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Explore the Historic Mattawa River Area

Mattawa River Resort is located just a few minutes from the town of Mattawa, Ontario. The area boasts an extensive history and interesting geological features for you to explore. Book a stay with us this summer and take in all that the Mattawa River area has to offer! 

Located in central Ontario, the Mattawa River is 76km in length, flowing east through the Algonquin Highlands from Trout Lake in the city of North Bay, until it meets the Ottawa River in the town of Mattawa.  Most of the river flows through Mattawa River Provincial Park, while the eastern end of the river is encompassed within Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. 

The Past and Present of Mattawa 

Rewind many thousands of years to a time when glaciers extended across much of the country. As they receded, they left behind valleys and canyons through which the Mattawa River now flows. The river was used for centuries by indigenous peoples as a transportation corridor. In the early 1600s, the first Europeans began using the river, and it eventually became an important part of the route from Montreal to Lake Superior. In the 19th century, the Mattawa River was used to transport logs from the vast forests of white pines to the local sawmills. The river’s usefulness for transportation diminished after a rail line connecting the town of Mattawa with other parts of the country was built.  

Cut to the present day, and the river is used primarily for recreation, offering many opportunities for canoeing and paddling. There steep canyon walls, caves and waterfalls to explore along the way.  Paddling the river from end-to-end typically takes anywhere from two to four days.  

Around the Town of Mattawa

The town of Mattawa sits on lands belonging to the Algonquin people, where the Mattawa and Ottawa rivers meet. In fact, in the Algonquin language, Mattawa means “meeting of waterways”. There is a lot to do in this quaint, and lively town. Learn a thing or two about the famous personalities who are part of Mattawa’s (and Canada’s) history from wooden historical monuments, including statues of French explorer and cartographer Samuel de Champlain, and fur traders Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers who were instrumental in the formation of the Hudson Bay Company. Don’t forget to take Instagram-worthy pictures with the 17 ft wooden statue of Big Joe Mufferaw—a lumberjack who became a local folk hero, immortalized in stories, poems, and songs. History buffs will love the Mattawa District Museum stories of local indigenous people, the voyageurs, and the logging industry are on display. The local stores and businesses on Main Street specialize in handcrafted artisan products which make for perfect souvenirs and gifts. 

Why Wait? 

Looking for an all-inclusive summer cottage resort for a summer vacation? Mattawa River Resort features 13 fully furnished cabins equipped with kitchens, outdoor BBQs and fire pits. Enjoy all of the activities the resort has to offer, including boating, trail rides, ATVing, hiking and more. Swim in the Mattawa River area or go for a paddle in a canoe or kayak. It’s fun for the whole family! Call us at 647-293-0089 to book your stay!

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