Ouimet Canyon is a radio site along Lake Superior’s north shore. Lying anywhere from 6 to 12 miles inland and at 720 feet (220 m.) above the lake, the canyon is 165 miles northwest of Marquette, 260 miles northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, 210 miles northeast of Duluth, and just 30 miles outside Thunder Bay. The site is remote yet scenic and is a valuable look at how signals from across the water propagate inland at higher elevations, funneling into the canyon from the southeast.
OUIMET CANYON, ONTARIO BANDSCAN
July 26, 2018 1830-1920 / 14°C
Location: 48°47’20.9″N 88°40’01.2″W (6-12 mi. inland)
1320 feet (720 feet above lake level)
56 stations total / Average distance: 163 mi.
* station was received on seek
*88.3 CBQT ON Thunder Bay / CBC R. 1 Thunder Bay / 23.73kw / 30dBµ, mono (30 mi.)
88.5 WIAB MI Mackinaw City / Classical IPR / 50kw / 5dBµ, mono (280 mi.)
88.9 WCRR MI Manistique / K-Love / 24.5kw / 10dBµ, mono (220 mi.)
*89.3 CBON-20 ON Thunder Bay / Ici Première / 16.5kw / 25dBµ, mono (30 mi.)
89.5 CBSM ON Sault Ste. Marie / CBC R. 1 Sudbury / 46kw / 5dBµ, mono (254 mi.)
89.7 CBEB ON Manitouwadge / CBC R. 1 Thunder Bay / 4.78kw / 5dBµ, mono (131 mi.)
90.1 WNMU MI Marquette / Public R. 90 / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (172 mi.)
90.5 WPFF WI Sturgeon Bay / K-Love / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (275 mi.)
90.5 WPHN MI Gaylord / The Promise FM / 100kw / 5dBµ, mono in null (329 mi.)
90.7 WMVM WI Goodman / V. of the Master / 9.3kw / 5dBµ, mono (209 mi.)
90.9 WUPJ MI Escanaba / Strong Tower R. / 100kw / 5dBµ, mono (208 mi.)
*91.1 WGGL MI Houghton / Minnesota Public R. / 100kw / 25dBµ, stereo (121 mi.)
*91.5 CKPR ON Thunder Bay / Hot AC / 100kw / 40dBµ, stereo (27 mi.)
91.9 WMTU MI Houghton / Michigan Tech Univ. / 4.4kw / 5dBµ, mono (114 mi.)
*92.3 WJPD MI Ishpeming / Big Country / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (166 mi.)
92.9 WJZQ MI Cadillac / Z93 / 100kw / 5dBµ, mono (333 mi.)
*93.1 CFNO ON Marathon / Hometown Sound //100.7 / 50kw / 20dBµ, stereo (95 mi.)
93.5 WKMJ MI Hancock / Mix 93.5 / 25kw / 10dBµ, mono (117 mi.)
93.9 WNBY MI Newberry / Oldies 93 / 50kw / weak (232 mi.)
94.1 WUPK MI Marquette / 94 Rock / 4.4kw / 10dBµ, mono (166 mi.)
*94.3 CJSD ON Thunder Bay / Rock 94 / 90kw / 35dBµ, stereo (27 mi.)
*94.9 WUPZ MI Chocolay Twp. / The Bay / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (167 mi.)
*95.7 WHWL MI Marquette / Gospel Opportunities / 100kw / 20dBµ, mono (169 mi.)
96.3 WLXT MI Petoskey / Lite 96.3 / 100kw / 3dBµ, mono (298 mi.)
96.7 WMJT MI McMillan / Eagle 96.7 / 50kw / 5dBµ, mono (211 mi.)
*97.1 WGLQ MI Escanaba / Magic 97 GLQ / 100kw / 25dBµ, mono (200 mi.)
*97.3 CBON-19 ON Nipigon / Ici Première / 2kw / 45dBµ, mono (21 mi.)
97.5 W248BU MI Ishpeming / Good Time Oldies //WQKS HD-3 / 250w / weak (159 mi.)
97.7 WOLV MI Houghton / The Wolf / 6.5kw / 10dBµ, mono (114 mi.)
97.9 WIHC MI Newberry / Strong Tower R. / 50kw / 5dBµ, mono (232 mi.)
98.3 WRUP MI Palmer / Cl. Rock / 2.6kw / 15dBµ, mono (159 mi.)
98.7 WGLI MI Hancock / The Rockin’ Eagle / 52kw / 20dBµ, mono (117 mi.)
*98.9 CBQY ON Nipigon / CBC R. 1 Thunder Bay / 2kw / 45dBµ, mono (21 mi.)
99.1 WIKB MI Iron River / True Country / 60kw / 5dBµ, mono (186 mi.)
99.5 WNGE MI Negaunee / Oldies 99.5 / 3.6kw / 5dBµ, mono (166 mi.)
99.7 WIMI MI Ironwood / The Storm / 100kw / 2dBµ, mono (179 mi.)
100.3 WUPT MI Gwinn / The Point / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (167 mi.)
*100.7 CFNO-1 ON Nipigon / Hometown Sound //93.1 / 200w / 25dBµ, stereo (21 mi.)
101.1 WUPY MI Ontonagon / Superior Country / 100kw / weak (143 mi.)
*101.7 CBQ ON Thunder Bay / CBC Music Thunder Bay / 25kw / 30dBµ, stereo (30 mi.)
*101.9 WKQS MI Negaunee / Sunny FM / 13kw / 20dBµ, mono (159 mi.)
102.3 CBON-29 ON Marathon / Ici Première / 3.862kw / 20dBµ, mono (95 mi.)
*102.3 WHKB MI Houghton / K-Bear 102 / 6kw / 5dBµ, mono (114 mi.)
102.5 WCMM MI Gulliver / The Moose / 60kw / 10dBµ, mono (220 mi.)
102.9 WMKC MI Indian River / Big Country Hits / 100kw / 3dBµ, mono (284 mi.)
*103.3 WFXD MI Marquette / 103-FXD / 100kw / 25dBµ, stereo (159 mi.)
103.5 WTCM MI Traverse City / Country / 100kw / 3dBµ, mono (330 mi.)
104.3 WVCN MI Baraga / VCY America / 100kw / 20dBµ, stereo (147 mi.)
104.7 WYKX MI Escanaba / Kix Country / 100kw / 10dBµ, mono (208 mi.)
105.1 W286BC MI Marquette / Fox Sports //WKQS HD-2 / 250w / 3dBµ, mono (159 mi.)
*105.3 CKTG ON Thunder Bay / Country 105 / 100kw / 40dBµ, stereo (27 mi.)
*105.7 WCUP MI L’Anse / Eagle Country / 100kw / 15dBµ, mono (117 mi.)
105.9 WKHQ MI Charlevoix / 106 KHQ / 100kw / 3dBµ, mono (301 mi.)
106.3 WGMV MI Stephenson / Maverick 106 / 50kw / 5dBµ, mono (225 mi.)
107.5 CBLM ON Marathon / CBC R. 1 Thunder Bay / 3.935kw / 15dBµ, mono (95 mi.)
107.7 WMQT MI Ishpeming / Q107 / 98kw / 15dBµ, mono (165 mi.)
Inconclusive signals: None
95.3 WVVE MN Grand Marais is off the air with future sign-on in August //106.7
96.7 WUPG MI Republic is at 800w instead of the licensed 50kw
99.5 WYSS MI Sault Ste. Marie is at 1.3kw from a backup tower instead of 100kw
105.5 WMKD MI Pickford is at 700w from a backup tower instead of 100kw
106.7 KZJZ MN Babbitt is off the air with future sign-on in August //95.3
Recommendations for this radio site: Ouimet Canyon is worth a visit for its scenery alone, but the isolated nature of the provincial park also presents a few disadvantages.
Open only from mid-May to mid-October, the park is attended for just part of the day. It is a day-use area only, has pit toilets, and features a 1-km. loop trail and bridge along two wooden deck lookouts, altogether a peacefully short and easy hike. There is a $2 donation to enter the park, payable into a box where the parking lot meets the trailhead.
Getting to the park is rather easy. Just follow Ouimet Canyon Road 15 minutes west from the Trans-Canada Highway at Ouimet. A 2018 detour due to a bridge replacement had an extended 25-minute detour in place (via Dorion Loop Rd. and Valley Rd.) over red clay surfaces, also an interesting detour if one wishes to spend some extra time in transit. But be forewarned: the clay roads in this area can make a true long-lasting mess of your vehicle.
Plenty of services and accommodations can be found 45 minutes to the southwest in Thunder Bay and with limited services 45 minutes to the east in Nipigon. Thunder Bay has everything you could need and is the biggest city in this region outside Duluth, another 3 ½ hours southwest.
There are few other attractions in the area. Eagle Canyon Adventures, featuring Canada’s longest zip line, is just off Valley Road a short distance from the canyon. The Amethyst Mine Panorama is a short distance to the south for those interested in big rocks and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is to the south as well.
Location rating: Because of the unique aspects of this site, mainly that it is so far inland yet with excellent near-local Michigan reception, and is… well, a massive canyon, it’s highly advisable to stop by this park for a visit.
Access to the canyon, once you’re at the park office, is cheap and easy. Toilets are readily available. The park is quiet; the evening I was there had me alone for the majority of my stay with nearly no other cars or people coming or going. At the same time, the isolation, if anything were to go wrong here, can be slightly unnerving.
For anyone traveling between Thunder Bay and Nipigon in either direction, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is worth a visit.