Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Late Summer/Early Fall Paddling Trips in Wabakimi Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Sofi Czich, Canoe Resource Technician at Wabakimi Provincial Park.

Planning a late summer or early fall paddling trip in Wabakimi will stimulate your senses.

Wabakimi Provincial Park is a raw, wild beauty that will provide an unforgettable experience!

There are a few things to expect during your paddling trip and also a few things to keep in mind.

Early Autumn Colors

Being about 260 km north of Thunder Bay, fall colors arrive at the park a little earlier in September. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting a little cooler, and the trees are getting the signal that it’s time to prepare for winter.

A bird perched on a birch tree whose leaves have turned yellow.

Aspen, white birch, and tamarack are the main trees you’ll look for for the beautiful fall display!

If you love the idea of ​​paddling around a lake or river with lots of green and golden yellow, sprinkled with a few oranges and reds alongside you, late summer or early fall camping in Wabakimi is perfect for you!

Trees reflecting in the water.

Peace and tranquility

Wabakimi Provincial Park is essentially a natural park. This means it appeals to a specific type of paddler who prefers to travel off-piste.

Being so remote, the park usually receives no more than 500 visitors per season. In an 8,920 km2 park, it is quite rare to meet another paddler while exploring the park.

The sunset in front of a lake.  A red canoe rests in the foreground.

Just after the peak summer season, in late summer or early fall, there are even fewer chances of seeing someone while you’re out, which is appealing to those really looking to escape city life and immerse themselves in the cycles and rhythms of the city. nature.

Please note that this also means that you will need the appropriate level of backcountry skills to paddle in this nature park or consider using the services of a local guide or outfitter for your trip.

Sleep peacefully

As summer comes to an end and fall is just around the corner, the nights get cooler in Wabakimi. Waking up in the middle of the night sweating in the summer can be uncomfortable, especially if you’ve just finished a big day of paddling.

See also  Skate through a winter wonderland on the MacGregor Point Ice Trail

People sitting around a campfire, next to a lake, under a sky full of stars

At this time of year you can be sure that you will sleep peacefully at a cool and perfect temperature. The sun is still warm and will keep you warm during the day, but know that when night falls you can take out your cozy wool or fleece layer and sit around the campfire with your favorite hot drink. You might even wake up to a frosty morning this time of year.

Wildlife at this time of year.

Just as the trees receive the signals that fall is approaching, so do the fish and wildlife in Wabakimi. The birds begin their migration, with up to 130 species coming to nest in the park during the summer months, including some at-risk species such as the olive flycatcher: considered a species of “special concern”.

A white bird with black markings perches on a thin lichen-covered tree branch in the forest.A Canada Jay

Most birds are beginning to fly south, leaving just over a dozen species equipped for the winter. These winter-ready birds include the Canada jay, voted Canada’s national bird by Canadian Geographic.

This time of year, fish that spent the summer months in colder, deeper water can now be found closer to the surface and in shallow water. Brook trout are spawning, so keep an eye out for their vibrant red bellies.

A red-bellied trout on the surface of the water, caught on a fishing hook

Deer and elk are approaching their rut and bucks are at their peak antler growth, as are woodland caribou. Black bears continue to eat large amounts of food to prepare for wintering, which will begin in October.

A beaver gnawing on a small piece of wood in the water.

In late summer and early fall, beavers begin cutting down trees, contributing to their seasonal change in diet. During your travels, you may be able to see a beaver maintaining an existing lodge or starting to build a new one.

fruits and mushrooms

While you’re in the park, keep an eye out for the vibrant red color of the Bog Cranberry, also known as Lingonberry. You’ll find the small red berry before seeing the small, green, leathery leaves alternating with the low, creeping stem.

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A low green bush with bright red berries.Marsh Blueberry or Lingon Berry (Vaccinium Vaccinium vine-idaea)

This berry was and still is used by First Nations people and is an important fruit, along with blueberries and blackberries.

Another fruiting body you can find in soil is the lobster mushroom. This mushroom is sure to catch your eye as it has a bright orange/red color.

A frilly orange mushroom growing in black soil with clover in the foreground.Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

This fungus is particularly fascinating because it actually infects them like a parasite and alters not only their color but also their texture and flavor! However, save your curiosity about the flavor for when you get home. Foraging is not permitted in Ontario parks and can threaten the food sources of the animals that call these spaces home.

Show in the sky

Early fall can also be one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights in Wabakimi Provincial Park. Dark, clear skies make for a beautiful display that can be viewed comfortably with a warm layer.

The night sky illuminated by the green hue of the northern lights

Capturing the Northern Lights is a particular pleasure for photographers. The aurora is a natural light spectacle caused by a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, solar wind and magnetic fields that produce 10 million megawatts of luminescent power.

If seeing greens, blues, and even purples dancing in the sky excites or even calms you, start planning your trip to Wabakimi Provincial Park!

Recommended travel times

Trips to Wabakimi are best taken from late summer to early fall before mid-September. Unexpected storms, adverse weather conditions, frost and potentially snow may occur after this. Always be prepared when going into rural areas for any period of time. Carry the necessary safety equipment and adequate food, as well as clothing.

A red canoe at the water's edge in a forest on a sunny day

The adventure of a lifetime awaits when you visit Wabakimi Provincial Park in late summer or early fall.

Prepare for a secluded trip filled with fall colors, cool nights, wildlife in seasonal transition, and locations including Bog Cranberries, mushrooms, and the Northern Lights.

Please note that travel at this time may include inclement weather such as storms, frost and snow; prepare accordingly.

Two people in a red canoe in open water, paddling away from the camera.

Ready to plan your trip? Visit Ontario Parks online for more information about planning trips to Wabakimi Provincial Park.

Wabakimi Provincial Park is located north of Armstrong Ontario and a three-hour drive from Thunder Bay.