The Towns and Cities
of Northern Ontario
Kakabeka Falls - North of Superior
Kakabeka Falls is one of the many natural attractions found in the area of Thunder Bay. After driving a few kilometers north, youíll find the peaceful village of Kakabeka Falls, home of the Kakabeka Falls camp ground. This is a natural stop for any traveler along this route because you donít have to drive off the highway to view the falls, you just have to turn into the parking lot.
When we first lived in Thunder Bay, I remember taking the whole family out to view these falls that everyone kept asking if I had seen yet. Of course, before we went I was told the legend of these falls and of Princess Green Mantle.
The maidenís Ojibway tribe learned of the plot that the Sioux had hatched to destroy and annihilate her tribe. The princess devised a plan. Paddling up the Kaministiqua River, she left her canoe at the foot of the falls. Quickly making her way upriver, she found her enemyís campsite. At once they pounced upon her and captured her. Pretending to have lost her way, she led them to believe she was very frightened. Bargaining with them she followed through with her plan and told them that if they would spare her life she would lead them to her father's camp. The Sioux Chiefs were elated, thinking that they had indeed been blessed by the Gods. The following morning the young Princess was placed in the lead canoe and the great band, in their war canoes followed, tied as Green Mantle suggested, one behind the other so that they would not get lost. However, she did not tell them about the falls and as they swiftly turned the bend of the river, they plunged headlong into the great gorge, killing all. Princess Green Mantle of course lost her life also but all of her tribe were saved from the torturous hands of the most dreaded of all Native tribesmen.
The Great Manitou looked kindly upon the brave little Native maiden, and if one takes the trouble to walk down the viewing pods, the figure of Green Mantle can be observed in the mist, standing as a monument to the memory of the Princess who gave her life for her people.
These falls are quite impressive in summer but winter time really brings out the natural frozen beauty: huge naturally carved ice in shapes and formations that man canít even begin to duplicate.
We would go to Kakabeka Falls every December to democratically choose and cut down our Christmas tree at one of the many tree farms found in the area. After the chopping and the securing of the tree to the carís roof top, we would make our way to the local restaurant for a well deserved cup of excellent hot chocolate.