Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snowshoe, Ski or Snowboard: A Fantastical Imagination in Algoma’s Wintery World

(It's been quite some time since we've updated our blog..but it's never too late to get it back up and updated again!)

Algoma Country in enjoying winter snow squalls today from a lake effect coming off Lake Superior. Our landscape is a beautiful wintery white -- just in time for the holiday season! We're so excited about the upcoming winter activitiy season: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding. If you've never experienced a winter getaway in Algoma, we'll be featuring exerpts of our winter stories from the www.northernontario.travel ezine.

Our first feature was written by Meaghan Smith, a nature enthusiast from Sault Ste. Marie, entitled "A Fantastical Imagination in Algoma’s Wintery World". Below is an exerpt from Meaghan's story of snowshoeing in Lake Superior Provincial Park.  

 Agawa Rock Pictographs in winter at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

. . .
I have always had the most wild of imaginations. And growing up, winter was always the best season to express my fantastical ideas. There is something magical and mystical in snow dancing down the streets, twinkling on rooftops as bright as stars, and dotting the evergreens which line our forests. Come the first snowfall, Algoma Country is blanketed in a heavenly white, turning the region into a wintery abyss, similar to the setting of mythical Narnia, in which fabled creatures live.
Once an avid cross-country skier, I spent my winter days and evenings on the trails at the Hiawatha Highlands, averaging over 400 kilometres a year, racing with the Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Team. I was trained in the Jack Rabbit Program, and had the privilege to learn from a beloved doctor in Sault Ste. Marie. He taught me the techniques of freestyle and classical skiing, as well as the essential herringbone needed to scale the vast hills at Hiawatha. Aside from techniques, my coach educated me about a creature that lurks in Northern Ontario, coming out of hibernation in the wintery days and evenings, disturbed by people who venture out onto trails. These "snow snakes" as he called them, date back to prehistoric times in frigid regions. Being young and naïve, I believed every tale he told about these slithering snakes; he spoke of their invisibility and cunning ways, and most important, how they had fun and occupied their time. These snow snakes enjoyed taunting winter enthusiasts, be it skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, or hikers, by grabbing their shoes, boots, skis, poles, bindings, or boards, and bringing people down to their demise. Needless to say, I was the victim of countless horrible snow snakes in my younger years.
. . . 

To read the rest of Meaghan's snowshoe adventure in Algoma Country at http://www.northernontario.travel/algoma-country/a-fantastical-imagination-in-algomas-wintery-world

Born and raised in the heart of Northern Ontario, Meaghan spends the majority of her free time near the crystal blue waters of Lake Superior, or hiking the trails in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Meaghan is the Communications Writer for Algoma University, and studied at Western University in 2012 completing her Masters of Arts in History. Although she is formally trained in British and military history, her passions lie within the tales of the Voyageurs travelling the North, the vivid paintings of the Group of Seven, and recounts the early settlers in the backcountry of the Algoma region.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Railway to Fishing Heaven & A Ride in Algoma

Happy Long Weekend! Not only are we excited about a 3-day weekend but we've got 2 fantastic travel stories we want to share with you!
 

The first is a train-in fishing story written by The Fish'n Canada Show entitled "Train to Algoma: A Railway to Fishing Heaven". Below is an exerpt from the story.

Ang Viola of Fish'n Canada with a beautiful Speckled Brook Trout.
...
Walleye, Northern Pike and Speckled Trout are our favorite species from these lodges along the line with the Walleye and Specks being our top 2 (simply personal choices). The unique thing about these 2 Algoma species is that the Trout which you would normally suspect as a colder water fish than the Walleye should be farther to the north. Not so...and in fact, the Speck fishing in the southern portion of Algoma rivals almost any other Canadian destination for this painterly species. Imagine taking a train-in fishing trip and having a great chance at a true 5lb Algoma Brookie??? Well people, it's a reality.
... 


Now the second story is for our motorcycle riders who are looking for a fantastic weekend of touring (and perfect for this weekend!). Check out "The 2013 Ontario Motorcycle Tour of the Year: The Grand Algoma" written by Mike Jacobs. And of course we have a teaser exerpt of the story: 

Riding Hwy 129 Mississagi Valley.
... 
Highway 129 continues north through several provincial parks until it meets Highway 101 just south of Chapleau. It's worth a stop in town for lunch at the classic diner Gus's Family Restaurant. Explore the area's logging and railway history at the Museum, then head west on Highway 101 to Wawa. If it's a hot one, stop at Potholes Provincial Park to soak your feet in the ice cold river.

In Wawa, plan to spend at least an hour at Young's General Store, chockablock full of intriguing gift ideas, local snacks, fishing accessories, and a giant pickle barrel. It's a must-see, from the stuffed moose on the porch to the jalapeno fudge. And don't forget to snap a photo at the iconic Goose on your way out of town. If you choose to stay the night, the Wawa Motor Inn offers motel style accommodation or private housekeeping cabins, and caters to riders with a newly paved parking lot.
... 

You can read the rest of the stories on the Northern Portal e-zine at www.northernontario.travel/algoma-country

Happy May Long Weekend everyone! Remember to get out and enjoy Ontario's incredible outdoor adventures! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Smelts Starting to Run in Algoma


Lake Lauzon Resort in Blind River just broke with the latest news on Facebook that the smelts are running and we thought we would share. Smelt fishing is a special treat each year in Northern Ontario. 

If you are new to smelt fishing, below are some tips to help you get started: 
  • Smelts run in shallow, sandy beach areas, or areas with small grained gravel.
  • Ask local bait shops for advice and info of where to find good smelt fishing – they are the most knowledgeable. 
  • Dress warm and make sure to wear high boots. 
  • Use a long handled scoop net with fine mesh. 
  • A bucket. 
  • Lanterns.   
Here are 2 simple smelt recipes:

Recipe One:
Dust cleaned smelts in flour and deep fry. 

Simple and a classic way to cook smelts! 

Recipe Two: 
Soak cleaned smelts in beer. Dust with dry pancake mix. Fry in butter or margarine or oil.
Pour beer in bowl (any brand, cold or at room temp).

Add enough dry pancake mix to make a thin batter. Beat batter well to remove all the lumps.
Dip cleaned smelt into batter, and deep fry in hot oil for about 2 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Salt fish and drain on paper towelling — serve hot, with tartar sauce if desired.
This is a great recipe if you like the smell of pancakes!

For more information about fishing in Algoma visit our website www.algomacountry.com

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paddling Superior's Sunshine Coast

We've definitely had a long winter in Algoma which created the perfect conditions for an extended snowmobile season (check out the article and vid here), as well as some awesome ice fishing. But for our friends that love to paddle, we're sharing an article written by James Smedley called "Paddling Superior's Sunshine Coast" to get you excited about Algoma's summer adventures!

Lake Superior's rugged coastline photography by James Smedley
. . .
The entire coastline is gnawed down to bare rock sloping up to a stunted tree line ravaged by a booming surf. Bulbous rocky islands are worn smooth and rounded by wave action. Our first campsite is at the mouth of the Makwa River where black flowing water is squeezed between a long granite point on one side and a cobble beach on the other. We land amidst bowling-ball-sized rounded rocks and carry our gear up a steep incline of progressively smaller cobble spread beneath an expanse of driftwood. 

A spicy chicken stir fry unites the group under the shade of a tarp overlooking the waters of the river mingling with the still lake. Fresh air and exercise accentuates our guide's well developed culinary skills. Any trepidation about paddling with complete strangers is quickly washed away with a chocolate fondue and a splash of premium bourbon Stephen produces from his pack.

. . .

You can read the rest of James' article on the Algoma section of the Northern Portal e-zine at: http://www.northernontario.travel/algoma-country/paddling-superior-s-sunshine-coast

This e-zine is a great resource site to learn more about Algoma and Northern Ontario. 

Professional photographer and writer James Smedley's contributions to US and Canadian books, magazines and newspapers have earned him over 40 National and International awards. James is an assignment and stock photography represented by several top agencies. In addition to teaching photography workshops, James is Travel Editor at Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine. Visit James at www.jamessmedleyoutdoors.com