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Mattawa River

Operating Dates Legend

Non-operating parks do not have operating dates. Please note that activities and facilities may be temporarily unavailable or restricted for public health.

Facilities and Activities summary

Availability of some facilities and activities may be restricted to specific areas of the park, may be ecologically dependent, or may be seasonally weather dependent.

Before you visit: check what facilities/activities are available and pack what you need (e.g. water, snacks, mask/face covering, and hand sanitizer). Postpone your visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to isolate.

When you visit: Continue to follow public health advice including practicing physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering where required, when physical distancing may be a challenge or not possible and when entering indoor public spaces, and wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Facilities

All Terrain Wheelchairs symbol Amphitheatres symbol Art Galleries symbol Backcountry Access Points symbol Boat Launches symbol Campsites (Backcountry) symbol Campsites (Car Camping) symbol Campsites (Dog Free) symbol Campsites (Electrical) symbol Campsites (Group) symbol Campsites (Radio Free) symbol Campsites (RV Pullthrough) symbol Campsites (Seasonal Campsite Rental) symbol Campsites (Total) symbol Campsites (Walk In) symbol Comfort Stations symbol Docks symbol Dog Beaches symbol Fish Cleaning Buildings symbol Food Concessions symbol Group BBQ's symbol Historic Buildings symbol Laundromat symbol Museums (Logging etc.) symbol Park Store symbol Pet Exercise Areas symbol Picnic Shelters symbol Playgrounds symbol Pools symbol Rentals - Bike symbol Rentals - Canoe symbol Rentals - Cross-country skis symbol Rentals - Ice Fishing Kit symbol Rentals - Ice Skates symbol Rentals - Kayak symbol Rentals - Motorboat symbol Rentals - Paddleboat symbol Rentals - Snowshoes symbol Rentals - Stand Up Paddleboard symbol Roofed Accommodation symbol Showers symbol Toilets (Interior Earth Pit) symbol Toilets (Vault Privies) symbol Trailer Dump / Fill Stations symbol Visitor Centres symbol Warm Up Shelters symbol Wifi (Public) symbol

Activities

Biking symbol Biking - (Mountain Bike) symbol Birding - Festivals symbol Boating symbol Boating - Motorboat Restrictions symbol Camping - Backcountry symbol Camping - Car symbol Camping - Dog Free symbol Camping - Group symbol Camping - Radio Free symbol Camping - Seasonal Campsite Rental symbol Camping - Walk In symbol Camping - Winter (includes Roofed) symbol Canoeing symbol Disc Golf symbol Discovery Program symbol Dogsledding symbol Fishing symbol Hiking symbol Hiking - Overnight Trails symbol Horseback Riding symbol Hunting symbol Ice Skating symbol Kite Boarding symbol Rock Climbing symbol Skiing - Cross Country symbol Snowmobiling symbol Snowshoeing symbol Swimming symbol Tobogganing symbol Whitewater Paddling symbol
Icon Colours
Camping - Blue - available at the park.
Camping - Grey - unavailable at this park.
Camping - Red - temporarily unavailable due to public health restrictions.
Canadian Heritage Rivers System
General Information
Regional Health Unit for this Park: North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
Phone:
(705) 744-2276
Size: 14142.00 ha
Year established: 1970
Park Classification: Waterway
Address:
c/o Samuel de Champlain
P.O. Box 147
6905 Highway 17 East
Mattawa
P0H 1VO

What You'll Like:

Stretching between North Bay and the Town of Mattawa on the Quebec border is the historic waterway of the Mattawa River. This was once an important route for voyageurs, trappers and loggers—and before them for the Indigenous people who began inhabiting the region more than 6000 years ago. In 1970, the Ontario government protected a substantial portion of the river—from the eastern end of Trout Lake downstream to Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park—by designating it the first waterway park in Ontario. In 1988, the federal government recognized the Mattawa’s national historic significance by naming it a Canadian Heritage River. Glaciologists have determined that the Mattawa River served as a drainage channel for the inland, meltwater lakes of 10,000 years ago, and was a much larger river than it is today. Evidence of erosion by the ancient river may be seen along cliff faces and canyon walls, many metres above present flood levels. The Mattawa flows along a fault line estimated to be 600 million years old, through a series of channels, lakes and ponds. Its route features several stretches of rapids, an eight-metre waterfall, and 14 portages.

Park Facilities and Activities: Veteran canoeists may experience an authentic voyageur expedition along the spectacular Mattawa. Most of the 14 portages in the park are fairly short, well-marked and cleared. Experienced canoeists in sturdy craft can run some of the rapids when water levels are high. The exhilaration of white-water rafting may be followed with a relaxing picnic along scenic stretches of the riverbank. One such stretch is Grasswells Point, where swimming may also be safely enjoyed. Campsites, some with privies, are dotted along sections of the 122-metre ribbon of land on either side of the river that comprises the waterway park. Private campgrounds are also accessible. For part of its length, the river flows through Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park which offers more amenities.

A detailed map of the river is available from the Natural Resources Information Centre of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Toronto, or from the MNR District Office in North Bay.

Location: West of the Ottawa River along the Mattawa River. Highway 17 runs parallel to the river and provides numerous points of access to the park, as does Highway 63 in the Trout Lake area on the park’s west side.