Magnetawan "A Magnetic Place to visit"
Magnetawan is a scenic little village that has been in existence since the mid-1800’s. Steam ships began to ply the waters of the Magnetawan River beginning in Burk’s Falls and travelling to Magnetawan and on to Ahmic Harbour crossing 2 lakes, Lake Cecebe and Ahmic Lake. Boat lift locks were necessary at Magnetawan and hand operated lift locks are still in place. Visitors may walk across two rushing waterfalls at the locks and continue a half-hour hike around the Island. From the locks you have a view of St. George the Martyr Anglican Church, made famous by Casson of the Group of Seven when he painted “The Church on the Rock”. The Heritage Centre Museum is open during the summer months with exhibits of the early days of Magnetawan. The lift locks open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during July and August. Boat launches, dockage and parking lots are located near the dam.
The Pavilion is available for basketball during summer months and also houses the Magnetawan Farmer's Market every Saturday from June to Thanksgiving, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is a hub of activity during these times with over 30 vendors selling produce, meat and cheeses, crafts, furniture, jewellery, honey, maple syrup and much more.
Summer is a busy time as visitors to many resorts, motels and cottages around the lakes come to enjoy activities on the water. The lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Distress River, was where the captains of steamships would signal the lockmaster with three blasts of their whistles as they passed. In 1995 the Magnetawan River Heritage Association had a replica beacon built on the original site. The lighthouse can be seen from the Dam Trail on the island and the Distress River bridge.
Hiking and cycling are fun ways to see the sights of Magnetawan and Highway 124 has paved shoulders for 120 km. of round trip, safe cycling. There are 30 historical plaques placed along the Trans-Canada Trail and the villages of Magnetawan and Ahmic Harbour located on sites of historic interest. Several can be found by a walking tour or by cycling further afield. Whimsical wooden carvings can be seen around the village, from a bear at the Municipal Office and Community Centre entrance to a fish by the bridge. Take a walk around town to find them all!
The region is home to over 260 species of birds – some which stay all year and even more that migrate south in winter but return faithfully every spring. Just head out with a camera, binoculars and field guide for a true adventure in birdwatching.
The Magnetawan area has a reputation for its super snowmobiling conditions and trails that are part of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs system with connections to 3500 km. of trails. This area is “one of Ontario’s premiere winter destinations with the best snowmobiling trails in Ontario’s Near North.” Hundreds of kilometers of groomed trails boast a mixed riding experience with scenic tree-lined trails, frozen lakes and breath-taking views of snow-clad hills and valleys. Most importantly, the district usually receives an abundance of snow during winter.