Home of the Objibways of Pic River First Nation, Pic River is a small community of about 400 people southeast of Marathon. You’ll have to detour south on road 627 off the TransCanada.
Apparently, the mouth of the Pic River was a trading spots for years before European arrival as it offered access to northern lands and a canoe route to James Bay. The halfway point for canoers travelling the north shore of Lake Superior, “the Pic” first appeared on European maps in the mid-seventeenth century (according to Wikipedia). First Nations began to trade furs with the French in the late 1770s, prompting a French trader to set up a permanent post there by 1792. The Hudson’s Bay Company operated the post from 1821 until encroaching settlement let to its relocation in 1888. In 1914 the Pic became a treaty reserve of its traditional inhabitants, the Ojibways of Pic River.
Pic River used to be a railway town, but with the trains diminishing in importance, forestry and hydro are the town’s mainstays. According to Wikipedia, the town is known for pioneering “run of the river” hydroelectric developments, which harness natural energy potential without fully damming the river. In and around Pic River, three generating stations feed enough hydro into the Ontario grid to power 30 000 homes.
Pic River can serve as an access point to Pukaskwa National Park. The town also had a number of unique sandy dunes where the Little Pic River reaches Lake Superior. Pic River hosts their annual pow-wow July 12-14.
I did not venture off Highway 17 (I was in a rush and just how long this detour was really started to hit me after Marathon) so if you want to add to this page, please let me know by emailing me. My address is info (at) highway11 (dot) ca.