and bunchberry. In the fall, common species include: viper's bugloss, bladder campion, pearly everlasting, yarrow, evening primrose and a number of asters.
THE TALUS TRAIL
The Talus Trail continues past the Ed Foote Trail along the base of the west Canyon wall. This trail will lead you past lichen covered talus slopes to the viewing platforms at North and South Black Beaver Falls (30-minute return trip) and Bridal Veil Falls (40-minute return trip). The water flow at all the falls is contingent on runoff from snow and rainfall and can range from raging torrents to thin trickles over the course of the tour season. Even at low flow the 175ft/53.3m Black Beaver and 225ft/68.5m Bridal Veil Falls are a beautiful culmination to a very enjoyable hike. When walking the Talus Trail watch Ruffed Grouse, Woodchucks and Eastern Chipmunks. For the return trip, you may want to use the River Trail.