SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS
Places to stop along the Great Lakes in Ontario
N 47°55.324' W 084°48.432
A short distance outside Wawa there’s a beautiful slow-moving river connecting Dog Lake to the Magpie River and this specific section is secluded and back from the highway. Easy to find since the turn off for the boat launch parking lot is right off the Trans-Canada Highway beside the bridge. A plaque commemorating the voyageurs lets you know you’re in the right place. From there just follow any of the rough roads moving away from the highway. There are established camps and fire pits strewn throughout the area. It’s believed that the name Michipicoten is an Ojibwe word describing the steep cliffs along the south side of Michipicoten Bay. Apparently, it literally translates to high bluffs, but I can’t seem to fact check this. ‘Michipikoton’ is also included in Samuel de Champlain’s maps as recounted to him by Étienne Brulé, pre-dating even the formation of New France. This winding river has some banks made of super fine white sands that have to be seen to be believed. Soft. Don’t even try to drive your car over the sands unless you can get pulled out. You can see other campers have set up camp sites, but the area is extensive and you could set up camp anywhere, and feel secluded and alone. Further from the highway the boating is magnificent and the currents are nice close to this camping spot, obviously, making it a little more fun. The same applies to swimming so be ready to have fun. A short drive from four beaches including Sandy Beach, and Wawa’s inland lake community beach. Sandy Beach is beautiful even if it’s not as inviting as it once was (see page). Ten minutes to Magpie Falls. Large and small mouthed Bass, Trout and Pike can be fished here. Historically, the Michipicoten was the main fur trade route from Lake Superior to James Bay, and the sight of a mini gold rush. The remains of a Hudson Bay Company post can be found near the small community of Michipicoten River Village. People have gathered here at the mouth of the Michipicoten River for thousands of years. Ojibwe peoples descended on the River by birch bark canoe in the spring time, en route to their summer gatherings at the rapids in Sault Ste. Marie. With abundant shelter and tons wild foods, there’s no doubt Canada’s First People would have made camp here. Follow the river down to the beaches and there’s an island about twenty klicks from the mouth of the river where it hits Lake Superior. Calling the island home and travelling by underwater tunnels, maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to spot the Mishibizhiw, an Ojibwe legend from the area. A great under the water (and underworld) Panther Spirit and master of all water creatures.
© sleeping under the stars 2021