I’ve been saying that I want to check out Onaping Falls for a few years now. And there’s really no reason I haven’t gone yet other than I’ve never needed to take Hwy 144 any further than Azilda. For reference, Azilda is approximately 15 minutes from my front door. If you continue north on this highway, you pretty much get to Timmins. Anyway, back to Onaping Falls…this trail with a nice lookout to High Falls is directly off the aforementioned highway, about 35 km northwest of Sudbury. We parked on the side of the road since the gate isn’t open in the winter and trudged through some pretty deep snow to reach the non-maintained trail. The trail was packed down enough from other people and you could snowshoe here, though we didn’t bring ours. It was honestly a bit treacherous, with some steep and icy parts and we could only get so far (just past the bridge) without snowshoes at this time of year…so we only ended up walking about 1.5 km but it was still worth it for the views and the workout! At one point I attempted to run up a trail that appeared to have been made by a snowmobile but just ended up sliding down (fail) and my husband, who had the dog, took at least one tumble.
Right near the beginning of the trail is the A.Y. Jackson Lookout, which is named for a founding member of the Group of Seven, known for their beautiful paintings of Northern Canada landscapes. Jackson painted “Spring on the Onaping River” here (well maybe not right here but close enough I guess). The Falls is also located on the edge of the Sudbury Basin, which is the second-largest known impact crater on earth at 62 km long, 30 km wide and 15 km deep. You can find some information on a plaque near the lookout point about the Basin and the crater’s effects on Sudbury’s mining industry.
Overall, we had a lot of fun doing the parts of this trail we were able to access and it was really serene with nobody else around. It would be a great trail to do in the autumn and probably easier (and safer!) at this time. Hope you enjoyed my first post, thanks for reading!