Kagawong ("Where mists rise from falling waters" in Ojibwe) is located at the southern end of Mudge Bay, just to the east of the Clapperton Island passage, about midway between Little Current and Gore Bay on Manitoulin's north shore.
The hydrology of Mudge Bay is such that deep water, about 30 feet, carries almost to shore, where it abruptly shoals to 5-8 feet. Just at that point, the town dock is built. On the shore side of the dock, you have five feet of water or less, while on the bay side, there is enough water to allow large freighters to call.
The dock, which is in good repair, belies its age by the presence of unique iron mooring hooks, sized to handle the hawsers of large ships. (I kept remarking about them and how I must take a picture of them, but, alas, I seem to have omitted them from the photo inventory. I guess we will just have to go back there another year.)
There is limited space available in the marina, which is also the home of Maple Ridge Yacht Charters.
For many years, Kagawong's claim to fame was that it was the site of a paper mill that made the paper for the Sears-Roebuck catalog. The pulp mill was located at the water's edge just east of the dock, but it has since been converted into a community center.
Ashore, there are many attractions for the boater who likes to stretch his legs. Just a few yards from the dock is St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church. This small white church features a pulpit fashioned from the bow of a boat. The salvaged bow section is from a tragic wreck in the Clapperton Passage in the 1960s. The details of the sinking are truly sobering for any boater who reads them.
The mouth of the Kagawong River is just east from the dock. There a well marked trail and path lead up to Bridal Veil Falls. Along the way, you pass the new hydro-electric generating plant. A couple of bridges allow you to cross over to the other side of the river if you'd prefer a really steep climb!
The falls are very attractive, and quite to our amazement one can swim in the pool below them, as you see my wife Christine doing here. Taking a dip is a nice way to cool off after the uphill hike to reach the falls.
This article first appeared in 1995.
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 by James W. Hebert. All rights reserved.
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Author: James W. Hebert