The Missinaibi watershed covers 86,500 hectares from its source – 100 km from Lake Superior, through the Abitibi Uplands and James Bay Lowlands – to its mouth at James Bay. Its remoteness has protected its natural features from development.
The rock formations of the Missinaibi tell 2,500 million years of the Canadian Shield’s history dramatically seen at its best in the Thunderhouse and Split Rock Falls. The Peterbell string bog shelters a diverse crowd of plants, birds, and mammals. A herd of elk introduced in 1933 roams freely along the river
For 140 years, the Missinaibi was a key fur trade route in the 18th and 19th centuries, connecting Moose Factory to Lake Superior. Trading posts were built by competing Hudson’s Bay and North West companies at several locations, including Brunswick Lake, Missinaibi Lake, and Wapiscogamy House. As the fur trade declined, the railway brought settlers and towns. This was followed by mining and lumber companies many who are still active in the region today.
The fishing is excellent in the Missinaibi system, and is most easily accessed at Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park. Species include northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, sturgeon and brook trout.
For experienced wilderness traveller and paddler, the Missinaibi provides a challenge. It has few access points, no services, and challenging conditions. However, this historic canoe route is relatively safe from June to September for those with skills and experience. It offers an incredible backcountry experience in Northern Ontario.
Information on canoe routes and suggested trips can be found at http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/missinaibi.
Who Manages the River?
The river is managed by the Province of Ontario as a Provincial Park.
Pictographs at Fairy Point on Missinaibi Lake are some of the most important pre-European archeological evidence in Ontario.