White River is located on the Trans Canada Highway 17 approximately 3.5 hours northwest of Sault Ste. Marie and 4 hours east of Thunder Bay. Set amongst a stunning landscape of lush boreal forest and abundant fresh water lakes and rivers, this northern community boasts rugged beauty and a hearty climate. Wildlife and adventure abound here. Fishing and hunting lodges with fly-in trips, and provincial parks to explore the great outdoors.
Rich in rail history, the town was originally built as a rail town in 1885. White River is noted as the birthplace of the “real bear” Winnie-the-Pooh, which gives this community its unique heritage. Over 80 years ago a little black bear cub from White River became the inspiration of author A.A. Milne and became the most beloved bear in the world. Owned by Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, the little orphaned bear cub became the unofficial mascot of his militia cavalry regiment during World War I. The Lieutenant later placed Winnie in the London Zoo and the friendliness of this young bear made her a favourite at the zoo. Author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne became frequent visitors and it was Christopher who added “Pooh” to Winnie’s name. To celebrate Winnie’s history, a festival is held each year on the 3rd weekend in August. Visitors to White River can visit the Winnie-the-Pooh statue for a photo op year round at the Park at the Visitor Centre.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the area hiking trails, paddle the waterways, ATV, or plan a remote fishing trip, White River is a “natural” stop for your vacation.