A low rushing waterfall with a forested hill in autumn colours behind it.

Fall hiking at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park

Todays’ post is from Allison Spadoni, superintendent of our Nipigon Node parks, Rainbow Falls, Neys, and White Lake. 

Ah, fall!

It’s the ideal time of year for getting outside and tackling some of the longer hikes on your bucket list!

What makes the fall season such a great time for hiking?

Well, while the days are still relatively long and warm, the temperatures have begun to drop, making it more comfortable to work up a sweat while hiking outdoors.

The black flies and mosquitos are gone for the year and the fall colours make some already spectacular views even more special to take in. What more could a hiker ask for?

One destination worth adding to your hiking bucket list is the Casque Isle Hiking Trail, a rugged 53 km section of the Voyageur Trail located between the Township of Terrace Bay and the Village of Rossport. Portions of this trail also travels through Rainbow Falls Provincial Park.

Breaking down Casque Isle

The trail itself is broken into five segments.

Each segment has independent access points off Highway 17, making the trail and its individual segments very accessible to users.

view of lookout
Rainbow Falls Trail Lookout #2 (Wilson, Channel, Quarry, and Healey Island)

The trail is designed to accommodate both beginner and advanced hikers, and can be tackled over several days or broken down into smaller (but still challenging) day hikes.

park sign

One of the segments along the trail, the Schreiber Channel segment, is a 13 km section that runs through Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, a smaller recreational class park offering two distinct campgrounds:

  • The larger Whitesand Lake Campground (closed for the season September 17, 2023) is located on the warmer inland waters of Whitesand Lake.
  • The Rossport Campground (closed October 10, 2023) can be found nestled in along the rugged shores of Lake Superior.

park sign

The Schreiber Channel segment of the trail winds along the park’s main roadway until it reaches the Rainbow Falls Trailhead, located just past the park’s West Beach Day Use Area.

boardwalk through forest

Taking in Rainbow Falls

The Rainbow Falls Trail is a 1.1 km (2.2 km return) linear route that includes a series of stairs and platforms that run alongside the park’s namesake — the Rainbow Falls cascades.

After crossing a bridge that spans the river, the trail leaves the river and climbs to an outlook offering beautiful panoramic views of Lake Superior.

A low waterfall leading to a rocky riverbed surrounded by tall trees in autumn colours

While the Rainbow Falls section of the trail ends at this lookout point, the Schreiber Channel segment of the trail (which includes a hike through another protected area, Schreiber Channel Provincial Park) continues along a route that features several other great lookout points including Twin Harbours, Flint Island, Winston Point Lookout, and Selim Lookout.

Visit this fall!

Whether you plan to complete the entire trail, or simply want to explore independent segments, Rainbow Falls makes a perfect stop over, serving as a base camp for Casque Isle hikers during each campground’s open season.

Slivers of an indigo lake surrounded by thick forest, changing colour for the fall
Whitesand Lake from Rainbow Falls Trail Lookout #1

While hikers are welcome to utilize the (limited) first-come, first-served campsites located along the trail itself, enjoying the park campgrounds’ creature comforts of a hot shower, bagged firewood, and a place to charge an electronic device can certainly be welcoming at the end of a long day on the trail!

trailer at Rainbow Falls by water

Setting up base camp at the park also eliminates the need to carry your sleeping and cooking gear on your back all day, making it easier to explore all this beautiful trail system has to offer!

After the park campgrounds are closed you can still plan day hikes though the park along this route.

Some things to remember

When planning your trip, check out the Fall Colours Report, so you can take in the trails segments and their spectacular views during peak fall colours!

Always remember to plan your trip accordingly and hike within your abilities.

For more information on the Casque Isle Trail system, please check out Casque Isles Hiking Trail Club – Voyageur Trail Association.

person standing with dog looking out at sunset

Get out and enjoy the joys of hiking. We know you’re going to fall for hiking this season.

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park is located a 2 ¼ hour drive from Thunder Bay and 20 minutes from Terrace Bay.