Travel by canoe, motorboat or foot along Canada’s first heritage river to view the spectacular Five Finger Rapids, or Zoongininjii in Anishinaabek.

Zoongininjii means Manitou’s strong hand, or simply “five fingers”. The rapids are created by five rocky “fingers”, which funnel the Little French into the Lower French River. The smooth rock shoreline, sculpted by ice and water, offer numerous excellent vantage points to view the rapids.

Five Finger Rapids is accessible by boat or by hiking the 9 km long Papase trail (one way). The trail rewards hikers with frequent wildlife sightings. It begins near the community of Dokis First Nation, located 16 km southwest of Lake Nipissing on the clean fresh waters of the French River.

The trail is geared to moderate to extreme hikers and pre-planning is required. Join a guided tour from Dokis First Nation to learn about the legends of this landscape.

For information on hiking or arranging a water taxi:

Learn about a couple of species at risk in this area.


Best Seasons to Visit





Things to Do Here





Trail Run

Getting Here

Five Finger Rapids

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Location Information

The parking lot is on the left.

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Species at Risk in the Spotlight

Bald Eagle

Migizi or the bald eagle can be spotted throughout the French River. In early spring, bald eagles seek out areas like Five-fingered Rapids, since the open water provides opportunities to find fish.

In the early 1970’s, bald eagles were an endangered species in Ontario. Their status has improved significantly and since 2009, are identified as a species of special concern.

Report your sightings of this threatened critter.

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Blanding’s Turtle

Known as the smiling turtle, Blanding’s are found in the wetlands and small lakes in this area. They are easily identified with their bright yellow throat and helmet-like shell. Please report your sightings of this threatened species– Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.

Report your sightings of this threatened critter.

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