Just outside Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park offers a variety of fun winter activities for day-use visitors of every sort.
Here are four reasons you need to add this park to your list this winter:
1. Ontario’s second highest waterfall — frozen!
Kakabeka Falls sure looks neat when all that water freezes.
The best places to see the falls are from the viewing platforms along the Boardwalk Trail. This short 750 m walk wraps around the top of the falls, with the best views on the highway side, close to the parking lot.
Seriously, a camera is a must-have for any winter visit to this neck of the woods.
2. Great ski trails
The park offers 15 km of groomed and track-set cross-country skiing trails, with loops for beginner, intermediate, and expert skiers.
Through a partnership with the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails Association, Kakabeka Falls grooms both classic and skate skiing trails twice weekly.
Visitors should make sure they try out the River Terrace Trail. It’s the longest in the park at just under 10 km, and offers scenic views of the Kaministiquia River, as well as some challenging hills.
3. Snowshoeing adventures
Strap on your snowshoes and explore Kakabeka Falls in a different way this winter. We encourage ’shoers to explore the Mountain Portage Trail, an easy loop with excellent views of the falls, gorge, and river.
For a bit more of a challenge, try out the Little Falls Trail. It features a steep descent into the river valley where you can see the picturesque Little Falls.
4. Winter bird residents
Many bird species call Kakabeka Falls home throughout the winter. Pileated Woodpeckers, Pine Grosbeaks, and Redpolls frequently make appearances.
There’s a good chance you’ll spot a Bald Eagle around the falls as they often hunt in the area — like we said, you’ll be thankful you brought a camera.
What are you waiting for?
Perhaps the best part about winter at Kakabeka Falls is the sense of seclusion; a chance to see one of the coolest natural waterfalls in Ontario away from the summer crowds.
And while camping is closed through the winter, day-use visitors are more than welcome to explore and play on any day of the year. It’s only a short 25 minute drive from Thunder Bay via Highway 11/17.
A valid daily vehicle permit or seasonal pass is required while in the park (yes, even during the winter). You can pick up a vehicle permit at the self-service permit kiosks located at the front or side of the Park Office as you enter the park.