Hike up Carson Creek Peak to the Aldina Fire Tower. The Aldina Fire Tower is about 100 feet tall and was put up in the 60’s. Just the cupola is left up top.
Location: Nolalu, ON
Carson Creek Peak is listed as the fourth highest summit in Ontario with a broad and flat summit covered by dense bush, with the spot directly under the tower being the high point of land on the summit.
We did get a bit lost on the way out so make sure you follow the directions carefully –on the way in and on the way out! There are lots of unmarked roads and trails heading in all directions in this area. Make sure you have a map and compass. Thank you to OntarioHighPoints.com for the directions:
00.0 km – From Thunder bay, drive west on Highway 11, turn left onto 588 to Stanley. Follow 588 for 35 km through Stanley and Nolalu to the turnoff onto North Sideroad 1.6 km (1 mile) past the junction with Route 593. Follow North Sideroad for 6 km to the intersection with Delints Road.
06.0 km – Intersection with Delints Road. At this point, the road jogs left and then immediately right and continues northward.
06.7 km – Keep left at the fork
08.2 km – Keep left at the fork. After this point, the road turns west, and eventually heads south and crosses a small stream at 12.9 km.
13.7 km – Go right at the fork (this is the turn I missed on the way out!)
14.0 km – At the 14km mark is a good spot for Parking for low clearance and/or 2-wheel drive vehicles
17.5 km -Follow the road left (west) for 3.5 km from the parking spot where a quad path to Carson Creek Peak branches to the left. We parked our 4×4 vehicle here at the start of the quad trail and hiked west on the quad trail. The trail rounds the mountain to its southern flank and begins to climb gradually northward up to the broad summit.
19.6 km – Take the trail on the left (heading north) to complete the remaining 380 m to the Aldina fire tower and the summit. On our trip in, we met a couple of guys on quads who gave us lots of great information and mentioned that they had recently cleared this section of trail. They had come into this spot on their quads via Boreal Road.
19.9 km – Summit and Aldina fire tower
15 thoughts on “Aldina Fire Tower”
I LOVED reading about your adventure! Inspiring people to have experiences just like yours is exactly why I do this! You’ve inspired me right back and now I can’t wait to go back to Aldina Tower too!
We hiked it today, via the route in the original post. There is a MASSIVE beaver dam built nicely along the curve of one part of the road in, which is quite wet and rocky, but we were able to manage that (nice that the beavers left the road intact!). A ways later, we parked the van because we figured we couldn’t get it up a section with huge rocks. Had we moved some of those rocks, we would’ve been fine for quite a bit longer. Instead, we had to walk a distance before even getting to the path.
It was CRAZY swampy in a number of sections and we all (husband, 9 yr old son and myself), got very muddy with wet feet, which made the hike more uncomfortable, but didn’t kill us. The frog chorus in one section was amazing.
What surprised us was how long it took before you could actually see the tower and then how long it still took to get there and how hidden it was considering how high it is! SO that’s my big tip for anyone reading this – you will get there!
Hubby climbed it to the top, we didn’t. Looks amazing in the photos. Pretty scary going up he said.
Another Superior Hiking recommendation complete!!
The tower is still standing, climbed it today. Three of us rode our motorcycles to the base of the tower via the Boreal Rd. route.
I worked summers for the Dept of Lands and Forests from 1958-63 as a Ranger and Radio Operator. Aldina tower was built in approximately 1959. Construction was managed by Mark Sauerbrei. I remember an incident when Mark, myself and Brian Wylie travelled up the hill in a Bombardier “swamp buggy”, a tracked vehicle with a centre cockpit surrounded by a narrow space for passengers/equipment. Mark was riding at the back, hunched over, with one hand on the hood of the cockpit, when Brian hit a large bump on a steep grade. Mark let out a yell, and as I turned all I saw was Mark’s boots disappearing over the back of the swamp buggy. After stopping, Brian(age21) and myself(age17) hustled back to help Mark(age64). Mark just shook the dirt off, jammed his hard hat onto his head, re-lit the stub of his cigar and said – “I think I’ll just walk the rest of the way”. Mark was a veteran of WW1, wounded twice. That day we surveyed and dug out the 4 corners of the tower to bedrock. I have many fond memories of the people I met each of those summers.
Hi Clay, Yes I have been to your site lots! It’s great. It does list the towers but they are hard to find since you only give a list of place names and there aren’t any directions to reach the towers that are in my area (Thunder Bay). It has been a fun treasure hunt trying to locate and visit the fire towers in my area. Thank you for the information you provide.
Thank you for this!
Here is the “alternate” route into the tower. This route is MUCH easier and would recommend this way instead.
Take Hwy 590 to the Boreal Rd. Drive this for 21.3 kms at which point you will see an old bush road on the left (not well used). Drive this for only .6 km at which point the road is dug up. Here is a good place to park.
Follow the old road over the berms and a small bridge. If driving an ATV watch for a hidden wash out (in the first km). At 2.2 kms stay to the right and follow all the way to the tower. It is a total of 4.7 kms from where you park.
This is a very easy trail to follow.
@ C Aegard,
I must assume u have been to my site “Ontario’s Fire Tower Lookouts” at the above link. Not sure how u got to thinking all the towers were removed. In Northern Ontario almost every tower still stands. About 200 remain still erect standing proud just awaiting visitors. My site lists them all with photos.
Thanks for your comment Jane! Not that many people make it to this spot!
Did this hike today. Have lived in this area for 10 years and never knew how to access this tower, although we had seen it from the Boreal Rd many times. The directions were pretty good and we didn’t get lost at all. The trail near the tower is surprisingly swampy in places, so suitable footwear is recommended. My husband did climb the tower and took some great pics. Extreme caution must be used when up there. Thanks for the great website. Plan on a few more of your recommended hikes this year.
Wow I hunted close to this area years ago and didn’t even know this tower was still standing. I was researching Ontario’s fire towers a few years ago and from the info I found all the towers had been removed. Great to see there is at lease one left standing from a bygone era. When I was 6 I remember my friends and I hiking into the old fire tower at east Loon and had been fascinated by then ever since. Great work keep it up!
Yes we did climb the tower. Of course I didn’t get on my fire tower kick until after they were iced up! Just wasn’t dangerous enough already I guess!
The guys on the quads said that the hike in coming from Boreal Road was quite a bit longer though. I haven’t check out the route for myself yet but it might be worth it if it less confusing.
It’s good to know that my directions can at least get you up to Carson Creek Peak (but maybe not back down!). I’m a bit jealous, the weather looks like it cooperated for you and you got some great photos – it looks like someone braved the icy ladder up to the fire tower cupola.
This may be a more straightforward hike from the north, if the guys on the quads are correct and the trail is clear all the way from Boreal Road. It would definitely be easier for people without 4×4 vehicles, since Boreal Road is a well maintained road and it isn’t too far of a hike from the road to the fire tower.