Silver Falls

A Provincial Park

Established in 1985, Silver Falls Provincial Park offers picnicking, sand beaches, swimming, canoeing, boating and sport fishing.  This park is distinctive for its collection of Holocene-era features which occurred within the last 10,000 years and include the Dog Lake marine, kettle terraces, spillways and outwash deposits.

The Great Dog Effigy

The Great Dog Portage leads to a mystery, the Dog Effigy. This curious name, dominating the area, arose from an Indian effigy of an out-size dog lying at the site of a remarkable view from a 400-foot hill, looking down the Kaministiquia valley. 

The Dog Effigy was identified and excavated by assistant anthropology professor K.C.A Dawson of Lakehead University during a series of archeological excursions between 1962-65. Upon discovery, the area was fenced off by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests and is still visible to this day. 

The true origins of the Dog Effigy Mound are unknown. According to local lore, it was made by the Ojibwa in commemoration of a conflict between the Sioux and the Ojibwa which is thought to have taken place sometime before 1620.

To this day, Ojibwa trappers continue to tell stories about the Dog on Dog Mountain. These stories suggest that the Sioux made the effigy and on their withdrawal, the Ojibwa destroyed its supernatural powers by excavating a second head.

Silver Falls Trail

Silver Falls is a 6.6 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back maintained by the Thunder Bay Hiking Association. The trail follows the Kaministiquia river to a gorge of a set of small falls (Silver Falls) where you can take in the view of the larger picturesque Dog Falls. The trail continues to the top of the Dog Falls and up to a lookout over the river valley.

The trail beyond the falls goes into the forest which is less worn and leads to a rocky area some people call the “Hoover Dam”. It is recommended to use the services of a guide for this last portion of trail. Remember that the water level in the Kaministiquia River is controlled by dams and water levels can change fast without warning. If you see water levels changing move quickly to high ground.

Great Dog Portage

The Great Dog Portage bypasses a series of rapids and falls between Dog Lake and Little Dog Lake in Kaministiquia, about 30 km west of Thunder Bay. The trail has been traversed for hundreds of years by the first peoples of the land; French explorers, American invaders, voyageurs, professors, and curious hikers. To make this portage it is necessary to climb 347 feet up a steep incline from the Kamanistiquia River to a small plateau from which it is approximately another mile and a half to the end of the portage at Dog’s Lake.



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Excerpt of
Thunder Bay | The French Period

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