Ogidaki Mountain, a high hill in the Algoma Highlands north of Sault Ste. Marie, was once thought to be the highest point in Ontario
. With the release of the 1:50,000 series topographical maps in 1970, the Ishpatina Ridge took top honour as the highest peak. Ogidaki now sits at #7, and depending on who you ask is 2182 feet high. My own GPS elevation measurements put the mountain at 2200 feet.
Today, although a series of active and overgrown logging roads lead to the summit, it is seldom visited. A well preserved fire tower still stands at the summit today.
Getting ThereTaken with permission from www.ontariohighpoints.com
From Sault Ste. Marie, take Highway 17 North and at the junction with 556, turn East. Stay on 556 for 39 km and then turn left on 532 North to Searchmont (ski area). Stay on 532 for 4 km, cross the Goulais River in Searchmont, and turn East on Whitman Dam Road.
Whitman Dam Road starts off paved for the first 5 km, after which it turns into a dusty gravel road. Stay on the main road which will meander in a northerly direction for 32 km. Beware of the logging trucks, as this area is actively logged.
At (N46 59.059 W83 56.220), there is a left fork to a less traveled, but recently cleared and bulldozed dirt road. City cars should be parked on the road shoulder here. 4×4’s can be taken further as long as there is no logging activity present (At the time of the hike: July 22, 2008, this road was actively being logged, preventing any pedestrian motorized travel.) Keep to this main dirt logging road and avoid the less traveled side trails. The dirt road passes forks at the 1 km and 5 km marks: stay on the main dirt road, taking the left fork in both instances.
At 5.9 km (N47 00.373 W83 59.476) the main dirt road opens into a larger cleared area. Turn left and take the overgrown road heading south into the woods. 0.8 km from this junction (6.7 km from Whitman Dam Road), another overgrown road forks left. (Unconfirmed: but based on the Atlas of Canada Toporama site, the left fork appears to head back and intersect with Whitman Dam Road 2.4 km south of the main parking area.) Take the right fork proceeding south-west. During rainy periods, the trail may be flooded and these areas will need to be skirted. 750 m from the right fork, there is a old shack on the left side of the trail. 1.1 km beyond this an MNR fire tower marks the summit of Ogidaki mountain. The summit is cleared, however tall trees at the edges of the clearing obscure views.
0.0 km - Turn east onto Whitman Dam Road from 532
32.2 km - Park along the shoulder of Whitman Dam Road and proceed west on the cleared dirt logging road.
33.3 km - Stay left at fork, keep on main road
37.2 km - Stay left at fork, keep on main road
38.1 km - Turn left and take the overgrown trail south
38.9 km - Turn right and head west at the fork
39.6 km - Old shack on the left
40.7 km - Summit of Ogidaki Mountain
No restrictions that I know of, however Whitman Dam Road is used by logging trucks, so when driving, you should be prepared to give them the right of way. In winter, the road is probably not plowed past where the pavement ends (5 km in) In fact, the road doubles as a snow mobile trail in winter.
As the mountain sits on crown land, residents of Canada may camp free of charge for up to 21 days at any one site, except where posted otherwise.
Non-residents of Canada may require a Crown Land Camping permit
External LinksOgidaki directions, gps track log and trip report
confluence.org: 47°N 84°W
List of Ontario’s Highest Elevations
Atlas of Canada - Toporama