Welcome to the city so nice, they named it twice!
In the Ojibway language, the word ‘wawa’ actually means ‘wild goose’, which explains why the town of Wawa’s mascot is a giant goose statue. The Wawa Goose is perched on a large rock welcoming visitors at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 101.
Originally called Michipicoten (after the river), the town’s history spans back to the fur trading days and has since served as a hub for forestry, mining and boat-building industries. Today, Wawa attracts visitors for the stellar fishing, amazing kayaking on Lake Superior, endless snowmobile trails and (of course) for snapping a selfie with the Wawa Goose, one of the most photographed landmarks in North America.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Wawa, scroll down or visit the town's tourism website.
Where is Wawa?
The township of Wawa is located in the Algoma District on Wawa Lake, just east of Lake Superior, approximately 20 minutes’ drive north of Lake Superior Provincial Park. Wawa’s city centre is just east of Highway 17, on Highway 101 and is on the Ontario Northland bus route.
Things to Do in Wawa
Surrounded by lakes and wilderness, Wawa offers outdoor adventure for every season.
Fishing the waters around Wawa is so incredible, it’s more than just a recreational activity. Both local and visiting anglers participate in the competitive Wawa Salmon Derby each summer, as well as the Wawa Ice Fishing Derby in March, the largest in North America.
Due to its proximity to Lake Superior Provincial Park, Wawa serves as a great spot to prepare for (or recover from) a hiking adventure, including the challenging, multi-day Lake Superior Coastal Trail.
Spend a summer afternoon at Sandy Beach on Lake Superior and feel inspired. A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven sure did — he created over 100 sketches and paintings from his cabin on the beach. You can even opt for a guided kayaking or stand up paddleboarding (SUPing) tour on Lake Superior or up Michipicoten River.
Each winter, Wawa caters to snowmobilers with sledder-friendly accommodations and services avid riders are looking for, as well as outfitters and guides ready to take first timers out on the trails.
In town, make a stop at Young’s General Store, an old-fashioned general store with a full size mounted moose on the front porch. Open May to October, this is one of the most popular pit stops along the Trans-Canada Highway. You’ll find everything from souvenirs, snacks and fishing tackle to an actual pickle barrel.
Wawa Neighbourhoods & Districts
The township of Wawa has two surrounding areas.
This First Nations community is located along the Michipicoten river, just before it feeds into Lake Superior.
A small settlement is located on the Michipicoten River, named for the Ojibwe word meaning ‘big bluffs’.
Things to Know About Visiting Wawa
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Wawa, it’s nice to learn what the locals know.
Where to snap a great Instagram pic
Where to go for a hike
‘Operation Michipicoten’ refers to an epic 72 km trek four Wawa residents undertook to Sault Ste. Marie to prove there was a way through the bush for a highway between the two cities. This story is showcased in one of 15 painted heritage doors located throughout the community.
Where to get great city views
Take a pleasant hike to Mr. Vallee Park and up to Anderson Lake and be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the town and Wawa Lake.
Where to enjoy local art
Don’t forget to pack
In summer, fall and spring, bring sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. In winter, you’ll need warm, waterproof boots, a warm jacket, mitts, insulated pants, a toque (a knitted winter hat), an emergency kit for the car and winter tires.
Last updated: November 9, 2022