Rushing River Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

Rushing River Provincial Park is located near Kenora, which is close to the Manitoba border. The Rushing River flows through part of the park and features a series of rapids and cascades over the rocks that have been carved by glaciers. The park offers swimming, canoeing, hiking and camping and a few other activities to enjoy the water and wilderness.

We arrived at Rushing River just before 7pm and checked in at the park office. We then drove to our site to set up our tents and make dinner. Most of the campground was empty and there weren’t many other campers. That’s just how we like it.

While most of the campsites were out in the open, we had a nice secluded spot along the water. We even had our own path to a large rocky ledge that overlooked the boat launch.

We heated up some soup for dinner and then started a fire. It was the perfect way to end the day and stay warm as the sun set.

We woke up bright and early the next day to take advantage of the nice weather. It was supposed to go up to a high of 25°C this afternoon. We first did a load of laundry at the comfort station, made a cup of tea, then went to hike along the Lower Rapids Trail (1.8km loop, rated moderate). The trailhead is located at the park entrance. There’s a small parking lot and description and map of the trail.

We crossed the road and found the path easy enough. The trail follows what may have been an old portage around the rapids and waterfalls. It consists of a few boardwalks and stairs and there are a number of viewpoints that overlook the river. After crossing a bridge, the trail loops back around the other side of the river and leads out to the road.

We then drove back to the campground to put our clothes in the dryer. While we were waiting for our laundry to finish, we made some breakfast. Afterwards we hiked along the Beaver Pond Trail (1.1km loop, rated easy). The trailhead is located between sites #102 and #103, however, there is no official parking lot to access the trail. Since the campground was mostly empty, we parked at an empty site instead.

The trail loops through the forest and follows the shore of a beaver pond. Midway through the path branches off at the bridge and connects with the Granite Knoll Trail (2.7km loop, rated moderate). We followed along the Granite Knoll Trail for a hundred metres to get a nice view overlooking Dogtooth Lake. We then turned around and continued hiking along the Beaver Pond Trail.

Once we wrapped up our hike, we drove to our campsite to pack up our tents. We headed out shortly before noon.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

77 thoughts on “Rushing River Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It was nice to visit in the fall when the parks are generally quieter. There weren’t too many people in the campground so we pretty much had the trails all to ourselves. It’s a great feeling and reinforces why we go camping. It’s for peaceful moments in nature just like these.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s been fun to explore some of these smaller and more remote parks in Ontario. It’s so worth the drive to get out of the city to avoid the crowds and get some peace and quiet. Take care. Linda

  1. Ab says:

    What a lovely day you had! I wasn’t sure how far north you went on this Roadtrip but it’s nice to see that you got all the way near Kenora/Manitoba! We only went as far as Thunder Bay on ours.

    The campsite looked lovely and glad you had it pretty much all to yourself. The views are very scenic and the trails you hiked on looked very well maintained.

    Happy Monday!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Rushing River was the furthest west we went. From here we started to make our way back towards Thunder Bay. It’s a very lovely area and it’s nice how there are so many provincial parks for us to enjoy the scenery and camp overnight.

      We lucked out with a great campsite at Rushing River. Many of the sites were out in the open and looked rocky. There weren’t many campers around, so I’m sure it wouldn’t have been an issue wherever we were sleeping, but it’s always nice to be by the water.

      • Ab says:

        The open yet quiet and private campsite are the best! It sounds like you really lucked out indeed. 😊

        Happy Tuesday! Looks like a nice albeit cold day.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        For sure. The best part about any empty campground was that we could have easily switched sites if we needed to.

        It does look beautiful outside with all the fresh snow from yesterday. That reminds me, I have to do some shovelling.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We were a bit hesitant to visit Northern Ontario in September as the days are typically shorter. It turned out to be a great call as many of the campgrounds, especially this far west, were quiet. It’s always nice to snag a secluded campsite close to the water. We love camping for moments like these.

  2. kagould17 says:

    I remember seeing the sign for this park as we drove from Kenora to Fort Frances, but we did not stop in. It looks like a beautiful spot to camp and hike….if it is not mosquito season. Have a great week. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      One of the benefits of visiting in the fall was that we didn’t have to worry about the bugs. I can see this whole area being a mosquito’s paradise given all the lakes, rivers and wetlands. It’s very convenient that there’s a lot of parks along the highway which make for a perfect opportunity to stretch our legs, take a break, or camp overnight. Enjoy the rest of your week as well. Thanks for reading. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The nice thing about hiking first thing in the morning is that the water is usually calm and the forest just feels so quiet. This was a lovely park to camp overnight and the trails were all easy to follow. I’m glad we took advantage of the nice weather and made the most of our time outdoors.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a long drive to get here, but it was so worth it for the scenery. It was neat to learn about the geology of the area and to see remnants from the last ice age. It was also amazing how the parks along this stretch of our road trip through northwestern Ontario were all super quiet so we had the trails and campground mostly all to ourselves.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had a lot of rain and overcast for the first few days of our road trip, so it was finally nice to enjoy the warm weather and blue skies. This was a lovely park to camp for the night and we lucked out with a campsite near the river. The hiking was also fantastic and we had the trails all to ourselves.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. This was one of the better campsites we stayed at during our road trip. We were near the river and the campground was mostly empty, which meant that it was very quiet and the facilities were clean. I’m glad we had such lovely weather to enjoy the scenery and to have a campfire in the evening.

  3. Josy A says:

    What a beautiful place to camp and walk! It’s pretty amazing that it was so quiet in September too – what a complete gem of a camping spot!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We initially were planning to go on our Northern Ontario road trip in August. Since camping has become super popular during the pandemic, we decided to postpone until September to avoid the crowds (and the noise). While the days were shorter, many of the campgrounds and trails were empty so it was totally worth it to get some peace and quiet. Rushing River was one of the nicer parks that we camped at. It’s always great to snag a secluded site that’s near the water.

      • Josy A says:

        We have the same issues on this side of Canada. It is sooo hard to get campsites in the summer (unless you find way less popular trails…)

        Pro: So many people are discovering how much they love hiking and camping due to the pandemic.

        Con: So many people are discovering how much they love hiking and camping due to the pandemic. 😉

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Yup. I guess this is the new normal now when it comes to hiking and camping. Just expect it to be busy during the summer. I think this year we’re going to try to camp during the off season and explore more of the backcountry to avoid the crowds.

  4. leightontravels says:

    Such a scenic spot! Glad you had clear skies and nice, sunny weather. It makes the hike so much more enjoyable. We’ve been doing countryside and woodland walks in our area. We try to go out once or twice a week, though we often have to avoid certain paths that are quite muddy.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny how the weather can make such a huge difference when camping or going for a walk. I’m glad we made the most of the nice weather by spending time outdoors and enjoying the scenery. Going for a walk in the countryside sounds very lovely, minus the mud. Even when I’m wearing proper hiking boots, I just hate getting them dirty.

  5. Lookoom says:

    Contrary to the name of the park, I find that all the pictures of lakes and rivers offer a great serenity in this soft autumn light. Another great outing.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      One of the reasons I enjoy getting an early start to the day is that the forest just seems quieter and the water calmer. It’s always great to take advantage of the nice weather and make the most of our time outdoors. We had perfect weather for hiking.

  6. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    Another gorgeous spot. Beautiful photos, Linda. I keep being surprised at how empty some of these parks are, especially considering all the travel restrictions we have experienced. I would have thought that camping would have become a big alternative.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had such a great campsite at Rushing River, but the best part was how quiet the campground and trails were. One of the reasons we decided to take our road trip in September was to avoid the crowds. We initially were planning to go in August, but it was such a struggle to book some of the campsites because of how popular camping has become. We decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation and to just go in September instead. I’d say it worked out well.

  7. Christie says:

    It looks like you had the perfect weather! The sky was so clear, another great find!
    There is so much more to explore in Ontario, hopefully when we’ll get up north next time, there will be no wildfires, and better skies🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was unfortunate about the wildfires in northwestern Ontario. We had a few hazy days when we travelled up north last summer as well. I’m glad the smoke cleared in the fall and we were able to enjoy some blue skies and sun. It makes such a big difference when camping and spending time outdoors.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s too bad as the Top of the Giant trail is one of my favourites in Ontario. It is a demanding hike though, so I can see why you’d postpone it to another time due to the heat and poor air quality.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Rushing River is such a gem. This was one of the nicest campsites we stayed at, largely because we were near the river and the campground was mostly empty. It was nice to have some peace and quiet and just enjoy nature. This is exactly why we love to camp. Having nice weather also helps!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s pretty amazing how many provincial parks there are in Ontario. It’s been fun trying to explore them all. It’s certainly kept us busy during the pandemic and has given us a good excuse to get outdoors as much as we can.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The landscape in Northern Ontario sure is scenic. It’s a far drive to get here, but it’s so worth it to escape from the city and avoid the crowds. Rushing River was a nice spot to camp at for the night.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        The big thing across Ontario, and what I wasn’t expecting so much in the cities, was how nice everyone was. From airports, to restaurants, hotels, shops, everywhere. It was amazing. 💞

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Us Canadians are known for being so polite, eh? It’s funny how that can make such a big difference to whether we enjoy a city or a town. We felt the same when we visited Newfoundland. We loved the landscape, but the people won our hearts.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Nice!! The great thing about Ontario is that there’s always something to see and do regardless of the season. While I’ve enjoyed exploring more of my home province over these past two years during the pandemic, it’ll be nice to get a change of scenery. I’m looking forward to seeing the mountains!

      • annemariedemyen says:

        Yes, I definitely prefer to stay within Canada as well! And we are not rushing to get to an airport or on a plane anytime soon. When my sister-in-law moved back to Canada, she came on a private jet. She just couldn’t deal with public transport. Her lungs are worse than mine.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I remember reading in the news about how there were several people in Canada who chartered private jets to the United States to get their first vaccine earlier. So I guess it can’t be that expensive (or maybe those people just have lots of money)!

      • annemariedemyen says:

        It isn’t something Joan would do every day but the only option (due to flight shortages at the time) would have been to hop, skip, and jump through a few major airports in the States before landing in Canada. She just didn’t want to risk that much with her health being what it is.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Sounds like that would have been such a hassle and not worth it given the health risks. Besides, moving isn’t something we do very often. Glad she prioritized her health and that it worked out.

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