An areal view of a lake land with scattered forested islands

Destination Temagami

Surrounded by shining waters and cloaked in towering pines, Finlayson Point Provincial Park lies just south of the Village of Temagami.

Sharing a shoreline with the Lake Temagami Skyline Preserve, a protected ring of pine forest that surrounds the lake, Finlayson Point provides visitors with access to Temagami — a treasured part of Ontario that many travellers see only a glimpse of as they head north or south along the highway.

Finlayson Point is just off Highway 11, the northern part of the Trans-Canada Highway, but seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of most people’s everyday lives.

Orange sky over silhouetted forest and shining lakes
Sunset over Finlayson Point and Lake Temagami

The “point” sticks out into Lake Temagami, just 47 ha in size, but seems bigger on the inside as it opens outwards onto the big lake.

Lake Temagami — the big lake

Lake Temagami is the hub of the region. This huge, sprawling lake is 45 km from north to south, and 35 km east to west, made up of long narrow arms, like spurs, from its centre. Its area covers over 20,000 ha, and at its deepest, it’s more than 100 m to the bottom. Over 1,200 islands dot its surface, and the length of its shoreline has been estimated at 5,000 km.

Lake with misty covered forest and grey blue sky overhead
Island-studded Lake Temagami, from the lookout on High Rock Island

All of this splendour is surrounded by the Lake Temagami Skyline Reserve – a unique, protected belt of forest that rings the lake, containing the towering Red and Eastern White Pine trees that give the lake its characteristic look. A number of islands in the lake are covered in protected old-growth pine forest.

Close up shot of white pine bark
Ancient Eastern White Pine have thick bark to protect them from forest fires

Temagami Island, the largest in the lake, has one of the largest old-growth forests, which you can hike through, following trails that pass beneath the ancient pines.

Two young girls hugging a red pine tree trunk
A Red Pine along the Temagami Island old growth forest trails

The trails are a short boat ride or paddle from the Lake Temagami access road, which extends 18 km from Highway 11 to the centre of the lake. There you’ll find a municipal boat launching area, docks and parking (fees apply).

Bear Island

Old white church with bell tower, all with red trim, behind some crowding deciduous trees
Bear Island Church

Bear Island is at the lake’s centre, home to the Temagami First Nation. This First Nation’s ancestors were the first to walk the portages and paddle the waters here, after the glaciers melted away and before the forests grew.

Cottages and lodges also dot the lake’s many islands.

Lake Temagami’s sprawling waterways, studded with islands and ringed with pine forests, are scenic locations for boating, canoeing and kayaking in Northern Ontario.

Boating and fishing

Finlayson Point’s boat basin has docks, a boat launch, a fish cleaning table, and canoe racks for boaters and anglers who want to take advantage of the park’s location on beautiful and fish-filled Lake Temagami.

Blue lake with forest in the background and a conifer in the foreground, all under a blue sky

The lake seems to have every kind of habitat. Species include Lake Trout, Walleye, Small-mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Whitefish, Perch, and Burbot.

The village

The Village of Temagami hugs the shores of Lake Temagami’s Northeast Arm. The village was founded in 1903 when the railway to the north was built and a steamship line began supplying lodges, cottages and canoe camps on the lake.

Keewaydin, the oldest youth canoe camp in the world, relocated from New England to an island on the lake in 1898, after a canoe trip in the region.

History, art and culture

Temagami quickly became a thriving hub of activity for anglers, canoeists and mining prospectors, as well as Lands and Forests canoe rangers. They followed the ancient portages too, keeping watch for the tell-tale smoke of forest fires. The Temagami Canoe Company, supplier of cedar-canvas canoes to forest rangers and canoe campers, was established in 1929.

Two people look through stationary binoculars at a view of lakes and forests when the sun in low in the sky
Caribou Mountain Lookout

The Temagami region still has several historic fire towers, including the one that sits above Temagami Village on Caribou Mountain.

Three people look out from a tower high above the trees
Caribou Mountain Fire Tower

This tower was recently rebuilt, and affords outstanding views across the village, the lake, and the ancient pines of the White Bear Forest Conservation Reserve. The White Bear Forest has a network of hiking trails that make one of the regions old-growth pine forests very accessible.

Visit the village on the third weekend in July and take in the Temagami Canoe Festival — a celebration of the canoe — and the Deepwater Music Festival, both on the Temagami Village waterfront.

The historic town of Cobalt 

Check out the historic silver mining town of Cobalt, 45 minutes north of Temagami. This town’s mining heritage has made it a National Historic Site. It was once the richest silver-mining region in the world.

A painting of green hills, blue lakes and a towering red structure among some large rocky hillsides
Franklin Carmichael, A Northern Silver Mine, Cobalt, c.1930

The mining museum, historic buildings and a tour of the historic Colonial Silver Mine are all worthwhile stops. Members of the Group of Seven including A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael, painted the early 20th-century mining town, capturing the stark industrial landscape.

Your home base 

Finlayson Point Provincial Park is a fantastic home base when exploring the beauty and history of Temagami. The campground has 117 campsites, 41 of them electrical, and 15 pull-through for RVs.

Two kids jumping off a yellow floating dock in a lake with a conifer forest in the background

Also an option: the Lake Temagami cabin is a beautiful accommodation available in the park, set on the north shore of the lake with great views from inside and out, and just a short walk from the main comfort station.

Dual pic: first photo of beautiful, bright cabin interior and 2nd photo is of brown cabin exterior right on the water
Temagami cabin at Finlayson Point Provincial Park

The park’s boat basin includes a boat launch and long loading docks. If you want to moor your boat during your stay, you can rent a slip and park it for the duration.

A clear lake with series of docks, with forest in the background on a blue sky day
Finlayson Point boat basin

The park has one full-sized comfort station with flush-toilets, showers and laundry facilities, and one mini-comfort station with showers and flush toilets.  There are also two washroom buildings with flush toilets.

Consider staying at  Finlayson Point Provincial Park in Temagami for your next trek up to northern Ontario!