Thunder Bay City and Area Green Spaces

Boulevard Lake
The construction of a dam near the mouth of the Current River in 1901 resulted in a head pond flooding the area now developed as Boulevard Lake municipal park, the first in a series of parklands along the rivers shores.
The 74 ha park offers a range of recreational opportunities, including a playground, supervised swimming at a sand beach, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating and windsurfing, as well as sailing lessons. A 5 km (3 mile) trail circles the lake and passes over the Black Bay Bridge, the first single spandrel, reinforced concrete bridge ever constructed (1910).

Candy Mountain
Thirteen downhill ski runs and a snowboard park are the main features of this ski area. Other facilities include a food bar, licenced lounge, ski shop with rentals and a ski school.
In summer a steep 5 km hiking trail through a forest of red maple and poplar offers views of the Nor'wester Range and the Slate River Valley, Thunder Bay's most productive agricultural belt.

Cascades Conservation Area
Accessible from Balsam St., this 162 ha Conservation Area in the north part of the city is linked to Centennial Park by a series of trails. It is a fine place for a quiet walk on a summer's evening. The landscape features a series of cascades in the river set against numerous rock outcrops and a primarily birch and poplar forest.

Cedar Falls Conservation Area
Located on Concession Road V in O'Connor Township, this 23 ha Conservation Area features a well-marked trail that leads through a lush evergreen forest to a cascading waterfall.

Centennial Park
Developed in 1967, Centennial offers something for outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers alike. The Bluffs on the western edge of the park provide an excellent view of the area as well as rock climbing opportunities. The 60 ha park has extensive trails through a lowland of spruce and cedar which are groomed for cross country skiing in the winter. For those who prefer a more leisurely trip, a small train - the Muskeg Express - passes through the forest, as do sleighs in the winter. Other features include a wooden playground, picnic area, a replica of a 1910 logging camp with a museum and a small farm with domestic animals.

Chippewa Park
The 100+ ha of land on which Chippewa is situated was purchased from the Fort William Indian Band and opened as a park in 1921. A traditional hunting ground, this part of the Superior shore is still home to an abundant bird population.
The park has 5 playing fields, 6 baseball diamonds, a picnic area, 150 campsites and 18 log cabins constructed in 1932. The original dance hall/pavilion and lodge are a focal point for park activities. A recent addition is a 4 ha wildlife exhibit of northern animals in a constricted but otherwise natural habitat.
There is a fine view of the harbour from the lake level and at several points along the Chippewa Ridge Trail, which climbs to a height of land, following a raised cobble beach along the way.

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George Burke Park
Enjoy a wilderness experience within the City. The McIntyre River, which meanders through this 55 ha park, is home to a myriad of aquatic organisms. Clusters of white and black spruce, birch and poplar are interspersed with clearings of wildflowers. Its biodiversity makes George Burke an excellent outdoor laboratory for students at Lakehead University, just south of the park.
Several ball diamonds on the northeast side of the park can be accessed from John St. at Montgomery St. The major attraction of the park, however, is its natural 'underdeveloped' aspect. Trails are available for mountain biking or hiking. The McIntyre River is a favourite fishing hole, and can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter.

Hazelwood Lake
Located 14 km (9 miles) north of the city on Hazelwood Drive, this 618 ha Conservation Area is a part of the Current River watershed. The area features a new interpretive centre (opened in 1994), as well as opportunities for swimming, canoeing, hiking, picnicking and cross-country skiing on 8 km (5 miles) of groomed trails.

Jim Jessiman Nature Preserve
Situated on a major bend on the Kaministiquia River where it is crosses below Highway 61, this 22 ha wetland provides habitat within the city for aquatic plants and animals. The preserve is managed by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority.

Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
Located 32 km (20 miles) west of Thunder Bay on Highway 11/17, the 500 ha park provides visitors with a spectacular view of a 39 m (125 foot) waterfall cascading into a massive gorge carved out of the Precambrian Shield by meltwater following the last glaciation. The escarpments here are not suitable for climbing because they are fragile and host sensitive flora and hold fossils some 1.6 billion years of age.
The area has a rich cultural history. The Kaministiquia River was used by fur traders as the main artery to the northwest during 1800-1820 with a major portage around the falls.
Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the park's 166 camp sites (50 are equipped with electrical outlets) and extensive trails for both hiking and cross-country skiing. There is an excellent tobogganing hill as well. Comfort stations are provided.

Kamview Nordic Centre
The Kamview Nordic Centre is known for 30 km (15 miles) of well-groomed cross-country ski trails which are suitable for beginning to intermediate skiers. 5 km of trail are lighted at night, and a chalet with food service is on site. In summer you can hike along the trails to the Lookout, which offers views of Lake Superior, the Nor'westers and the Kaministiquia River Valley.

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Kingfisher Lake
The Lakehead Board of Education has extensive facilities at Kingfisher Lake, north of Thunder Bay on Highway 527, including a number of log cabins, an interpretive centre, a base camp with washrooms at the southern end of the lake, as well as facilities at the north camp and a 'demonstration forest trail'. An interlocking network of 13 km (8 miles) of trails is available for cross-country skiing in winter and hiking in summer.
Kingfisher is located in a lowland area, typical of much of the boreal forest. A bog near the main camp is home to cattails, tamarack, black spruce, and Labrador tea.

Lappe Nordic Ski Centre
Suitable for beginner to expert, Lappe provides 11 km (7 miles) of groomed trails, 5 km of which are lighted at night. The chalet has change and wax rooms, a sauna, and a canteen.

Lecaine - Bailey Bird Sanctuary
Situated in the Buck Islands in Lake Superior, this 2 ha LRCA area provides nesting habitat for both the Great Blue Heron and the Herring Gull. Birds should be viewed from the water only in this sensitive area.

Le Pâté Nature Reserve
The 250 ha reserve on Pie Island is situated on a diabase mesa capping ancient Rove Formation sediments. This well known landmark features a number of talus slopes. At the northern edge of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest region, this park is home to the regionally rare fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort.

Little Trout Bay Conservation Area
Situated about 50 km (30 miles)south of the city, this 18 ha LRCA property can be accessed by taking the Little Trout Bay Road from Highway 61. Located on the shore of Lake Superior, the facility offers two boat launches with docks and a picnic area with barbeques. A hiking trail cuts through forest cover atop the rugged rocks of the shoreline to a scenic summit that peers across the magnificent lake.

Loch Lomond
A downhill ski area developed on Mount Johnson, Loch Lomond features 15 runs and a lift capacity of 6600 people per hour. Snow boarders are welcomed.
Loch Lomond is usually the first hill to open in Ontario and has full-service support facilities. In the summer one may hike to the summit for scenic viewing or along the trails among the hardwood forest cover.

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Mackenzie Point Conservation Area
Located north of the city, this tiny (1 ha) conservation area consists of a single rock outcrop on the shore of Lake Superior with an excellent view of the great lake. Take Lakeshore Drive to Coral Beach Road and turn right toward the lake.

Marina Park
Marina Park is located on reclaimed land on the shore of Lake Superior in the heart of downtown Thunder Bay North (formerly Port Arthur). Easily accessible by the Marina Park Overpass and a pedestrian walkway over the automotive and rail corridor, the 14 ha facility is characterized by manicured lawns interspersed with paved and wooden walkways and small introduced stands of young trees, including red pine.
Marina Park provides an unobstructed view of the harbour, including the Sleeping Giant on Sibley Peninsula, the Welcome Islands and Pie Island - featuring the spectacular mesa on which Le Pâté Provincial Nature Reserve is located. Commercial developments in the park include three large piers for the docking of pleasure craft, harbour tours, an art gallery and restaurant and small gift shop in the beautiful old CN Rail station. Boat fuel is also available, as are coin operated showers and laundry facilities.

Mills Block Agreement Forest
This 293 ha conservation area is located on the south side of John St. Road, at its junction with Community Hall Road. A 4 km (2.5 mile) hiking trail features a trek around a beaver dam complete with lodge and continues through a mixed forest setting that provides opportunities to view grouse and other wildlife.

Mission Island Marsh Conservation Area
A 17 ha wetland owned by the Conservation Authority, the marsh provides habitat within the city for a myriad of aquatic plants and animals. A boardwalk assists visitors to view the marshland.

Mount Baldy
This alpine ski facility, just north of the city on Highway 527, features 10 downhill runs, a half-pipe for snowboarders and a 2 km cross-country ski trail through a young spruce and poplar forest. Mount Baldy also features a full service chalet with a cafeteria, licenced lounge, ski rentals/repairs, a ski academy and snowmobile rentals.

Mount McKay
Mount McKay is the most outstanding feature of Thunder Bay's landscape. The mountain and access road are situated on the Fort William Indian Reserve (#52). Loch Lomond, the reservoir for Thunder Bay South (formerly Fort William) lies at the top.

Half way up - at the end of the road - is the scenic lookout with an excellent view of the City and harbour. A small memorial commemorates the war dead of the Aboriginal people. For those who wish to explore further, there is a path (about a half hour hike) up the eastern face of the mountain. Along the way are a number of regionally uncommon flora species including red and sugar maple, and (beware) poison ivy. Once on top of the mountain - besides the spectacular view - one may observe glacial erratics as well as dwarfed trees, especially jack pine (Krumholz Effect). There is a small grove of yellow birch growing on the edge of a second maple stand in the bush just south of the entrance gate.
Do not attempt to climb the talus slope on the north face of the mountain. It is unstable and dangerous.

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Pigeon River Provincial Park
One of the most southerly parks described here, Pigeon River is home to many regionally uncommon hardwood species such as bur oak, red maple, black ash, and white elm. The central feature of the park, however, is the impressive 28 metre (90 ft) High Falls which empties into the spectacular Pigeon River Gorge. This park was formerly named "Middle Falls" after a smaller (6 m/20 ft) falls upstream from the big falls and just outside the park's boundary. The Pigeon River is part of the Canadian Heritage River System Boundary Waters Voyageur Waterway.
One of the cultural features of the park is the remnant of an old sluiceway used to drive great white pine logs that had been harvested upstream around the falls.
Located 62 km (37 miles) south of Thunder Bay on Hwy. 61, trails are accessible from the Ontario Tourist Information Centre at the US border or from Pigeon River Provincial Park.

Pine Bay Lookout
The 20 minute round trip to the Pine Bay Lookout follows an old logging road; the entrance is marked by two huge boulders. The trail narrows and climbs to a rock outcrop, from which Pine Bay can be seen far below on Lake Superior.

Prince and Jarvis
This area was mined in 1846 and subsequently logged prior to its purchase by the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1968. Several trails were developed here twenty years ago for cross country skiing but are no longer maintained and are becoming overgrown. The Esker Canyon Trail passes through a 75 metre (250 ft) deep gorge and follows the crest of the glacially deposited stream bed; the Upper Levels Trail follows the edge of sheer cliffs overlooking the shoreline of Lake Superior and the Palisades Lookout off the Mesa Lake Trail is a breathtaking rock pinnacle of diabase 120 metres (390 ft) above Mesa Lake and Lake Superior. Nor'West Sled Dog Adventures operates tours in this area in the winter.

Silver Falls Provincial Park
Located in the Dog Lake area, this unstaffed facility encompasses an impressive 3261 ha range. Approximately 35 km (20 miles) west of Thunder Bay off Hwy. 102, Silver Falls Provincial Park provides access to many interesting geographical features, including the Dog Lake Moraine, a relic from the last glaciation to affect the area. 55 campsites are available, along with outhouses and a boat launch. Cultural features span the range from prehistoric encampments through to the fur trade era. An Aboriginal cemetery on site should be respected.

Silver Harbour Conservation Area
Located on the shore of Lake Superior north of the City (take Lakeshore Drive to Silver Harbour Road and turn right), the facility provides a boat launch, three docks, picnic tables and barbeques, and an information shelter. The 47 ha site was quarried over 50 years ago for armour stone used in the construction of the breakwater in the Thunder Bay Harbour.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
This Natural Environment Class park is located on Highway 587 south of Highway 11/17 about 80 km (50 miles) east of Thunder Bay. Situated on a large peninsula jutting into Lake Superior, the landscape is dominated by cliffs rising to heights sometimes exceeding 240 metres (780 ft). The 2443 ha park is home to a variety of wildlife including nearly 200 bird species, as well as a number of arctic disjunct floral species such as arctic bistort, butterwort and cloudberry. Unusual orchids and ferns persist here, as do some small, scattered stands of mature white pine, red pine and eastern white cedar.
The park features 50 km of cross country ski trails and numerous challenging hiking paths that are also suitable for mountain biking. Some of the views are outstanding.
The park is equipped with 168 car camping sites and 40 interior sites, as well as comfort stations. Power boats are permitted but governed to a maximum of 10 hp. Interpretive programs are offered; while enjoying a stay here visitors can learn of the ancient Ojibwe legend of Nanabijou, the Sleeping Giant.
Call 1-807-977-2526.

Squaw Bay - Superior Scenic Drive
Squaw Bay is a portion of the Superior shoreline situated on the Fort William Indian Reserve (#52), east of the Mount McKay Lookout and south of Chippewa Park. This scenic drive passes along the raised beaches and forelands associated with the various relic stages of Lake Superior's forebearers, and focuses on Pie Island - the most prominent landscape feature in the area. Flatland Island is also visible from points along the mainly birch and poplar-lined sideroad.

Thompson Island Nature Reserve
Located in Lake Superior just south of Pie Island, this 145 ha island reserve is home to many alpine/arctic floral species not commonly associated with such a southerly latitude. Geologically, there is a Gabbro dike feature.

Thunder Cape Bird Observatory
The Thunder Cape Bird Observatory was established in 1991 primarily to facilitate monitoring of the population trends of birds migrating into and out of Northwestern Ontario. The principal species studied are migrant songbirds, along with hawks, owls and waterfowl. The observatory is located at the tip of the Sibley Peninsula and accessed by land from the Tee Harbour Trail.

Trowbridge Falls Campground
Trowbridge Falls lies across the Current River from Centennial Park. A small bridge connects the two areas, allowing easy access to the trails in both Centennial Park and the Cascades Conservation Area to the north.
The 302 ha park offers 140 campsites just on the edge of the City. Facilities include a small store, showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities.

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Vickers Park
Located on East Arthur St. in Thunder Bay South, the 4 ha park was donated to the City by Catherine Vickers in 1902 as a memorial to her late husband John. Four large boulders mark the corners of the property - one each to commemorate Mr. and Mrs. Vickers, the other two for John McKellar and John McIntyre, prominent citizens in their time. The distinctive gateway was erected in 1918.

Waverley Park
Property was surveyed and set aside as parkland by the Crown Lands Department in the original ordinance survey of the community of Prince Arthur's Landing in 1871 - the year the municipality was established. Aside from surrounding churches and school, Waverley Park is perhaps the only parcel of land in the north of the City that still represents its original and intended function. In 1907 the Crown Lands Department gave the park to the city on the condition that it "not be alienated or leased and that no buildings be erected on it except municipal buildings".
The 2 ha park is over storied by enormous largetooth aspen mixed with some young maples to replace some of the older growth that was recently removed. Other features of the Park are a central fountain that was made in Italy in 1790, a bandshell that hosts entertainment on summer evenings and a cenotaph to commemorate the war dead.

Williams Bog
A 600 ha peatland, the Williams Bog is the only remaining bog of a series of three almost contiguous peatlands once located in this vicinity on the northern plains of the Kaministiquia River. The bog purifies the water percolating through it.
The bog contains two distinct habitats; an open fen of moss and sedge in the centre with scattered dwarf trees, surrounded by a swamp of tamarack mixed with cedar and black spruce. Naturalists have noted 73 species of birds here (46% of the nesting species known to the Thunder Bay District), as well as 53 species of butterflies.

William's Agreement Forest
Located on three separate parcels of land in Oliver Township, this 57 ha LRCA property can be accessed by taking the 2nd Sideroad north off John St. Road. Hiking here is strictly for the more adventurous as there are no established trails. Some logging and subsequent tree planting occurs in this mixed forest of primarily birch and poplar.

Wishart Conservation Area
This 221 ha Conservation Area is located just 11 km (7 miles) north of the city on Onion Lake Road. It is possible to hike or ski along 8 km of trails that meander through a forest of spruce and jack pine. Wishart also offers canoeists access to the Current River which courses through the area.

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