Kenora is an outdoors person's dream town all year round. World-class hunting, fishing, boating, and hiking are all at the town's doorstep as well as an active city culture and long history! With its tens of thousands of lakes and islands, come see for yourself as to why the city is called the "Premier Boating Destination of North America".
Things to do
There are things to keep you entertained in Kenora for years on end and in all seasons! This page has a quick overview of the city, but for more details check out some of the blogs below!
The habourfront is one of the defining features of Kenora. The entire downtown snakes its way along a series of bays that border the north end of Lake of the Woods. The crowning elements faceoff from across the waters. On one side is the 40 foot Husky the Muskie statue seemingly leaping from the water while the outdoor event centre, the Whitecap Pavilion sits on the other bank. The pavilion is home to dozens of yearly events including the Winter Carnival, a weekly farmers market, and Harbourfest. It is also the spot to jump onto the MS Kenora and even the international floatplane airport!
The Muse and the Douglas Family Art Centre
Just a block up from the historic covered Main Street Dock and bordering Memorial Park is the city's main museum and brand new art gallery. With over 8000 years of inhabitation, it's no surprise that The Muse in Kenora has some pretty neat collections. The 25,000 articles and photographs makeup collections detailing the many different ages of a habitation with a focus on the First Nations. The original home of The Muse is now a remodeled space showcasing the Douglas Families collection by Canadian Artist Walter J Phillips.
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company
Just a few blocks back from the waterfront is the historic 1912 Firehall that is now home to the latest iteration of the Lake of the Woods Brewery. On and off for the past 120 years, there has been an active brewery providing the area with local beer. The current company was formed in 2013 and has exploded in popularity with 3 locations and their beer sold all across Canada making it one of the fastest growing craft breweries. For more details about the latest owners and their plans, check out this blog here!
Hikes and Trails
The city and its surrounding wilderness host some of Canada's most amazing walking trails. Vernon Nature Area, Mink Bay, and Tunnel Island Trails are just a few that start within 10 minutes from Kenora. Each takes you through stands of massive pines, marshlands, and even under historic train bridges. The City Mural Urban walking trail is a great way to explore the city and get a feel for its unique history. A map of the trail can be found at the tourist center.
Once you have had your fill of adventures on land, hitting the water is essential. Places like the Hardware Company and Green Adventures rent out nonmotorized things like kayaks and stand-up paddles boards while Tall Pines Marina has fishing and pontoon boats for rent. Head out on the water fishing or just take a cruise past some of the 14,000 islands. During the winter, the lake freezes over offering the unique opportunity of driving all the way to the US border by car! You can also go ice fishing or snowmobiling!
Other Kenora Pages
Covid Conscious Activities
With Covid-19 being such a huge factor in daily life, it is important to take steps towards a safer holiday like trying to limit your daily contact with others. Keep up to date with the latest local advisories and information.
Kenora is an excellent city to have a Covid conscious vacation. With many cabin-style accommodations at varying levels of quality, an almost infinite amount of hiking trails, and amazing water adventures, you can spend weeks without coming in close contact with others. Even if you stay in town, a great open waterfront is a perfect spot to spend some time relaxing.
Where to Stay
There are tons of places to stay in and around Kenora. Anything from campsites and glamping to rustic fishing lodges and modern hotels, take your pick of type! In central Kenora, there is one hotel of particular interest as it is a round, glass-covered, tower that dominates the south side of the city skyline. The architectural winning Lakeside Inn is likely the nicest hotel in town. Alternatively, there are at least a dozen fishing or hunting camps that are just minutes by car from Kenora. Even if hunting or fishing is not your thing, the camps have the perfect amount of rustic charm and plenty of other activities.
How to get there and around
Like much of Canada, Kenora is not hard to get to as long as you have a vehicle. It's only a 2 hour drive from Winnipeg and about 5 hours from Thunder Bay making it accessible from either city without spending too much time. If you are coming from the US, International Falls is just 2 hours away while Warroad is about 2.5 hours by boat. Once you are in Kenora, you will still need a vehicle as many of the things to see are in the area surrounding the city. Getting onto the water can be done easily by renting a boat or seadoo from one of the marinas like Tall Pines but make sure you have your boaters license handy and are aware of the changing weather conditions.
As Kenora is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in Canada, there are a ton of day trips that you can do. Below are a few, but you can always head over to our blog about the Top Day Trips From Kenora to get more details.
Rushing River Provincial Park is just 45 minutes from Kenora and one of the most ideal access points to hundreds of KMs of canoeing routes. When the glaciers that covered much of North America during the last Ice Age started to recede, they scrapped the earth down to bedrock and created the area known as the Canadian Shield. These glaciers also carved the twisted and steep rapids that the Rushing River flows over. A picnic on the rocks and a quick swim is a perfect way to spend an afternoon!
About an hour north of Kenora and along the particularly nice section of the Winnipeg River is Minaki. The resort town has a few small stores and numerous fishing resorts. Following the river takes you to dozens of lakes and some amazing hiking trails. The area is also famous for its rock and ice climbing so grab a rope, some harnesses, and a friend to belay you and hit the walls!
West Hawk Lake
One of the most unique lakes in an area with thousands of others, West Hawk Lake was formed millions of years ago by a meteor. The lake is about an hour west of Kenora and just across the Manitoba border (whose visitors centre is a nice spot to stop as well). The almost perfect circular shape ringed with steep cliffs made it a site of indigenous folklore and habitation. At over 300 feet deep it is the deepest lake in Manitoba and is also the only crater lake in Canada accessible by road!