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Mattawa River

Operating Dates Legend

Beginning June 1, backcountry camping and day-use will be permitted in non-operating provincial parks and conservation reserves where these activities are normally available. Party size must not exceed the limit set out under the emergency order in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Facilities and Activities summary

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.

Please note winter activities are weather dependent, please check the Ontario Parks Ski Report or local weather forecasts for snow conditions.

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.


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


Biking Biking - (Mountain Bike) Birding - Festivals Boating Boating - Motorboat Restrictions Camping - Backcountry Camping - Car Camping - Dog Free Camping - Group Camping - Radio Free Camping - Seasonal Campsite Rental Camping - Walk In Camping - Winter (includes Roofed) Canoeing Disc Golf Dogsledding Fishing Golf Hiking Hiking - Overnight Trails Horseback Riding Hunting Ice Skating Kite Boarding Rock Climbing Skiing - Cross Country Snowmobiling Snowshoeing Swimming Tobogganing Whitewater Paddling
Icon Colours
Camping - Blue - available at the park. Check operating dates.
Camping - Grey - unavailable at this park.
Camping - Red - Temporarily Unavailable
Camping - Purple - Available at park, but restrictions apply. Check operating dates. Click icon for details.
Canadian Heritage Rivers System

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.

General Information
(705) 744-2276
Size: 14142.00 ha
Year established: 1970
Park Classification: Waterway
c/o Samuel de Champlain
P.O. Box 147
6905 Highway 17 East