The only provincial park on Highway 17 between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Chutes is an excellent stopover for travellers and a base to explore the North Channel of Lake Huron. Manitoulin Island and Sudbury (with Science North and Dynamic Earth) are only an hour away. The campground can accommodate RVs, tents and trailers.
Most of the campsites are within a short walking distance of scenic waterfalls. Almost half of the sites in the park are electrical and all electrical sites are situated in a pine forest.
Each site has a fire pit and picnic table and is located close to vault toilets and water taps containing potable water. A comfort station at the centre of the campground has flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities.
Two campgrounds, A and B, offer electrical sites and are situated closest to the comfort station. There are many large sites suitable for RVs and trailers although none are pull-through sites.
Campground A has two barrier-free campsites; these are located close to the comfort station and have barrier-free fire pits and gravelled ground cover.
Campground D is located in an area of mixed forest near the day-use and swimming area. Some of the sites in D are close to townhomes and activity.
Campground C is a radio-free area. This campground is situated in a mixed forest and is close to the hiking trail and day-use area. The sound of the main waterfall can be heard from campsites #90-96.
Two large group sites are available at Chutes and both are non-electric. Group site #401 can accommodate 25-30 tents and is a five minute walk to the comfort station and a ten minute walk to the beach..There is water on-site and bathrooms nearby.
Group site #402 is slightly smaller and will accommodate 10-15 tents. The site is a five minute walk to the campground and a ten minute walk to the beach. A water supply and bathrooms are located close to the site.
Due to the proximity of the group campsites within the regular campground, they can only be reserved by “organized groups” (i.e. church or youth groups). Reservations can be made by calling the Park Clerk at (705) 865-2021.
Situated on the Aux Sables River, the park gets its name from a log chute that once diverted logs around the main waterfall during the days of river drives and horse logging. The Twin Bridges hiking trail follows the river for much of its length and offers scenic views of the rapids and waterfalls from three observation platforms. The swimming beach is located at the base of the main waterfall.
The Massey area has a history of logging and the Massey Museum hosts exhibits depicting the early days of the town and its activities. The community is also involved with farming and there is a local farmer’s market that is open year-round. An annual agricultural fair is held at the end of August.
Chutes Provincial Park is an ideal base camp for canoeists and kayakers wishing to explore the upper reaches of Aux Sables River or connecting to the Spanish River and North Channel waterways. There is a boat launch at the south end of Massey on the Spanish River and a marina in the nearby town of Spanish that provides access to the North Channel and Lake Huron.
Twin Bridges Trail - 6 km return (2 hours) moderate
Following the Aux Sables River this trail leads to lookouts at the falls and the Seven Sisters Cataracts. Interpretive panels at the Falls Lookout tell the history of the area. There is an interpretive trail guide available.
Other trails to hike in the area include the Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island, Willisville Mountain in the La Cloche Range near Espanola, and the many trails at Mississagi Provincial Park near Elliott Lake, an hour northeast of Chutes.
The park has a fine sandy beach tucked in a bend in the river below the falls. There are no lifeguards. Swimming is not permitted in any other area of the river within the park.
The river can be fished along the banks in several areas. On the Aux Sables River north of the park and on the Spanish River there is good fishing available. In the fall, salmon run up the Aux Sables River to spawn below the main waterfall.
Biking is available on park roads only. There are no dedicated bike trails in the park. Chutes is a few blocks north of Highway 17 and right next to the town of Massey where local town and municipal roads are available for cycling.
Many species of birds nest in the park. Walking the trails along the river is a great way to see and hear them but you’ll come across many birds right in the campground. Local species include a variety of woodpeckers (Pileated, Downy, Hairy), sapsuckers, thrushes, nuthatches, chickadees, kinglets, flycatchers, vireos and warblers.
The park is gated, but visitors are welcome to walk in. The views of the .Aux Sables River are spectacular in winter and the many waterfalls and cataracts along the river are especially scenic. Bring your snowshoes and cross-country skis or just come for a winter hike.
The rapids and picturesque waterfalls of the Aux Sables River are the highlights of this recreation park. The region’s historic importance as a logging centre is still seen in the composition of the sand along the beach. Pick up a handful of sand and you’ll see that it contains bits of bark, the scrapings of thousands of logs that came through the river’s rapids.
Located just off Highway 17, the Trans-Canada Highway, Chutes is a popular stop-over for those travelling east or west. The park also makes a great base to explore the area, which includes Manitoulin Island, Sudbury and the North Channel of Lake Huron. The campground is well laid out and the comfort station is modern.
An integral part of the local community, the park makes no attempt to provide all necessities for campers. Everything needed for a comfortable camping experience can be obtained in the town of Massey. The park does offer a selection of Ontario Parks’ merchandise in its gatehouse store.
There is a fenced pet exercise area and a path to a section of the river where pets can swim. The current here can vary depending on water levels.
The comfort station offers five showers and two bathrooms with flush toilets, as well as a laundry facility with washers and dryers. All facilities are barrier-free. The laundry machines operate with $1 coins (loonies).
Flush toilets are available in the comfort station.
Campground A has two barrier-free campsites. These are located close to the comfort station and have barrier-free fire pits and gravelled ground cover.
A picnic and day-use area next to the beach and the Falls Lookout make the park an ideal stop for lunch or a short hike. A picnic shelter can be reserved for large groups.
Laundry facilities are available in the comfort station.
The park store, located in the gatehouse, offers a selection of Ontario Parks’ merchandise. There is a Pepsi vending machine at the comfort station. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are available with a $25 refundable deposit.
There is one picnic shelter in the day-use area near the river which can be reserved for family gatherings, picnics and functions (call the Park Clerk at 705-865-2021). The shelter has no hydro but does have picnic tables and garbage bins.
A fenced section for pets to exercise off-leash is found in the day-use area. There is a path to a section of the river where pets can swim. The current here can vary depending on water levels.
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