The Ojibway name for the river is Pinguisibi. Where pingui means fine white sand and sibi means river.
The river descends to the lake in a series of low cascades in Lake Superior Provincial Park. The river is named after the sand bar formed across its mouth. A picnic area can be found at the mouth of the river next to Highway #17 where many travelers stop to enjoy a nice view of the cascading falls as the river nears Lake Superior.