North Bay and Mattawa - Ontario
Lately I have been feeling extremely locked away in my place and was craving more nature time to ground myself. I have been doing this new thing where I take myself on dates. I am trying to put into practice giving myself the love I dream a man might give me one day! To hold myself accountable I booked a three day weekend getaway all for myself! I have never been North of Algonquin so I was really excited to see North Bay and the surrounding area. There is so much history there and I was very excited to feel the energy within the earth and forest.
After the long 4hr drive my first stop was at Duchesnay Falls! It is a pretty quick walk from the parking area that includes a beautiful little hike around the river and waterfall that is divided by a little cliff of trees.
If you love watching sunsets I highly recommend doing so over Nipissing Lake - it was incredibly breathtaking! The sun sets over several islands in the middle of the lake. These islands have so much mythology around them it made me wonder the truth behind all the legends. With the sunset creating a cascade of pinks and oranges across the sky I sat in amazement.
Eau Claire Falls
On the second day of my trip I woke up nice and early to start the hike up to Eau Claire Falls. Many of the trails happened to be closed for repairs when I visited but luckily I still made it to the huge waterfall through the backwoods! I definitely suggest parking at the community centre and walk in towards the trails rather parking on the narrow road and getting blocked in.
While standing on one side of the Mattawa river you can see Quebec just across on the other side. Mattawa means ‘meeting of the waters’ in Ojibwa. This area Is where the Ottawa River meets the now called Mattawa River. Definitely take some time to read up about this history – it is very interesting!
After exploring the town and eating a little lunch along the riverbank, I headed over to the Quebec side to get a higher view of the river and town from up above a large hill. It is a bit of a dangerous walk/hike to get to the top of the cliffs but it is most certainly worth it!
Samuel de Champlain Provincial park
On the last day of the trip I completed a 10k loop through the Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. I would not recommend this hike if you are not an experienced hikers. It is physically challenging in various parts of the landscape and some areas are not super well marked for guidance. Despite that the hike was exhilarating with so many stunning cliff top views of the two rivers!