We were in the Wawa area once again on the final leg of a four day Breeding Bird Survey that Gerhard and I undertake for Environment Canada. Compared to the dry conditions of a year earlier, Wawa was now trying to cope with the high water levels caused by late Fall rains, heavy winter snowfalls, and a late Spring.
Last year we had spent the night at the Northern Lights Motel as an alternative to staying at Opanango Provincial Park. This year, staying at this motel was not an option since they were still in the process of recovering from a huge flood and highway washout that occurred in October 2012. The photos below were taken June 2013. Continue reading →
As we drove south from White River, we couldn’t shake the rain and drizzle and decided that staying in the Northern Lights motel would be a better idea than setting up a tent. We hoped that the weather would eventually clear enough to allow us to do a it of sightseeing in the Wawa area and about 3PM some blue sky did begin to return but not for long as another bank of cloud would roll in to replace that which had left. Thankfully, the rain did stop and the skies did eventually clear. In northern Ontario, at this time of the year, the sun sets quite late in the evening so there is sufficient light for photography until 8PM or later.
This post provides a snapshot of the various sightseeing opportunities in the vicinity of Wawa, Ontario that we visited late in the day on June 12th and one falls that we visited on the 13th before heading home. Clicking on the following images or the underlined titles will take you to a more detailed post and more photos relating to that historic site or scenic point.
After visiting Silver Falls, we decided that it was time to get something to eat and headed back to #17 Hwy where we found the Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant. The restaurant is a family run restaurant that offers fine dining, pleasant service and a wonderful view from the outdoor deck. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of eating there before we headed off to our next stop – The town dump :-).
By the time that we were leaving the parking lot at the Magpie High Falls, dusk had arrived but we continued on in search of more points of interest and sights to see. Twilight lasts a long time in Northern Ontario in June!
We chose to stop at Northern Lights Motel a few kilometers north of Wawa. The current owners of this motel have really done a lot to make it visitor friendly. In addition to instructions by the TV which actually were easy to understand and actually worked, they have decorated the motel room with many interesting touches, a few of which are shown here.
The next day, we stopped to take a look at the small falls that is a short hike into the woods across the highway from the Northern Lights Motel.
A visit to this small falls was on our list from the day before and, once we had completed the breeding bird survey on the Dubreuilville route, we stopped on our way heading south and took the short hike through the woods to see this delicate waterfall. The falls is a short distance from Hwy 17 just south of the location of Northern Lights Motel where we had stayed the night before. (More Wawa entries)
The path to the falls is not too tough but can be a bit slippery. The small rope assist to get down to the base of the falls and back up again was a welcome sign considering the slipperiness from the rainfall of the day before.
Quite mystical to stand by the riverside at the base of the falls not far from a major highway and enjoy just the sound of the tumbling water.
One last view and then grab the rope and head back up to the car where Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies were waiting to greet us.
The Beaton Lake survey route of the day before had to be cut short due to adverse weather conditions which continued through to about 4PM. Although the weather did eventually clear a bit in the evening allowing us to visit a few of the tourist sites around Wawa, Ontario, we weren’t certain what the day would be like for our Dubreuilville survey route. We were in luck. A cold front had moved in and only a few clouds lingered in the sky as we packed our vehicle and headed for the starting point at the intersection of Hwy 17 and the hwy to Dubreuiville. Continue reading →
Wawa, Ontario – Ontario Visitor Points of Interest – The Wawa Goose
The Goose’s Point of view
The TransCanada Highway Circle Route that crosses north of Lake Superior passes within one mile of Wawa, Ontario. On September 17, 1960, dignitaries, townsfolk and visitors from far and wide stood on the side of the hill at the intersection of Hwys 17 and 101 to watch the ribbon cutting ceremony. Although the weather didn’t cooperate (drizzle), most of the people who were gathered there for the ceremonies were likely more interested in seeing “The Wawa Goose” than seeing all of the dignitaries with their scissors.
Anyone travelling past Wawa on the Transcanada Highway will have undoubtedly noticed the huge statue of a Canada Goose that is strategically located on a hillside in front of the Tourist Information Centre. Continue reading →
Wawa, Ontario Visitor Points of Interest – Lion’s Beach
Lion’s Beach is one of two public beaches on the shores of Wawa Lake. One of the main features of this location, in addition to the nice view of the lake, is the presence of the Joy Super Heavyweight Champion Rotary Blast Hole Drill which the Algoma Ore Division utilized at the Sir James Open Pit Mine and at the Lucy Open Pit operation. Continue reading →
Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – Magpie High Falls
After our visit to the Michipicoten Dump, we were quickly running out of daylight as we headed for the High Falls on the Magpie River. Before getting to that destination, though, we had to first make a short stop to watch a flock of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) pick their way through some commercial blueberry fields which stretched out on both sides of the roadway leading to the High Falls. Continue reading →
Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – The Michipicoten Dump
Most tourists wouldn’t consider the town dump to be a point of interest but for some, birders in particular, a rural town dump is usually ranked right up near the top of the list of points of interest (along with the local sewage lagoon). Therefore, today, after a nice meal we made a stop at the local dump (location) expecting to see plenty of Crows or Ravens, likely some Turkey Vultures, perhaps an Eagle or two and with a bit of luck a Black Bear. We only stayed about 20 minutes but saw all of the bird species that we expected and also enjoyed seeing a Black Bear entering the far side of the dump property. (Tech note: low light and shot with 300mm and 1.7x extender)
Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – Silver Falls
Silver Falls is the overflow spillway of the Mission Hydroelectric Generating Station and changes in waterflow can occur without warning at any time of the year. Signs with stern warnings about the possible dangers of being in the area of the riverbed when such level changes occur were in plain sight by the parking lot. With that in mind, and an increased level of alertness, we parked our vehicle in the parking lot and took the short trail down the riverbank as had many, many before us. Continue reading →
Wawa, Ontario Tourist Points of Interest – Michipicoten River Cemetery
The Michipicoten River is located only a short distance from Government Dock Beach and is readily visible from the roadway. Unlike the nearby Tremblay Flats Cemetery where most of the markers have long since disappeared, a great many of the grave markers in the Michipicoten River cemetery are still standing. Continue reading →