Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024
Top Ten Reasons to Paddling the Northwest Wilderness Quest

Today’s post comes from Barb Rees, Ontario Parks Natural Heritage Marketing and Education Specialist.

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to paddle and camp for a minimum of three consecutive nights in each of Quetico, Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks by October 15, 2019.

Because? Keep reading. We’ve listed the top ten reasons why you can’t miss Northwest Wilderness Quest.

10. Remote, but accessible

While these three parks are located in the true wilderness of northwestern Ontario, each park is serviced by nearby communities and outfitters. Even full-service guided tours can be arranged if desired.

Two paddlers in a canoe, near a rocky shore with a forest in the backgroundQuetico Provincial Park

Not only can these natural parks be accessed by highways and country roads, but some of them also offer non-traditional access methods.

Side of a train at sunset with people unloading canoesLoading up in Armstrong, Ontario and heading to Wabakimi Provincial Park

For example, have you ever considered starting your canoe trip with a train ride? At Wabakimi Provincial Park, arrangements can be made to access the southern end of the park with Via Rail Canada.

Rowers loading a train at nightOvernight train to Wabakimi

Or perhaps consider starting or ending your trip to Woodland Caribou Provincial Park with a charter flight to or from the lake of your choice.

View of a lake from the side of an airplane.Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

The waters of Quetico are located just across the international border between Canada and the US, offering Americans a perfect paddling trip (practically from their own backyard), using an Area Border Crossing Permit. remote.

9. Similar, but different

Although each of these parks has similarities and a nearly endless selection of lakes and rivers to explore, they also have their own personalities.

View of a beach on a sunny day from the shade of tall conifersQuetico Provincial Park

Quetico is an internationally renowned natural park and long-time favorite for canoeists. Many families share their passion for rowing in Quetico, transmitting the tradition from generation to generation to their children and grandchildren.

People gathered around a campfire in the dark with the northern lights in the backgroundQuetico Provincial Park

Camping under the towering pines and midnight stars in Quetico may be the quintessential camping experience for a paddler.

Two people paddling towards the camera in a red canoeWabakimi Provincial Park

Wabakimi is a place to challenge yourself. There are calm waters, rapids and large waterfalls. And while connecting shuttles can be a challenge, they’re definitely worth the effort.

A rocky outcrop on a lake, with a canoe and tent in the boreal forest foregroundWabakimi Provincial Park

Wabakimi offers the full package of emotional adventures: preparation, anticipation, awe, adversity, and ultimately, celebration! Once you’ve spent some time in Wabakimi, you’ll fall in love with the pristine, wild landscape.

The influence of the grasslands on the Woodland Caribou climate results in a drier, warmer climate, conducive to a longer paddling season and, yes, fewer bugs. And who doesn’t want fewer mistakes? Its naturally fire-driven landscape is constantly in various stages of renewal.

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Person relaxing on a rocky coast under a blue sky with rolling cloudsWoodland Caribou Provincial Park

8. Awards and bragging rights

Of course, these incentives may not be everyone’s main motivation for backcountry paddling, but there’s something about telling friends and family about your incredible paddling adventures in these spectacular natural parks (and the stories that unfold along the way). ) that may be priceless.

Red canoe at a dockMouse River Kevlar Canoe

Did we mention that if you record your trip legs as you go, you may qualify for early bird rewards? Plus, when you complete the full Northwest Quest requirement (with all of your trips logged), you may be eligible to win great, cool prizes!

four oarsXY company padel

Wouldn’t it be a great way to conclude your Northwest Wilderness Quest to earn a new Souris River Kevlar canoe or a handcrafted paddle from XY Company? *Positive nod.*

7. Challenge and adventure

This should be obvious. When you visit our prestigious wilderness paddling parks, the opportunity for adventure is right in front of you and around every corner.

Person in blue shirt transporting a canoe through the forestWoodland Caribou Provincial Park

From endless paddling route options, portages and camping, to wildlife sightings, fishing tales, pictographs and whitewater challenges, the potential for adventure is limitless. And it’s entirely up to you to define what best suits your travel and paddling style.

6. Loneliness

On the other hand, these remote parks offer incredible opportunities for solitude. Depending on the park route you select, there is the possibility of paddling for days and not seeing anyone (other than your travel companion, of course).

View of feet coming out of a hammock.Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

So why not take the time to disconnect from your everyday life? Slow down and relax. Jot down some notes in your journal and make some sketches in your travel journal. Reflect and compare your off-piste experiences at each park.

A person admiring the view of the lake and forest from their campsite.Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

Think about the types of forests you have traveled through: the topography and terrain of the Canadian Shield, the waterways, the wildlife sightings and the scenic views you have seen and captured in photographs.

Silhouette of a paddler on a misty lakeWabakimi Provincial Park

These parks can be very attractive to confident, experienced paddlers who want to challenge themselves and spend time paddling and camping alone.

5. Wildlife and nature

With wildness comes nature. Woodland Caribou Park’s motto may say it best: “Where Nature Still Rules.” Please note: you are a visitor to these treasured landscapes.

A large ungulate with a white chest and large antlers in the forest.

And if you walk carefully and calmly, you may be rewarded with stunning displays of nature at its finest.

Moose in a wetland

Whether it’s a moose feeding along the coastal brush in Quetico or an elusive sighting of woodland caribou in Wabakimi or Woodland Caribou, nature abounds.

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Lake landscape with canoe floating with two paddlers Wabakimi Provincial Park

Imagine relaxing on the shoreline or gently dipping your paddle along your route as the sounds of the local loons surround you. Perfect.

4. Fishing

There is a general idea that the further north you venture, into less populated and underdeveloped areas, the more pristine the fishing will be. Let’s say these three natural parks definitely support that idea.

Sillouette of two rowers fishing with the sun low in the skyWabakimi Provincial Park

If you like to cook over an open fire, nothing sounds better than the crackling of the campfire and the taste of a freshly caught walleye at the end of a long day of paddling.

Bonfire with fried fish

Casting a line is truly an essential part of a complete canoeing experience in these parks.

3. A cultural landscape

Each of these three natural parks offers a rich cultural landscape of indigenous community and history, and stories from travelers and early settlers to today’s travelers and adventurers.

People walking on a pathWabakimi Provincial Park

Its waterways run through the heart of Ontario’s rugged landscape and the base of the Canadian Shield. They allow you to immerse yourself in areas of cultural significance, allowing you to paddle historic canoe routes while revealing glimpses of the past. Each park also offers the opportunity to learn and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of our First Nations communities.

River with rapids and boreal forestblood vein river

Quetico and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks have sections of waterways designated as part of the Canadian Heritage River System. You can choose to travel along the famous Boundary Waters/Voyageur Waterway route (which mirrors the Canada-US border) or try the Bloodvein River from Red Lake (which travels through Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba). Or simply chart your own path as you explore each park.

Two boys looking at a map with their orienteering equipmentWabakimi Provincial Park

And have you heard? Pimachiowin Aki, located on the Ontario-Manitoba border (and including Woodland Caribou Provincial Park), has recently been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This partnership includes local First Nations communities and government organizations, as well as parks and protected areas on both sides of the border. It is the first culture and A designated World Heritage natural site right here in Canada’s northern boreal forest.

2. Family and friends

This is his time. Take the opportunity to spend time with your family and friends, doing what you love.

Four friends standing around a fire at sunsetWoodland Caribou Provincial Park

Reconnect and share the wonders of these natural parks and your travels together. Do we need to say more?

1. These are andour dream trips

This is your thing! He loves getting out, paddling and seeking adventures in the Ontario wilderness.

A red and an orange canoe, side by side on a blue lakeWoodland Caribou Provincial Park

If you want to explore northwestern Ontario, Quetico, Wabakimi, and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks are your dream trips for wilderness paddling. There’s no better time to check them off your wish list!

How long have you been looking at those canoe route maps? Pack them up and hit the road. Live your dream and go paddling at one of these three Northwest Wilderness Quest parks this season!

Become a Northwest Seeker today!

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