Thunder Bay, Canada
Kakabeka Falls Thunder Bay Reviews
Niagara Falls of the North!g Jun 10, 2009
Kakabeka Falls (pronounced /ˈkɛkəˈbɛkə/) is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario, 30 km (19 mi) west of the city of Thunder Bay.
The falls has a drop of 40 m (131 ft), cascading into a gorge carved out of the Precambrian Shield by meltwater following the last glacial maximum. Because of its size and ease of access, it has been consequently nicknamed "the Niagara of the North".
The rock face of the falls and the escarpments along the gorge are composed primarily of unstable shale, and are eroding. These rocks host sensitive flora, and contain some of the oldest fossils in existence, some 1.6 billion years of age. Due to the fragile rock, going into the gorge below the falls is prohibited.
The name "Kakabeka" comes from the Ojibwe word gakaabikaa "waterfall over a cliff"
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, established in 1955, covers 5 km² (1,236 acres) and is managed by Ontario Parks. It surrounds the falls and extends along the Kaministiquia River, which was used centuries ago by Voyageurs, who were the first Europeans to overwinter annually in northern Ontario. They used the Kaministiquia River as a major route to the northwest, with a 1.3 km (1 mi) mountain portage around the falls. A hotel with terrace which was once located on the edge of the gorge was removed after the Park's creation. It included a round restaurant that once overlooked the falls, and in winter would get covered in a thick layer of ice from the spray of the falls.
The park has two campgrounds with 169 camp sites, 90 of which have electricity. The park maintains 17.9 km (11 mi) of hiking on six trails, and offers cross-country ski trails in the winter. A small Natural Heritage Education program is operated within the park in the summer, and offers daily interpretive programs, guided hikes, and a visitor centre.
Part of the A review of my hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada travel blog
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