Rapids and Waterfalls in Quetico

Silver Falls at end of Saganaga Lake

The high number of rapids and waterfalls in Quetico Park is primarily due to the large amount of exposed bedrock combined with numerous creeks and rivers. Three images of these rapids and waterfalls are shown below.

A Gallery of images of waterfalls and rapids in northwestern Ontario is found in the Photography section. A number of long exposure images of water is found in the “fast water, slowly” Gallery.

Silver Falls is located at the northwest end of Saganagons Lake . Silver Falls is one of the highest and most beautiful falls in Quetico Park and can be most appreciated from along the river below the falls since the view from the portage trail is not very good. Caution should be used when approaching these falls and the portage is found to the right of the falls. The portage, like the vast majority of those in Quetico Park, is thousands of years old and existed long before the arrival of the first Europeans. The water from Cache Bay on Saganaga Lake flows over Silver Falls on its way to Sagonagons Lake. This is the route that leads to the ‘Falls chain’ between Saganagons Lake and Kawnipi Lake.

Falls at Prairie Portage on Basswood Lake

Prairie Portage is located at the east end of Basswood Lake in Quetico Park. This small rapids/falls occurs where the water enters into the east end of Basswood Lake which is located on the southern boundary of Quetico Park. It is strange that this location is called Prairie Portage since there isn’t any indication of prairie anywhere near here today. The name evidently comes from the logging days when horses were kept in cleared fields at this site. The cleared fields have now reverted to forest and Prairie Portage no longer reminds anyone of a prairie. This busy site hasthe Canadian Ranger Station on the Ontario side and the motorized portage for Basswood Lake on the Minnesota side.

French River at dusk

This image of the French River was taken at dusk. The French River enters into French Lake near the eastern boundary of Quetico Park. The French Portage, which went from Windigoostigwan Lake to French Lake, by-passed this section of the French River which has numerous rapids. This portage, which parallels what is now Highway 11, is no longer used. There is now a hiking trail which follows along the French River to French Falls. This trail is seldom used and is particularly interesting in the fall and winter.

Falls Road Falls near Thunder Bay, Ontario

Falls Road is a rural road located southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is apparently named after a small falls that is located adjacent to the road. This photo was taken on a warm, buggy evening in late June. The long exposure, which was over a minute, gives the falls its milky appearance. The overall, blue tint to the image is due to reciprocity failure of the slide film in the long exposure.

1 Response to “Rapids and Waterfalls in Quetico”


  • When you get to the end of Falls Road you can go right or left. Each appears to go to private residences. How do we get to this waterfall?

    We’re working on a hiking guide and would appreciate your help.

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