Round-trip: 5 km
Location: Goulais River, Ontario
The local VTA recently flagged a route onto the Robertson Cliffs portion of their trail (in yellow) called “Ila’s Loop”. It is named after Ila Aho, a local dedicated hiker who created the route.
This hike has it all –cliff-top views, beautiful forest trail, and a waterfall! I can see why it seems to be everyone’s favourite hike. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked since I moved here if I’d been to Roberson Cliffs!
The cliffs are said to be 150m high and are located on the northern side of the Goulais River valley. The cliffs are part of the Algoma Highlands Conservancy who protect the area from logging. These cliffs are also said to be home to peregrine falcons. Hopefully, you will be lucky enough to see one –I have not seen one yet during any of my hikes on this trail!
From Sault Ste Marie, Ontario drive north on Highway 17 for 28 km. After the Goulais River Bridge turn right onto Old Highway 17 road (Buttermilk Ski Hill Road) then take the first right onto Robertson Lake Road. Drive for close to 5km and where you should see a parking area on the right side of the road. Park here out of the way of through traffic. The trailhead is located across from the parking area.
From the parking area follow the white blazes until you reach the top of the cliffs. Continue following the white blazes past the lookouts until you see the intersection of the white trail and the yellow trail.
Follow the yellow trail to the right heading north-east through the forest until it begins to follow an old road. Keep on the yellow trail as it continues along this old road/ski trail. After you have been on the yellow trail for about 2km the trail will have come down a hill, turned to the right and levelled out somewhat and you may be able to hear the waterfall.
Keep your eye out for a blue flagged trail on the left, that leads to the waterfall on Robertson Creek. It is worth the short hike in to see the waterfall.
After viewing the falls return back to the road and the yellow trail. Continue to follow it as it heads south until you meet back up with the white flagged trail that leads down to the parking area. See the Google Map of the Route for a better detail of the route.
If you think like me…yes there are some climbing routes here…I don’t think there is a guidebook, but you can contact this guy for the beta.