Since the discovery of the Howey Bay gold find of 1925, the Red Lake District has been known as one of the richest mining regions in Canada. The Municipality of Red Lake consists of six different towns; Red Lake, Balmertown, Cochenour, McKenzie Island, Madsen and Starratt Olsen.
You can take a step back to the Aviation Chronicle at the Norseman Heritage Park and submerge yourself in the local history at the Red Lake Museum. If the outdoors peaks your interest, then, you may go on a houseboat tour, rent a boat to go fishing, prepare yourself for a wilderness canoe trip, or relax on one of the beaches. Fishing and wilderness fanatics have been experiencing the surroundings of Red Lake for a long time.
Red Lake possesses Ontarios 4th largest Provincial Park, Woodland Caribou Park. Bustling with fish and wildlife, it has 1600 km of interconnected canoe routes, moose and caribou in their natural habitat. The park also preserves a variety of birds and water mammals who flourish undisturbed by modern civilization. There are two major river systems that dominate the park. The Bloodvein and the Gammon are prominent canoe routes that originated from Canadas First Nations People, who resided and hunted along the waterways. At the sensational vertical cliffs that tower above the waters edge are a large convergence of Native Rock Paintings also known as Pictographs which are one of the Parks exceptional characteristics.
Along with Woodland Caribou Park, there is also Pakwash Park. This park spans a 1.5 km sandy beach, a campground and nature trails which hold abundance of wild berries and many opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife.
If you go about 4 km east you will come across the mining town of Balmertown. This town is home to the Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines (formerly known as Dickenson Mine and Placer Dome Campbell Mines). Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines is one of Canadas major gold producing mines and is the backbone of Red Lake District. Besides the mine, Balmertown also offers recreational facilities for all ages, swimming, bowling, fitness rooms at the Goldcorp Recreation Complex, curling and a 18 hole golf course.
If you are in Balmertown strolling down the street between 3:30-5:00 p.m. and the ground has a low, slow rumble after a loud KABOOM, dont be alarmed it is not an earthquake. It is just miners using explosives 3,000 feet below the surface to remove rock in the mines.
Another town in the Municipality of Red Lake is Cochenour. This town dates back to the 30's and is located at the end of highway 125. It has a population of 550 and is a friendly community. Cochenour harbors a modern arena, a tobogganing hill, a childrens park, and three beaches within minutes from the center of town.
Along with Cochenour is Mckenzie Island which is across a one kilometre channel and has a population of 150. To visit Mckenzie Island in the summer, you need to take a ferry and in the winter an ice road is the access you have to take. The main attraction of this town is the abundance of the crosscountry ski trails. The history of Mckenzie Island can been seen all around you when you are there.
To go back in time of the Great Gold Rush Era you should go to Madsen and Starratt Olsen. In Madsen the mine is closed today, but the community still survives. Many of the buildings are closed but you can still see original buildings such as the post office. Just a few kilometers from Madsen is the community of Starratt Olsen.
An abundance of natural resources, modern communities and friendly people make the Municipality of Red Lake a great place to live and visit.
For more information about the Municipality of Red Lake, please visit their website at www.redlake.ca