Agawa Rock – Agawa Bay, Ontario - Atlas Obscura

Agawa Rock

Agawa Bay, Ontario

A sacred Ojibwe site covered in pictographs next to Lake Superior. 

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Facing the scenic and storm-prone Lake Superior, the cliffs along Lake Superior Provincial Park have proven to be as awe-inspiring as the lake itself. At Agawa Rock, however, a battle wages—one fought between man and monster, depicted on a sheer cliff face in red paint. There, a piece of ancient artwork still stands having weathered the tests of time and erosion.

Mishipeshu: the Great Lynx and the Night Panther rear up on a granite canvas, having illustrated wonder and fear for centuries. The lynx is one of the more iconic images on the cliffs, and is just one of the hundreds of paintings dotting Agawa Rock. The paintings date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and are still very much sacred to the Ojibwe.

Mishipeshu may appear to be vicious and malevolent, however, it’s believed that the animal helped humans. Agawa Rock is not only a place to visit while hiking, but also a place to meditate and reflect. 

Know Before You Go

Agawa Rock is located in Lake Superior Provincial Park and is clearly indicated on signs. The hike down to the cliffs takes between a half-hour to an hour depending on conditions. The hike can be dangerous and signs are around warning of the perils. The rocks can also be slippery, so proper footwear is recommended. Check the weather and lake conditions prior to visiting. Agawa Rock is considered a sacred site, please be respectful of the pictographs and the area.

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