Nipigon is the perfect place to visit this summer to experience a warm and welcoming community, with a Natural Edge. Nipigon is located at the very top of Lake Superior with beautiful views of the lake, and the Nipigon River. It’s also nestled in the heart of Northwestern Ontario, an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
This is the newest addition to Nipigon’s inventory of world class recreation trails. You can start anywhere along the route. The best place to start is at the Bridgeview Tower Lookout, where there is plenty of parking. To travel clockwise on the route, start on the path towards the Nipigon River Bridge. Follow the pedestrian walkway under the bridge, and head to the middle of the bridge for the best view of Lake Helen. When you are ready to move on, head back to the west side of the bridge, and follow the ramp down towards the river. Go under the bridge, and find the old railway line that hugs the river. Follow the rail trail along the river. When you get to the lagoon, you can spur off to the Turtle Point Boardwalk to your right.
To complete the loop, continue along the rail line to cross “black bridge”. Continue along the trail until you reach the steps on your right. Go up the steps and turn right to continue up to downtown Nipigon. Turn right on Front St. and continue the loop. Feel free to explore the many shops and restaurants, take a rest at Rotary or Paddle to the Sea Park – or continue walking. Finish the loop by heading east down Front St., cross the tracks, and turn right on Railway St. to continue back up to where you began – at the lookout!
The trail features so many great spots and if you are in town for a short amount of time and you want to stop and enjoy each point on the trail, I would say give yourself approximately 90 to 120 minutes.
This trail also features a lot of other great attractions to see around town that you will find listed here…
When travelling down Highway 11/17 east to west after crossing the Nipigon River Bridge, turn left off the highway into Nipigon. The first thing to greet you on your left is the Bridgeview Tower Lookout, which opened in 2018. Climbing its 65 steps will reward you with breathtaking panoramic views of Nipigon, Lake Helen, and The Nipigon River Bridge.
Make sure to climb to the top of this structure to see Nipigon from all angles the next time you visit.
One story that Nipigon holds near and dear is Holling C. Holling’s “Paddle to the Sea.” The famous story of a child’s hand carved canoe and how it took on the journey of the mystical and largest great lake, Lake Superior. To commemorate where the canoe started its journey (Nipigon) a park including twelve playground stations, a small lookout, statue of the canoe, waterfalls, and a splash pad were built and is now known as “The Paddle to the Sea Park & Splash Pad.”
This is something that is great for the whole family especially on a warm summer’s day when the kids need to cool down, or stretch their legs. The splash pad is in the downtown core right behind the Municipal Office and across the street from Rotary Park. It features dumping buckets, a spraying snail, misting leaf, and a “cascades“ feature, which is very popular with toddlers.
Take a picture with the Paddle to Sea Canoe statue or splash around for the afternoon.
One of the best things about Nipigon is that we are located near so many great freshwater lakes. The perfect thing to do on a warm summer’s day is to take a visit to our community’s public beach at Lofquist Lake. This beach is maintained by the municipality and is equipped with public washrooms, change rooms, play structures, a sandy beach, and a swimming dock.
Lofquist Lake public beach is located down highway 585, off highway 11/17 at the Petrocan. After a few minutes drive, take the gravel road to the left. The beach is a few minutes down the road on the left.
One of the best things about Northwestern Ontario is the plethora of non-motorized recreation trails. Few are as magical as the Mazukama Falls Trail.
Located off Highway 17, approximately 20 km east of Nipigon. If you are travelling east bound, you know you are getting close when you pass “Ozone Creek”. Soon after, you will see a gravel logging road, on the left – Camp 81 Road. Once you’ve turned onto Camp 81 the trailhead is only about 200m away. There is ample on the left, the well-marked trailhead is across from the parking area.
The falls are part of the “Mazukama Falls Loop”. There are a few options to take – including the wing tip hike that can take 3 hours. But most take the shorter hike which takes about 30 minutes to get to a beautiful 25 m high waterfall. After you’ve taken Mazukama Falls in, you can turn around and go back, or you can continue on to the longer loop trail. Not only is this a sight in the summer but also can be just as stunning in the winter months when it’s completely frozen.
You can smell the cedar trees as you hike along the trail with many smaller falls and cascading streams along the way.
Mazukama Falls is a wilderness, black diamond trail. Hiking it requires an intermediate fitness level, and make sure you wear proper footwear – running shoes with good support, or hiking boots are a must.
Make sure to hit your next “hole-in-one” at Nipigon’s North Shore Golf Club. Located along Highway 17 between Red Rock and Nipigon on Golf Course Rd., the club features a fully licensed clubhouse and is open 7 days a week. You don’t have to be a golfer to visit – anyone from the general public is welcome to come to the club for lunch or to enjoy an ice-cold beer on the deck.
This par 36 course is nestled in a boreal forest setting and features a 9-Hole course with a unique layout and multiple tees. It will give even the avid golfer unique challenges.
Nipigon a beautiful community, and one of the most frequently explored lookouts is at the summit of “The Bald Spot Trail.” The lookout on this trail can be reached in 15-20 minutes and is accessible to most ages and fitness levels. The “bald spot” is actually a clearing on top of a huge rock cut where hikers and bikers can sit and enjoy a full view of the town – have a picnic, take pictures, or just sit and relax.
The trailhead is just past 174 Greenmantle Drive on the left side of the gravel road. It is well marked, and is the perfect adventure for all ages as it’s not too challenging or long. Perfect to get a view of the whole town.
Not only is Nipigon a beautiful community with a Natural Edge but it has a rich heritage, and its history is something you can learn about in Nipigon’s very own Historical Museum. Even the Museum’s history is an interesting one with the original tragically burning to the ground in 1990. The museum was rebuilt, with some of the original artifacts still intact. Replicas of destroyed items were crafted, and new exhibits were added. The remnants from Nipigon’s past paint a colorful picture of a small but mighty community.
The museum is now located on downtown at 40 Front St., just one block from Paddle to the Sea Park. It is open daily during the summer season. If you happen be visiting during the off season, phone 807-887-3135 ext. 26 to book a private tour.
One of Nipigon’s most talked about and most important structures is the infamous Nipigon River Bridge. With assisting traffic to cross our Nipigon River and Canada as a whole, the bridge stands at 75 m. (246 ft).
The original was built in 1937 and was a steel deck truss bridge whereas the new bridge is a cable-stayed bridge. The project for the new bridge began in 2013. Both lanes of the bridge were officially opened in 2017. The bridge has had some challenges but stands strong today and continues to “bridge” the crossroads of Canada.
This mighty bridge is now a part of Nipigon’s landscape, and a fantastic structure to view and explore. Especially during night hours when it lights up the sky with warm blue hue. It has now been the subject of numerous stunning photographs produced by local shutterbugs.