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Marten River Lodge is easily accessible by car. We are located approximately 4 hours north of Toronto, Ontario near the intersections of Highways 11 and 64, just 30 minutes north of North Bay, Ontario. To assist you in your travel plans, we’ve prepared this chart with sample departure points and linkable maps charting routes, distances and travel time estimates for your convenience.  





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FAQ - Staying at Marten River Lodge

Do you accept pets?

Yes we do.  We think your pet deserves a vacation just like you.  All we ask is that you keep you pet leashed and clean up after them.  Other guests will appreciate your efforts.  We also ask that you do not lock your pet up while you’re fishing as they tend to bark when left unattended. See pet rates and policies.


Do all cottages have screened in porches?

Yes they do.  Each cabin has a large screened area to sit back and relax in a bug free environment.  We think it’s an important convenience especially during the evening hours.

Are the cottages fully equipped?

Yes. We include pots, pans, utensils, refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, kettle, all bedding, bath towels, propane heaters, and coffee pots and filters. 

You need to bring soap, shampoo, beach towels and your clothes. Don’t forget your swim suit and rain gear!

Do your cottages have 24 hour electricity?

Yes we do. Marten River Lodges runs on the Ontario hydro power grid which provides 24 hour electricity.

What time is check-in and check out?

Our standard check-out time is 10:00 AM and check-in is 2:00 pm. If available we can make special arrangements for your party for earlier check-ins or later check-outs.  Additional fees may apply.

Can we fish on arrival and on departure days?

Yes. Upon arrival you will be provided with a complete orientation. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. If you require licensing, it will take a little longer. After your orientation and licensing and you are settled into your cabin, you can hit the water. Boats must be returned to the docks 30 minutes before check-out on your departure date.  

What about Black Flies, Mosquitoes and other Pests?

We are often asked about pests and though black flies, mosquitoes and other pests are part of nature in the north, we do take steps to control these as much as possible. Each cabin is equipped with a screened porch for your comfort and convenience. Inside each cabin, we have installed KONK automatic time-release pest control devices. Konk uses natural pyrethrin and is safe around food, pets and kids and it controls flies, mosquitoes, ants and a host of other common pests. Many of our guests have commented how bug-free our cabins are even in the height of fly season. So they work!

Outside, the onset of black fly season usually occurs mid- to late May and can continue into mid- June, though in our experience, black flies have not been a significant problem for us. Once the weather turns warmer, the flies die off and it’s rare to see them survive for more than a week or two each spring. Depending on how wet any given summer may be mosquitoes can be with us all season if the temperatures remain conducive for them. They can be more of a nuisance in the evenings than during the day. Good news is, they are rarely a bother when you’re out on the water. And keep in mind – when the bugs are biting – so are the Fish!

On land, be prepared with a good repellent and you’ll be fine. If you forget to bring some, we often have sprays available in our tuck shop.


How is the food?

Meals at MRL are highly rated and we ensure you get only the freshest ingredients prepared by our respected Master Chef. We understand your appetite can be more active than usual when you are out on the water all day, so we plan our meals with this in mind. You’ll be full and more than satisfied when you leave the dining room. Leave your fit bit at home!

Can I bring my own drinks (beer, wine etc.) in the dinning room or lodge?


What time are the meals served?

We serve breakfast at 7:00 am 
We serve dinner at 6:00 pm

Lunch is pre-packed in the morning and ready to take with you.

What happens if we’re catching too many fish and can’t make dinner? 

No worries! We’ll pack it up and place it in your cabin so you can heat it up later if you like. Just let us know ahead of time or call from the water. We have excellent cell service.

Do you have a dinner only option?

Yes. Having fun can be tiring and at the end of the day many people prefer to not have to start preparing dinner.  You can choose our Modified Meal Plan option which gives you your choice of breakfast & lunch OR dinner each day. This allows more flexibility to your experience.

Guests who are cooking for themselves may also choose to join us for dinner on occasion. All we ask is that you reserve in advance (24 hours is appreciated) as we carefully order fresh food based on expected guests.

I’m on a special diet can I still be on the Meal plan?

Yes. Our Chef is quite knowledgeable about most dietary restrictions. We can adjust your meals accordingly. Additionally, you may bring any special items with you to assist with your meals.


Is smoking allowed in the Lodge or cabins?

Smoking is NOT allowed in the lodge, dining room or inside any of our cabins due to local ordinances. However, you can smoke in the screened in porch of your cottage. This keeps our cottages smelling clean for non-smoking guests. Cigarette disposal containers are located throughout the camp for the convenience of our guests and all screen porches have ashtrays.

Do you sell alcohol?

No we don’t. You are allowed to bring your own beverages and enjoy them on our property. We have a local LCBO store about one mile away. We have ice and refrigerators available for your use in the lodge with all the glasses you may need. Ice is also available.

Do you have gifts for sale?

Yes. We have a small tuck shop where you can buy essentials such as mosquito spray, fishing lures, charcoal and lighter fluid. We also carry Marten River shirts, hats, jackets, etc. to take back to your friends and family.

What is there to do in the lodge?

The main lodge is a great place to spend time on rainy days or just to relax. We have an assortment of games, large screen satellite TV, DVD and VHS movies, guest computer, free Wi-Fi, a fireplace, pool table, darts and music. Ray is also a professional musician and is known to stage live concerts for guests now and then. And because it’s not unusual to have other closet musicians in camp, spontaneous jam sessions often occur. It’s good fun and everyone is welcome to sing along!

Do you have Wi-Fi and cell service? 

Yes. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lodge and reaches many parts of the camp. Cabins in direct proximity of the lodge are able to receive signals in the screen porches but the signal does not penetrate our log walls. Cell phone reception is excellent throughout the camp and about half way up our water system.

Guest participating in our guided remote lake adventures may have limited cell service during their outing, though some lakes have better reception than others.

The grounds/beach

Do you have kayaks or water toys for rent?

We offer all of that for free while staying at our camp. We have kayaks, water bikes, a canoe, water slide and a gently sloping beach with lounge chairs. The water during the summer months is warm, refreshing and fun.

What other things are there to do outside?

We have a basketball hoop, horseshoes, hiking and sunbathing on our beach or water-side deck. Guests can also enjoy a camp fire or marshmallow roast - free firewood is included! Also check out our package rates on UTV / Argo adventures and guided remote lake fishing adventures.

What kind of wildlife can we expect to see?

There is so much diverse wildlife here; you can expect to see anything at any time! We have Marten (of course) lynx, otter, beavers, bald eagles, golden eagles, flying squirrels, weasels, minx, muskrat, hares, wolves, moose, deer, bear, fishers, raccoons, porcupines, ravens, vultures, bats, and a multitude of birds. Early morning or late evening hikes are prime time to see these creatures, and it’s not unusual to see moose in the water while out on your boat.

Fishing and Boating

Pleasure Craft Operators Card

Who needs the Pleasure Craft Operator Card and when?

As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption – this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes PWC’s and watercraft fitted with any size motor – even a trolling motor.

What if I rent a powerboat or PWC?

Currently, a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is not required in order to operate a rented watercraft. Instead, it is sufficient for a renter to complete a mandatory rental safety checklist. We will have these available to you as part of your orientation in the event you do not have a card.

For the safety of our guests and as a courtesy to fishermen, PWCs (jet skis) are not permitted at Marten River Lodge. We do not permit anyone under the age of 21 to operate our boats.

What if I don’t live in Canada, but boat there?

Non-residents only need to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card if they are operating their powered boat in Canadian waters for more than 45 consecutive days or if the boat they are operating is registered or licensed in Canada (this includes rented boats). Boater Education Cards or equivalent certifications are recognized in Canada. Proper identification should be kept on board at all times to provide proof of residency.

Do you sell fishing licenses and hunting licenses at the Lodge?

Yes we offer both by internet access to the on-line purchasing on the MNR site.

Do you have fish cleaning facilities?

Yes. We have a screened fish cleaning station equipped with knives, sharpening stones, scales, cutting boards, running water and packaging materials. For guests returning from guided fishing excursions, our guides will clean, package, label and freeze your fish for you.

Are we allowed to keep our fish? 

Yes. While we are a proponent of catch and release fishing, you can take your limit out of our main lakes and some of our select back lakes. The very remote back lake fishing is reserved for catch and release only. Unless you plan to mount any trophy sized fish you may catch, we encourage you release them after you have taken your photos, of course. We are in Zone 11.

What do I need on the boats?

We supply all that is essential for safe boating operations including an anchor, bail bucket, safety kits, fishing nets, life preservers and a paddle. You need to bring your camera, fishing gear, tackle box bait, sunscreen and a hat.

When are the best times to fish?

If you like to fish – anytime is a good time to fish!! Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike and Lake Trout season open the third Saturday in May each year, coinciding with the opening of our camp. Walleye become more active after the spring spawn – generally in late May and early June and remain active right through fall. Pike are more aggressive all season long and avid spring fisherman can take advantage of Lake Trout found in shallower waters (12 – 20’) before summer weather sends them much deeper beyond 60’. Lake Trout season closes end of September each fall. Bass season opens the third Saturday in June and smallies are most active from June through mid-September. Perch and White Fish run all year and are large and plentiful in our waters.

Tell me more about your guides?

We pick our Guides like we pick our friends. They are honest, sincere, fun and knowledgeable and work very hard to ensure your entire experience is rewarding and memorable. They are more than just fishermen too. They are photographers, story tellers and nature interpreters; they care about the environment and its inhabitants. They cook, clean fish, hike equipment to the remote areas…and get you on fish! Whether you’re a novice angler or an experienced sportsman, our Guides are there to take good care of you.

What about gratuities?

Gratuities make up a significant part of service industry workers’ earnings. Though by no means are tips mandatory, our guides, chef, housekeeping and grounds keeping staff all work hard to ensure every part of your experience at mrl meets or exceeds your expectations and they greatly appreciate your consideration. There is no set amount. Give what you are comfortable giving in accordance with your level of satisfaction.

For your convenience, gratuity envelops are placed in your cabin for housekeeping staff. For other staff, feel free to approach them directly with any tips you may wish to offer. For the convenience of large groups, mrl is happy to add a general gratuity amount of your choosing to your bill and will disperse it to staff according to your specified instruction. 

For all groups of 7 or more people, we include a minimum gratuity as part of your quote based on the number of people in your party and associated services. We thank you for your consideration and support in this regard.


Do I need a passport to enter Canada from the US?

On June 1, 2009, a new American law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was introduced requiring U.S. citizens 16 years of age or over who re-enter the United States by land and sea to have a passport or other appropriate secure document like a NEXUS card. See our Visiting Canada page for more important information and links.

Another less expensive option is to apply for a Passport card:

The wallet-size passport card is convenient and less expensive than the passport book. However, the U.S. Passport Card cannot be used for international air travel. This new travel document can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.


Marten River Lodge - Since 1925 

The history of this camp dates back to 1925, with the erection of cabin number six, the dining room and the main lodge. At that time the entrance road (now our driveway) and the old piers, still standing in the river, were part of the main highway north (Old Fergusson Highway) from North Bay to the rich mining fields of Cobalt, Kirkland Lake and Timmins. marten river lodge in history since 1925

The gravel road leaving North Bay was cut through a remote area with nothing but bush for the first eighty miles up to Latchford. It was decided that a half way station should be built at Marten River for construction purposes. In 1925 the present cabin number 6, dining room and lodge were built as office, eating and sleeping quarters for personnel of the Department of Northern Development (later named Department of Lands and Forests) which supervised the road construction.

Traffic, on leaving North Bay, passed through a gate and each driver’s name and vehicle license number phoned ahead to Latchford, a town about 40 miles north of the camp. Vehicles were then checked for gas, oil, spare tires, etc. and drivers allowed to take their chances on being able to complete the first forty miles to Marten River. Very few were able to complete the trip non-stop and they usually arrived in groups of three to five machines. Latchford then phoned North Bay giving clearance as each machine checked in. each trip could take anywhere from five hours to five days depending on the road, weather and dexterity of the driver. It was common to take the ditch two or three times in this stretch and uncommon to complete the trip non-stop. 

marten river lodge ontario fishing lodgeAs the fishing at Marten River became well known, the Department decided to build some 15 tent bases and tables for the public in the area behind where our fueling station is now. This then was the beginning of the Marten River tourist area.

In 1928 as construction progressed north, the cookery (dining room) and bunkhouse (lodge) were abandoned and cabin number six remained as a telephone exchange between Wicksteed Lake, Field and North Bay.

The camp was reopened on May 26, 1933 by George and Audrey Beach as the first licensed tourist camp in the Temagami region.

Of such things is history made, and small things still remain to link us with the past. The old harness maker's vice at the corner of the dining room and the marvellous adze and axe work which can be seen in many of the original buildings; also the bridge piers in the river and the remains of the road - the size of which overwhelms those that stop and consider its vastness.

The Lodge, over time, has been part of the lives of several owners, each adding their mark to this historical place. Each proprietor enhancing the infrastructure, making it better than it was before - though never losing the charm and beauty of its classic beginnings.

We hope you will stop by for a visit, drop a line in the water and enjoy your stay at Marten River Lodge.


Pet Policy

Pet friendly Rates and Policies.

Marten River Lodge is pleased to welcome you and your canine and/or feline companions.

In our attempt to make you and your pet’s stay as pleasant as possible, without impacting on the cleanlinespet friendly lodges in northern ontario canadas and quiet enjoyment of other guests, we would appreciate your full cooperation with the following guidelines:

Pet Rate $20.00 per pet per day.

  • Limit of one large or two small pets per cottage.
  • All pets must be registered at the time of booking.
  • Please be considerate of other guests when walking your pet on the property. Owners must pick up after their pets immediately.
  • Disposal bags are available in the office and tuck shop for your cleanup convenience.
  • Since not all guests are comfortable with dogs, please keep your pet on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed on any of the furniture, bedding or in the bathtub.
  • Thank you for NOT using room towels. Pet towels and blankets are available at your request.
  • Pets cannot be left alone in the room unless they are in a crate and do not disturb other guests.

Sorry, no pets (for safety reasons) allowed on back-lake trips.

Our housekeeping staff work hard to keep our accommodations clean and free of pet hair for our guests with allergies and sensitivities. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. For more information please contact MRL management.

Your Hosts

Ray and Donna Sapiano look forward to serving you.

We are Ray and Donna and we are proud parents of two grown boys Simon and Adam. With us is Buddy, our fun-loving family dog.

Prior to owning Marten River Lodge, we have lived in different parts of Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec and are proud to say we have friends and family all across this beautiful country. We both worked in the broadcasting industry for many years – Ray in marketing, production and sales – and Donna in finance. Individually, we have also worked in real estate, advertising, technology and non-profit volunteer service industries. One of the benefits of our collective work experiences is the countless opportunities we’ve had to engage with people in the many communities we served. As we grew through many new life and career experiences together, two things remained constant – our love of people and our passion for the outdoors. 

Both of us are avid anglers. Before the kids came into our lives, our personal record together was 14 hours straight on the water!! More than two decades ago, Ray visited a fishing camp and fell in love with the notion of one day owning a lodge. Over the years, the dream became a pursuit and after more than 30 years working in the corporate world and raising our family, we decided it was time for a change; a change that would allow us the opportunity to combine our respective talents, common passion and a lifestyle that embodies both.Hosts Ray and Donna Marten River Lodge

Life is an adventure and while many people talk about their dreams, few muster the courage to pursue them. Sometimes life makes the decision for you. Someone once said “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” Well, we dared to dream big and today, we are proud to have taken up the reigns at Marten River Lodge and to carry on the long history and tradition of outstanding customer service, exceptional fishing and memorable Northern Ontario wilderness vacation experiences.

One thing about dreams…you never quite know where they will take you. After 6 amazing seasons now, we have met so many new people and made so many new friends - literally from around the world! We could not have imagined this nor experienced this had we not made this change in our lives. We have shared countless stories, laughter, milestones and celebrations with people from almost every corner of the globe. They arrive as strangers and leave as friends. The smiles on their faces and the memories we’ve helped build for them are genuine - and that’s what makes this experience so rewarding for us.

We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the owners who preceded us and who’s hard work and dedication earned Marten River Lodge the credibility it enjoys and the endearment of so many. George & Audrey Beach (1933-1962), Marj and Len James (1962-1968), Terry & May Fisher (1968 to 1988), Scott Marlatt (1988-1995), Phil & Gretel Cracknel (1995-2007) and Tom & Nadine Rinow (2007-2012). Each of these people put their hearts into making MRL a truly special place and we proudly carry on this legacy in their names.

Many employees, associates and suppliers over the years have lent their talents, services, skills and guidance to MRL– far too many to list here. We are blessed with the support and dedication of our remarkable staff, our two boys Simon and Adam, and feel fortunate to be able to rely on friends and partners who always respond when help is needed. 

We are truly grateful for this gift and opportunity. We look forward each year to welcoming new and returning visitors and to forging meaningful relationships with our many valued guests, friends and patrons of this time-honoured, premier northern Ontario resort.

We look forward to the privilege of serving you and to your joining us soon for a memorable visit and your Ultimate Outdoor Adventure!

Kindest regards,
Ray and Donna