The “Mighty” Mattagami River
Mattagami – A word that means “where the waters meet”.
The Mattagami River flows from Mattagami Lake in Gouin Township, District of Sudbury. It runs some 402 kilometers, passing through Smooth Rock Falls. The river travels northward until it becomes the middle of the Missinabi-Mattagami-Abitibi trio of rivers that make up the Moose River for 96 kilometers into James Bay.
The River Drive:
In earlier years the Mattagami River was the vehicle used to float millions of logs downstream to the mill in Smooth Rock Falls. Wood would be piled on the river ice waiting for spring breakup. Many tourists stopped at the Mattagami River Bridge in Smooth Rock Falls, to photograph the logs that lay like a brown carpet over the river, from shore to shore, as far south as the eye could see.
Once a popular river trip for avid canoeists, they would travel from Smooth Rock Falls north to James Bay. Some of the many obstacles along the way were the Fish Rapids, Cypress Falls, Devil Rapids, Long Rapids, etc. Today, there are four Ontario Power Generating Stations on this route.