This post describes only the northern most portion of the Kabeyun Trail from the North Kabeyun Trailhead to Sawyer Bay.
- Distance: 17.3 km (linear)
- Total time: 1 – 2 days
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Hiking along the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior
- Some of the most remote hiking in the park
From the North Kabeyun Trailhead (at the Thunder Bay Lookout) to Sawyer Bay, the Kabeyun Trail is a single track that more or less follows the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior. While not technically a coastal trail, it’s never far from the lake and feels intimately connected to it. This section of trail is classified as difficult because of numerous short steep sections that must be navigated over the terrain. It is also the most remote section of the Kabeyun Trail (especially once you get past Clavet Bay) and can get overgrown.
Highlights along this part of the trail include the dramatic rocky shoreline of Clavet Bay, the sandy beach and clear water at Hoorigan Bay (perfect for swimming), and simply being off the beaten path. Chances are you’ll have most of the trail to yourself unless you consider the wildlife which you are more likely to encounter here than perhaps on any other trails in the park.
This section of the Kabeyun intersects the Twinpine Lake Trail (at the West Twinpine Lake Trail Junction) and the Sawyer Bay Trail (at the West Sawyer Bay Trail Junction) which are both linear interior trails. There are backcountry campsites at both of these junctions, and the Sawyer Bay Campsites are equipped with an outhouse and a bear locker. One of the sites at Sawyer Bay also has a picnic table and a fire pit.
This portion of the Kabeyun Trail can be accessed by car from the North Kabeyun Trailhead (located at the very end of Thunder Bay Lookout Road) and by foot from the Twinpine Lake Trail and the Sawyer Bay Trail.
Nuggets of knowledge
- You can try hiking along the lake’s shoreline to avoid muddy sections of the trail around Hoorigan Bay and Sawyer Bay.
- This is one of the most remote trails in the park. Be prepared to be completely self sufficient before you head out, especially from the North Trailhead. Remember to share your plans with someone.