MacKenzie Falls

MacKenzie Falls is a popular hike that follows the MacKenzie River up to a small waterfall.

Trail Distance: 2 km
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Trail Location: Thunder Bay, ON

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This is a popular hike that follows the MacKenzie River up to a small waterfall. About halfway up the trail is a popular swimming hole where you will often see people jumping off the rocks into the water. In the winter you might be able to walk up the river on the ice. If you feel like a longer hike you can follow the river past the falls along the rocks.

From Thunder Bay drive East on Hwy 11/17 to the MacKenzie Inn and turn left into the parking area that is just past the Inn parking lot but before the river. The trail begins at this parking area and follows the river.

15 thoughts on “MacKenzie Falls”

  1. McKenzie Inn appears to be closed up again this summer. So sad. My aunt-in-law, Lucy Miocich, died n July this year at 102+ years. She was the last of the family of Nick and Mary Miocich, which owned the Inn for over 60 years, leaving her -great-niece and a g.g. niece and nephew as her only living relatives.

  2. I very nearly drowned here getting stuck in the ‘washing machine’ effect at the base of the water fall. I was only rescued when a friend noticed me below water, reaching for the surface. It is not a safe place to take children.

  3. Since there seems to be some confusion, I went in September 2016 and it was great.

    Park in the Inn parking lot (go in and ask, they’re super friendly) and then walk around and follow a dirt road that goes up and down. After a bit you turn right, then follow big gravel down a hill under the highway. Down by the water you’ll find the trail.

  4. Mary, I hope you see this! I was out at the fall recently and it looks like the Mackenzie Inn is back in business. I Hope this helps!

  5. Can anyone tell me what has become of the old McKenzie Inn on Lakeshore Rd outside Thunder Bay? It used to be owned by my daughter’s father’s family (Miocich) and the latest date I can see on Google Maps is 2012. Can’t find anything else about it by googling, altho not too many years ago there was lots of info about it. Planning to visit her great-aunt in Thunder Bay this summer and would love to know what we’ll find if we drive out there to take a look. A photo would be most welcome.

    I’m in Oakville, Ontario.

  6. Leo: There seems to be great debate as to where to pick up the trail (with the new hiwy and all) that takes you in to this destination. Can you plz relay directions for those of us who have not been there before?….

  7. I was just there this week. there is a clear trail to the falls and the water level is very safe for swimming. One is able to swim right under the falls right now. Enjoy, this is a magical/spiritual place. Please refrain from breaking bottles and take the garbage out with you. cheers!

  8. My wife and I attempted to walk to the waterfalls on the Mackenzie last year but ran into the bridge construction. We are planning another trip up to Thunder Bay this summer and are wondering if it is possible to hike to the waterfalls now?

  9. Last year, my wife and I attempted to walk to the falls on the east side of the river. We ran into the bridge construction. We are planning a trip to Thunder Bay this summer and were wondering if it is possible to get to the waterfalls now? Gary and Eve

  10. Just an update… I went out to Mackenzie today and the entire parking area is now blocked with concrete barricades. I imagine this is due to the highway construction going right behind the Inn. I decided not to head in, though I suppose you could still park at the Inn and walk over.

  11. Thanks for your comment Greg! I’m not sure how this trail will end up after all of the highway construction has completed.

  12. “Do not follow where the path may lead, rather go where there is no path and leave a trail…”

    We used to walk in to the falls thru the path from the sand pit on the east side of the river. Although private property, the owner was kind enough to allow access to the river for many years, until drinking parties became intolerable and finally fenced it off.

    One summer, when I was staying at nearby Thunder Bay Inter’l hostel, I decided to carve a trail through the thick underbrush into the falls following the river on the west bank, joining to the path already started by Lloyd of Longhouse.

    I declared it Jeff’s Path in honour of my dearly departed friend with whom I used to jump the falls, during the long summer days of our youth.

    Returning to that place to make a trail was a healing labour of love and I’m glad it has become a popular hike today.

    It is indeed a magical place to enjoy!

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