Did you know that Kakabeka Falls is the second tallest waterfall in Ontario?
Camp, hike, bike and swim to your heart’s content next to a natural wonder.
The 40m falls are the crown jewel of the appropriately named Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, a family fun hub in northern Ontario.
And this year, we’re excited to announce improvements to the observation decks and boardwalks! Read on to learn how we’ve improved your access to these unparalleled views of the falls and the historic Kaministiquia River and gorge below.
With the park’s convenient location just 30 minutes from Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls is the perfect basecamp to discover one of Ontario’s most dynamic and interesting northern cities.
Here’s why you need to check it:
Your base of operations
Kakabeka Falls is the perfect place to stay and explore Thunder Bay and other nearby attractions.
The park offers nearly 170 campsites in three areas: Whispering Hills, Riverside and Fern’s Edge.
Are you coming with your RV? Whispering Hills has electric hookups at some drive-thru campgrounds, while the other two campgrounds offer more tent camping sites.
Park amenities include comfort stations with toilets, laundry facilities and showers, as well as a trailer sanitation station.
What to do in the park
Who wouldn’t want to walk with a view like this?
Stroll along the park’s boardwalks to get up close and personal with the powerful falls.
Great news: we’ve completed some wonderful improvements to our viewing platforms!
Two of the most popular viewing platforms on the east side of the Kaministiquia River were built in the 1980s and needed some TLC, and another viewing platform on the west side of the river was temporarily closed in 2020 and added to this project .
Improvements to our iconic observation platforms included replacement of foundations, supports, steel structures, platforms and handrails.
The viewing platform on the west side of the river was also realigned to move it away from the edge of the cliff while maintaining viewing opportunities from that location.
The platforms also include interpretive signage, providing the history and ecology of the park, as well as the important role the waterfall plays in the local ecosystem.
This project is part of a $41.7 million investment over two years to improve and maintain park infrastructure and ensure Ontario Parks can continue to ensure a modern and enjoyable park experience.
Once you’ve seen our charming new viewing pods, travel along a historic portage on the Mountain Portage Trail. You won’t want to miss the excellent viewpoints to view the falls, gorge, and river. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring over the river gorge.
Are you up for a challenge? The 2.5km Little Falls Trail may be for you. Follow a steep descent into the river valley to view picturesque Little Falls.
If you’re a cyclist, ride the Poplar Point trail. The 4km circuit makes for a fantastic bike ride.
A small beach and picnic area are located in a protected area of the Kaministiquia River upstream of the falls. A little further down this road is the designated off-leash area for dogs to stretch their legs and swim.
Be sure to stop by the park store at the entrance gate or at the Visitor Center to purchase park souvenirs and a variety of locally produced items.
Visiting later in the season? The park’s splash of early fall colors makes it a great destination for September.
Be sure to check out the Fall Color Report to find the best time to visit. You’ll be able to camp in the park over Thanksgiving weekend, so you’ll have plenty of time to experience a classic Northern Ontario fall.
Destination: Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay is the largest city in northwestern Ontario and contains almost half the population of the entire region.
And, being just 30 minutes from Kakabeka Falls, it’s an easy place to drive and explore.
Food and shopping
For starters, the city’s food scene has completely exploded in recent years.
Award-winning chefs have set up shop in the city to take advantage of its unique northern flavors, culinary events and local craft beers.
City of Thunder Bay overlooking Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Thunder Bay’s offerings include upscale bistros and greasy spoons. It is known for several unique specialties, including Finnish pancakes and, of course, the city’s most famous food, Persian!
You can find a restaurant online before visiting or see where your food is produced on a farm tour.
There are also many great shopping opportunities in Thunder Bay. The Bay and Algoma neighborhood is filled with shops selling locally made products as well as unique gift items.
One thing that is sure to surprise you is the amount of art on display throughout the city. Thunder Bay is gaining a reputation for art thanks to large murals painted on the sides of buildings.
Art lovers can’t miss the Thunder Bay Art Gallery or the Definitely Superior Art Gallery. The Ahnisnabae Art Gallery features the work of Roy Thomas and dozens of other indigenous artists.
Do you want to pick up a brush yourself? The Creative Company has a gallery and gift shop with Paint Kitz. These kits provide everything you need to create your own masterpiece right from your campsite.
Fort William Historical Park
Spend the day at Fort William Historical Park to see furs, muskets, medicines, birch bark canoes and more in an accurate recreation of the interior headquarters of the North West Company.
Or visit the famous Terry Fox Monument and tourist information center on Highway 11/17, a tribute to a great Canadian hero.
See a different side of Thunder Bay through a themed tour. There is a list of tours available online, with an option for every type of traveler.
Creatively minded people can stroll along the Waterfront Public Art Walking Tour or explore the murals on the Urban Colors and Murals Tour.
There’s a reason why Thunder Bay is considered the best outdoor city in Ontario. There are more than 100 parks and recreational areas within the city, and even more outside its borders.
Thunder Bay is located directly on the shore of Lake Superior, where you can take stand-up paddleboarding lessons, try urban paddling, or sail on a harbor cruise with Sail Superior Big Lake Adventure.
Of course, we can’t forget about the other world-class provincial parks in the Thunder Bay area.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is just over an hour’s drive east of the city. Adventure lovers can explore over 100 km of incredible hiking trails with many spectacular geological features.
You’ll fall in love with Pigeon River Provincial Park, less than an hour’s drive from Thunder Bay. This day-use park is home to the 90-foot High Falls, 20-foot Middle Falls, and panoramic views of Lake Superior and the American coastline.
Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park
Enjoy a picnic at Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park before hiking the 1.7 km barrier-free loop trail. Take in views of a 150m wide gorge, which drops 100m to the canyon floor.
Ready to reserve?
Kakabeka Falls is 30 minutes from Thunder Bay and seven hours from Winnipeg by road, or a 15-hour drive from Toronto.
A flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay takes only two hours.