Chigamiwinigum Falls

Top of the falls, July 2004

Province: Ontario

Location: Pukaskwa National Park.

Height: 50?

Crest: 100

Water Source: White River

Waypoint: 48.56N 86.234W

Summary: A powerful cascade on the White River in Canada's Pukaskwa National park. There is suspension bridge spanning the gorge high above the white water. A definite must if you are visiting Pukaswka.

Chigamiwinigum Falls is a long, low and fierce cascade on the White River in Pukaskwa National Park. This waterfall is the last major rapids on the river before it reaches Lake Superior. The name is Ojibway for "First portage from the lake". I have also seen the name spelled "Chigaaminwinigum".

I do not know what the total drop of the cascade is, and it is hard to estimate given that the cascade is around 700 meters long. What makes the place really interesting is the suspension bridge over the gorge. The bridge is 30 meters long and 23 meters above the raging water below. It was quite windy the day I was there making it all the more interesting, if not downright scary. The bridge definitely sways in the wind. From the bridge you can get some lovely views of the falls.

The waterfall is on the coastal trail. It is about a 3-4 hour hike one way to the bridge. Most of the trail is actually inland so you do not see much of the lake. There are some ups and downs but there is a long straight flat stretch through a moss covered forest. The coastal trail continues for days. About an hour beyond Chigamiwinigum is Hook Falls. Far beyond that there are falls on the Swallow River. There is also another suspension bridge over the Willow River.

Here is a short movie showing the falls above and below the bridge. Here is a longer movie. This is a movie of the bridge.

[Lake Superior] Nearby Falls

The White River has a large number of rapids and smaller falls. The big one is Umbata Falls which is many miles upstream. Hook Falls is about an hour upstream along the coastal trail. Along the remote coastline of Pukaskwa you will find Cascade Falls, Schist Falls and Swallow River Falls. None of these falls are easy to reach. The much easier to visit Mink Creek Falls is just off of Highway 17 11 miles west of Marathon. There are also falls on the Black River south of Highway 17.

Photo Gallery

Downstream of the bridge

Looking over the bridge

The bottom of the falls

On the bridge

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Last Modified: Friday, 25-Sep-2009 20:41:19 MDT.

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