Winter Weekends: Mattawa Voyageur Country

Looking down a run at Antoine Mountain in Mattawa. Photo: Rob Stimpson

The area is accessible, hospitable, and provides outdoor explorers with plenty of activities to choose from.

Is this the ultimate Central Ontario outdoor getaway? It just may be.

Maybe you’re looking ahead to March Break; maybe you’re just looking to get out of the city and away from your ordinary sometime before the snow melts. In any case, you should consider Mattawa Voyageur Country for your next winter weekend getaway in Northeastern Ontario.

Mattawa proper is a small town of about 2,000 people, and comes the kind of small-town charm that isn’t always easy to find these days (you can get a taste in this episode of CBC's Still Standing). Mattawa may be small, but it’s mighty in terms of things to do, places to stay, and things to eat. Centrally located in Ontario and a quick drive from Toronto, Ottawa, or Sudbury, Mattawa Voyageur Country is as accessible and hospitable as it is charming.

What to Do

Folks in the area know how to handle winter and Mattawa and the neighbouring communities of Bonfield, Papineau-Cameron, Rutherglen, Calvin, and Mattawan offer a wide range of activities so you can make the most of your weekend getaway.

The Antoine Mountain experience. Photos: Rob Stimpson

Downhill skiing & snowboarding

If you’re into downhill, paying a visit to Antoine Mountain should be at the top of your list of things to do in Mattawa. Recently under new ownership, Antoine Mountain boasts Ontario’s longest run at 2.9 kilometres, a true vertical of 630 feet, 15 groomed runs, custom terrain park, and a state of the art Doppelmayr quad chair lift. Warm up in the chalet and après café for classic Canadian favourites, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and live music on Saturdays. 

Horseback riding

Layer up for this wonderful excursion with Von Doeler’s Ranch, located a 20-minute drive from Mattawa itself, in Rutherglen. You’ll meet your guides, who will equip you with safety gear and your mounts for the day. Then head out in the forest for a first-hand glimpse of the ecosystem during the winter months. Your ride culminates at the beautiful Talon Chutes on Talon Lake.

The Talon Chutes


For sledders, Mattawa is a haven during the winter months. With access to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club’s groomed trail system (including the Explorer’s Snow Tour), an impressive annual snowfall, and a wide range of snowmobile-friendly restaurants and accommodations, you’ll love exploring the region from the seat of your sled.


In a land full of lakes, ice fishing is a fun way to spend a day on the ice, and an undeniably Northern activity. Consider booking all-inclusive packages such as this one offered by Big Moose Camp outside of Bonfield, or plan your own ice fishing excursion by starting with this list of accommodation providers.

Snowshoeing brings peace, solitude, and hopefully helps you break a sweat! Photo: 9Lives Designs

Snowshoeing & cross-country skiing

For a great way to explore, get some exercise, and maybe encounter some wildlife, strap on some snowshoes or skis and hit the trails. The region offers many places to experience the forest—great locations to start with include the Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park and the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area.

Spa days  

Regardless of how you choose to spend your days, a relaxing session at a spa is a great way to unwind and relieve some of the tensions of a day spent in The Great Outdoors. The newly renovated Mattawa River Resort offers spa services including massage, facials, and Reiki. Packages starting at $179 are available for anyone looking to make it a weekend!

Where to Stay

A cabin in the woods at the Canadian Ecology Centre in the Samual de Champlain Provincial Park. Photo: Rob Stimpson

There are many accommodation options to choose from throughout the region, from a historical hotel to a selection of outdoor adventure accommodators. Our list isn’t exhaustive, but features some of the highlights that you’re able to choose from to complete your winter weekend in Mattawa.

The stunning view from the Mattawa River Resort. 

Mattawa River Resort - 6251 Highway 17 West - (705) 744-5020
The Voyageur Inn - 351 Main St, Mattawa - (705) 744-2370
The Valois Motel - 701 Valois Dr, Mattawa - (705) 744-5583
Mattawa Adventure Camp - 4601 Hwy 17, Mattawa - (705) 744-5127
The Canadian Ecology Centre - 6905 Hwy 17, Mattawa - (705) 744-1715
Mattawa Golf & Ski Resort2314 Highway 17 East - (705) 744-5818

Where to Eat

Thai flavours and Canadian classics meet at the Voyageur Inn in Downtown Mattawa.
Photo: 9Lives Designs

Mattawa offers variety to its visitors, so we’ve provided a few options for you to consider getting started with.

The Voyageur Inn is more than “just” a historic hotel in downtown Mattawa—they also have a lovely restaurant that features authentic Thai dishes alongside Canadian classics.

If you’re on the trails or day or just looking for comfort food, stop in for diner classic at the Valois Motel & Restaurant, Myrt’s Family Restaurant or the Dinner Bell Motel & Restaurant.

Regardless of where your Mattawa & Area adventures takes you, you’re sure to sleep well after a day of action in the great outdoors, with a comfy pillow at the end of it. For more information about things to do and places to stay in Mattawa, visit Mattawa Voyageur Country Travel.

Featured articles