You can’t truly comprehend how huge Ontario is until you’ve ridden for 10 hours on a train…and are in still in Ontario. It’s amazing to think that in Europe, I would have passed through any number of counties in that amount of time. We are incredibly lucky to have acres of pristine wilderness. This summer, one of my Ontario bucket list dreams came true, and I was able to ride the magical Agawa Canyon Tour Train!
Being in Sault Ste Marie alone was a big deal for me- it was the furthest north that I’ve ever been in Ontario. I was about to travel even further- the train takes you 114 miles away from Sault Ste Marie.
The train pulled in at 7:45 a.m. at the Sault Ste Marie station and by 8 a.m. we were off. The journey to Canyon Park, our destination, takes about 3 hours. I was actually traveling further into Ontario..but we’ll get to that later.
Inside, the train seats are red and super comfy with large windows and flat screens. It’s been recently renovated, so everything is modern. Digital cameras are mounted outside on the front of the train giving riders preview of what’s to come and a engineer-eye’s view of the track.
The dining car serves breakfast, lunch and snacks. We had a hearty breakfast in the morning at the beginning of our journey.
I had the Meat & Potato Breakfast ($11.75) – your choice of country link sausages, grilled ham or Canadian bacon with home fried potatoes with onions and choice of toast or English muffin. It came with so many sausages!
After that, there was nothing to do but sit down, relax and enjoy whizzing through Ontario. The train passed serene lakes and dense forests. Every few miles the audio tour would chime in with interesting facts or historic stories. I loved when the train would go over beautiful trestle bridges!
There’s something awe inspiring to see the same rugged Canadian Shield landscape that inspired the Group of Seven paintings. To see the journey, click here to see a map.
At Mile 102, the train began its descent into the canyon. The train goes down 500 feet for 10 miles to reach the bottom. The Canyon walls are up to 575ft high at their highest point!
When the train stops, we’ve arrived in Canyon Park. You get an hour and a half to explore the park. Hiking trails, waterfalls and a lookout point are nearby to explore. The lookout point sounded amazing but daunting- to get to the view you have to climb 300 stairs and go 250 feet above the canyon floor. Yikes!
As exhausting as it sounded, I knew I had to try, and that the view would be worth it. That’s me in the middle of climbing all the stairs. It was a bit tiring, but it wasn’t that bad! As you can see, there are railings and platforms to rest on.
The view was breathtaking! And yes..totally worth it.
When we walked back down, we had enough time to relax and eat our lunch in one of the many picnic areas. You can choose to get a packed lunch from the train.
Our packed lunch ($13.75) included a tuna sandwich, a bag of chips, a brownie, veggies with dip and a bottle of water.
After our lunch, it was time to board the train again. Most visitors return to Sault Ste Marie on the train. However, you can also choose to go further into northern Ontario….which I did!
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train runs seasonally from summer to fall. Fall is the most popular time to ride the train. You can get to Sault Ste Marie by driving 8 hours from Toronto, or by flying with Porter. Reserve your train tickets here.