Mattice Travel Guide

  • Thunderhouse Falls
    Thunderhouse Falls
    by hoz
  • The beginning of Hells Gate Portage (2300 meters)
    The beginning of Hells Gate Portage...
    by hoz
  • 700 meter Stone Rapids Portage
    700 meter Stone Rapids Portage
    by hoz

Mattice Things to Do

  • Another nice mess of fish

    We spent a rest day at Thunderhouse Falls. Jim and I caught this stringer of fish which we slow smoked over a fire and made nice fish jerky!

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  • Thunderhouse Falls

    Thunderhouse is a special place. Sacred to the Cree and Objibwe who have lived in the area for thousands of years. When you stand at the brink of the falls you can feel the rocks moving with the power.

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  • The fishing is fantastic

    Pike, pickerel and smallmouth bass all inhabit the river. You may also see the giant sturgeon as you decend the Missinaibi. Some of our party saw specimens longer than 2 meters!

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  • Visit the Voyageur Statue

    A bronze statue of a sturdy Voyageur stands carrying his canoe across the road in Mattice. A tribute to the thousands of men who traveled the Missinaibi River corridor ferrying 90 lb bales of trade goods and furs. Many lost their lives on the journey and are buried in unmarked graves by the river.

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  • History of the Missinaibi River

    This plaque on the banks of the Missinaibi, in Mattice tells the history of the river and the important part it played in the lives of the natives and during the fur trade.

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  • Conjurers Rock

    This monolith stands in Thunderhouse Gorge directly downstream of the falls. It is believed to be the home of powerful spirits by the Cree and Objibwe Indians who have inhabited this river corridorfor thousands of years. They still make pilgrimages to this sacred spot for healing and cleansing ceremonies.

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Mattice Restaurants

  • Don't miss the Poutine

    There is one small cafe/bar/hotel in Mattice so you might as well stop for a snack. You can practice your French because it seems all the locals are French Canadian. Some speak ONLY French! They have delicious juicy cheeseburgers and if you want to be daring try the "Poutine" . French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy...yummmmy!

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  • Lunch stop

    The only thing to eat is the fish you catch what food you bring in your packs, enough for 14 days in the wilderness. My favorite is fresh grilled fish.

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Mattice Nightlife

  • Dawn and Dusk

    If you are quiet you may get lucky and spot a bear or a moose. Most wildlife can be seen during dawn and dusk, when they are feeding. A small pair of binocs are helpful spotting elusive wildlife.

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  • Camping by the river

    The evenings are spent primitive camping next to the river. Come casual and be prepared for any type of weather.

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Mattice Transportation

  • Missinaibi Outfitters

    Owen and Denyse Korpela run Missinaibi Outfitters in Mattice.The will rent canoes, gear help plan your trip, arrange a guide if necessary and watch over your vehicle while you are on the river. They also have cottages to rent for a good rest the night before your journey. At trips end they will have your auto waiting at Cochrane when you disembark...

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  • The Polar Bear Express and the Little...

    After you paddle down the Missinaibi River to Moosonee/Moose Factory you can catch the Little Bear train back to civilization.The train has a special "canoe car" for transporting your boats. The ride to Cochrane takes only 4 hours!BTW, if you don't want to paddle all that way The Polar Bear Express carries passengers only from Cochrane to Moosonee....

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Mattice Local Customs

  • A few Cree words

    WaChay means "welcome". There is a big sign at the channel entrance to Moose Factory proclaiming "WaChay" to all. The local Cree will certainly make you feel welcome to their land. MeGwitch means "Thank you". You will make a hit with the locals with just these two words.But if you would like to learn more you can check out the English/Cree...

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  • Catch a ride to James Bay

    Your canoe trip ends about 20 kilometers from James Bay. You could paddle out there but the water is BIG and the waves can be treacherous. We negotiated with a water taxi driver to take us out to view the Bay.Not every driver wants to go out there so you have to ask around. We found Derek Beck, a Cree who is well versed in the ways of the Bay. He...

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  • Visiting Moose Factory

    Be sure to spend at least one day visiting the native village of Moose Factory at the end of your trip.There you will find a friendly welcome from the Cree. Be sure to have lunch or dinner at the fabulous Cree Eco-Lodge, built entirely from green or eco materials and financed by the Cree Nation. If you see smoke coming from the Tipis around town it...

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Mattice Warnings and Dangers

  • Bugs and bears

    Mosquitoes, black flies and gnats are prevalent in the wilderness. Be prepared by carrying a bug suit and DEET. Bears can come into a camp and ravage the food supply. Keep a clean camp.No food or scraps left laying about. Clean your catch away from camp. Prepare your food at least 50 meters from your tent. Do not eat food, candy or snacks in your...

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  • Running the Rapids

    Before attempting the rapids of the Lower Missinaibi make sure you have the skills to safely negotiate them. There are over 30 sets of rapids not counting waterfalls! Several skilled canoeists have died on this river and many more have lost their gear and or canoes. It can be a long hike back out! Make sure you have a healthy respect for the power...

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Mattice What to Pack

  • hoz's Profile Photo

    by hoz Updated Jun 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: A good tripping Pack, Duluth, Ostrum, Granite Gear all make excellent packs for canoe tripping. I carry a Duluth #4 for my gear and a Duluth Cruiser #2 for my food.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A sturdy pair of boots for hiking and river wading. A pair of tennis shoes for around camp. 3 pair heavy wool socks. 2 hats, one for sun and one for cold weather. Nylon shirt, and pants. (NO COTTON, NO JEANS, they get wet and take forever to dry. Can lead to hypothermia) A fleece jacket or vest for cool days, Polypro underwear. A good rain suit, tops and bottoms. Lightweight gloves. .

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toilet paper for 2 weeks, your personal meds, asprin, anti diarreal med. Water filter or purifier.

    Photo Equipment: 35mm or digital camera.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Tent, pad, bag. Fishing equipment. Good lures include Rapellas, minnowstick baits, jigs, curly tails, Spinner baits.

    Everyhting I need for 2 wks is in my canoe!
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Camping
    • Fishing

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Mattice Off The Beaten Path

  • Hells Gate waterfalls

    Most people are interested in simply getting over the 2300 meter portage around Hells Gate. But if you take the time to do a little exploring you will find hidden jewels in the woods. This waterfall is located approximately 2/3 of the way over the portage trail and 500 meters straight down a rough, barely visable track towards the river.

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  • Sometimes you have to portage (WORK)

    If the rapids or waterfalls are too difficult to run you must carry all the gear and canoes overland to a safe spot downstream.

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