Top Day Trips from Kenora, Ontario
Rushing River Provincial Park
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 the bedrock and created the area known as the Canadian Shield. These melting glaciers created rivers that carved the twisted and steep rapids that the Rushing River flows over today. A picnic on the rocks and a quick swim is a perfect way to spend an afternoon! Rushing River Provincial Park is also the gateway to Eagle-Dogtooth Provincial Park which has several of Ontario's best multiday canoe routes and amazing hiking.
North of Kenora and along a 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 almost perfect circular-shaped lake 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! West Hawk has several restaurants and a great beach making it a perfect day trip from Kenora!
The Experimental Lakes area is likely one of the most unique places you can visit. Thanks to its deep pocket marked landscape and limited topsoil, the Canadian Shield has set up the ideal laboratory for full-scale freshwater experiments. With over 50 lakes, each one having almost no drainage into other water systems, scientists can manipulate specific aspects of the environment and test the outcome. Studies on estrogen, agricultural runoff, commercial fish farming, and dozens of others, have resulted in significant changes to public and private policies. You can take day tours of the facility or for the more scientifically inclined, multiday, or multi-week edu-holidays.
About an hour from town is a smaller version of Kenora but with all the same charm. The town relies on a heavy influx of tourists every summer who come for easy access to a narrow but beautiful stretch of Lake of the Woods. With easy access to Rushing River and Nestor Falls, Sioux Narrows is a great spot for a day trip or as a hub for a few days!
Forgotten Lake Frozen Waterfall
Thanks to the feet of snow and cold temperatures, the season you visit changes what you can do in the area. Forgotten Lake is spectacular in the summer but offers something even more special in the winter. Just a 1.5 KM walk from the trailhead, a 30-foot cliff is the perfect spot for a cascading waterfall to seemingly freeze in place. The ice wall that is formed stretches for over 50 feet and reaches several feet thick depending on the conditions of the year. If that isn't cool enough, it is only accessible by walking for about 10 minutes on the frozen lake itself!