The Top 12 Reasons to Visit Atikokan, Ontario
Sarah Leatherdale
By Sarah Leatherdale

Sarah is the Tourism Development Intern with the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation

Last Updated: August 8, 2019

Everyone loves a secret!

It's true, everyone loves a secret! Well, I’ll tell you ours, come visit and we’ll show you how to go Wild in Atikokan. Located in northwestern Ontario, Atikokan is in between Thunder Bay (200KM / 125 Miles West) and Fort Frances (145KM / 90 Miles East). Atikokan, known as the Canoeing Capital of Canada, is the gateway to fantastic canoeing and fishing opportunities but offers so much more. Located off the beaten path, a quick 3 km drive off Highway 11, Atikokan is rich in activities for every season. In this article you will find the top 12 reasons why Atikokan should be at the top of your travel list:


1. World-Class Fishing

Atikokan is surrounded by over 2000 lakes with multiple species to catch. Known for our great smallmouth bass, Atikokan also has great walleye, lake trout, and pike fishing. With the number of lakes that are accessible, there is a lake for everyone. One positive aspect of fishing in Atikokan is that lots of times you have the lake to yourself! Come catch your trophy fish here and create memories that last a lifetime! Find a place to stay here.

Big smallmouth bass are everywhere around Atikokan

2. Little Falls Golf Course

If you want to take a break from fishing, check out our nine-hole golf course. The Little Falls Golf Club course features picturesque views of Atikokan’s Little Falls waterfall and fairways that are scenically framed with natural forest. What’s even better, the Little Falls Golf Club has affordable green fees and lots of open tee times. When you are finished with your tee time, stop by the First Round Draft Sports Bar and Grill to grab a cold pint and some good grub.

Great View From the Tee at Little Falls Golf Course!

3. Quetico Provincial Park

Are you ready to adventure into the wilderness? Paddling on crystal clear waters, sleeping under the stars in the comfort of your tent and catching endless amounts of fish, Quetico is yours to explore. Quetico Provincial Park is a popular provincial park that is bragged about, by many, for its wilderness beauty. It is a world-famous destination for backcountry canoeing with over 2,000 lakes and 460,000 ha of remote wilderness. Have you ever experienced the night sky filled countless stars? Well, you haven’t seen anything yet! 

Do you love to canoe? If you want some more adventures, check out the Path of the Paddle to extend your adventure on the waters. Not crazy about sleeping in a tent? Check out Quetico Inn, the White Otter Inn or Sapawe Corner as an alternative accommodation.

Quetico Park is a Paddler's Paradise

4. Atikokan Mudfling Races

The Atikokan Mudslingers 4x4 Club host an annual event during the second weekend of August, where mud truck drivers come from all around the region to compete on the longest mud track in northern Ontario, measuring 300 feet in length. There are five different classes that compete: Pro Stock, Mod, Pro Mod, Super Mod, and Open. Come on out and “get muddy” with us!

Lots of Fun (and Mud) at the Atikokan Mudfling!

5. Atikokan Bass Classic

Have you heard of the Atikokan Bass Classic Small Mouth Bass Tournament? Well if you haven’t you are missing out!! The Atikokan Bass Classic is a smallmouth bass tournament, an annual event that is hosted by countless community volunteers. The fishing takes place in Upper and Lower Marmion Lake, known as the flood waters. Every year, the tournament begins with a parade of boats with all the teams entered into the tournament. The fishing happens on the 3rd Friday and Saturday every August, each day ending with a weigh-in event, where teams drive their truck through the event tent, with the whole community cheering them on as they present the day’s catch. This event is a big success because of the volunteers’ hard work and the community’s presence at all the events. It is recognized as the “funnest bass tournament”.

The weeks’ festivities, including the weigh-ins and dance, are open to all, so come out and see why the Atikokan Bass Classic is the funnest!

Weigh-in at the Atikokan Bass Classic

6. The Atikokan Centennial Museum

The Atikokan Centennial Museum is a Must Stop

7. The Atikokan Sno-ho Snowmobile Club

Are you ready to experience smooth, freshly groomed, snowmobile trails? Atikokan is the place to come. The Atikokan Sno-ho Snowmobile Club is an organization made up of volunteers who groom and maintain over 500km of the best wilderness snowmobile trails in northwestern Ontario. These trails are scenic, uncongested and provide a variety of riding styles. The Sno-ho Club holds many events during the year, including organized trail rides like the Snowarama and the Annual Poker Derby, as well as potluck dinner. Atikokan is also a destination on some popular snowmobile loops in northwest Ontario, including the NWOSTA Wilderness Loop and the White Otter Loop.

There are Fantastic Snowmobile Trails Around Atikokan!

8. The Charleson Recreation Area

The Charleson Recreation Area is located on the northern edge of Atikokan and has fantastic recreational opportunities for everyone. From motocross to horseback riding, to mountain biking, to four-wheeling, there are lots of tracks and trails for everyone. There are even several lakes for swimming and fishing. There are multiple annual events that take place on location, including motocross races, the 4x4 mud races, horseback riding derby, a four-wheeler poker run, and Sno-ho events. Start planning your next outdoor adventure today. Happy trails!

There's Lots to Do at the Charleson Recreation Area

9. Fishing Lodges/Resorts/Outfitters

Have you ever had a tasty shore lunch before? We’ve got you covered! Atikokan has many fishing lodges/resorts/outfitters that surround our municipality. If you are looking for some word class fishing, fantastic local hospitality, clean accommodations located seconds away from the lake, guides to take you out and show you the best fishing holes, then come check out our local fishing lodges, resorts, and outfitters to plan your perfect trip to the natural wilderness of Atikokan. Looking for a place closer to town, check out Bunnell Park Campground, located within walking distance of the Little Falls Golf Course, Bunnell Park Campground offers convenient camping for tent and trailers.

There's Lots of Fishing/Hunting Resorts, Lodges and Outfitters in the Area Around Atikokan

10. The Biggest Little Falls

Come see the Biggest Littlest Falls in northern Ontario. Located on the east end of town, Little Falls Scenic Lookout is a must see for those visiting. Breath-taking views in any season, the scenic point has a walking trail that includes a snowmobile bridge that allows spectators a frontal view of the falls. On the opposite side of the parking lot is a picnic area where we encourage you to stay awhile and enjoy the view. While you are there, stop by the Walleye Fish Hatchery. Operated by the Sportsmen’s Conservation Club, dedicated volunteers use fresh water from the falls to provide a perfect habitat for the walleye eggs. Tours can be arranged!

Beautiful Little Falls!

Mount Fairweather Ski Hill & The Beaten Path Nordic Ski Trails

Did you know that Atikokan has its own ski hill! Bet you didn’t! Mount Fairweather Ski Hill is located on Highway 622, just a quick 9KM drive from town and you will be on the greatest vertical drop in the Rainy River district. For over 40 years, Mount Fairweather has remained a quality venue to enjoy the wonderful winter sports of skiing and snowboarding.

Not into downhill skiing? Check out our amazing groomed ski trails maintained by volunteers from the Beaten Path Nordic Cross Country Ski Club. The Beaten Path Nordic Trails are some of the best and most developed cross-country trails in Ontario. The trails heads are located minutes from town and include 50km of diverse trails for all levels of difficulty. The trails are groomed to include both skate lanes and track-set classic, encouraging a variety of opportunities for both types of skiers to experience the beautiful surroundings. Make sure to stay connected and watch for the annual ski events, such as the Sawmill Lake Classic and the Chocolate Cup. Come get your ski on with Atikokan!

Interested in other winter activities? Atikokan also offers snowshoeing guided trips. Check out Canadian Wilderness Walkabouts and book your snowy adventure today!

There's Excellent Cross-Country Ski Trails in Atikokan

12. White Otter Castle

Did you know that Atikokan is home to the famous White Otter Castle? The legend of Jimmy McOuat remains through the magnificent three-story castle that he built by hand on the shores of White Otter Lake! Jimmy McOuat single-handedly constructed the log castle by cutting, hauling, and interlocking thousands of red pine logs. There is even a song dedicated to his efforts called King of White Otter Lake – Rodney Brown. Come and take an adventure into the past in Atikokan!


The Magnificent White Otter Castle!

Start Planning Your Trip Today!

These are just a few of the reasons why you should come to Atikokan. Have I convinced you yet? There truly is something for everyone in Atikokan; recreational activities for every season, and annual events that we look forward to every year. Atikokan has wonderful people who are enthusiastic about their town, and want to share it with the world! Want some peace and tranquillity, come to Atikokan to escape the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. Come enjoy our paradise in the wilderness. Tourism Atikokan is waiting to meet you. Go Wild in Atikokan! For more information about Atikokan, please check out www.visitatikokan.ca.