Are you an experienced canoeist looking for a new challenge? Woodland Caribou Ontario Parks’ fifth largest provincial park, is one of those few places in the world where you feel like you’re the first to experience its beauty. That’s because this park has low use. Just a thousand canoeists a year paddle its almost 2,000 kilometres of canoe routes. Four main river systems (Bloodvein, Gammon, Oiseau and Haggart), countless lakes and smaller creeks all interconnect in the park which has 1,000 primitive campsites and no roads. The park is located approximately 60 kilometres north of Kenora, Ontario, between the Town of Red Lake and the Manitoba border. Canoeists either hire a fly-in service or they paddle into the park. Outfitters and fly-in services are in Red Lake which has dining and accommodation as well. Red Lake is about a 2.5 – 3 day drive from southern Ontario or a day’s drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba and also from Thunder Bay. Bearskin Airlines flies direct to Red Lake where you can get picked up the local outfitters or fly-in services. Experience a trip in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park with this video.
Pictographs located in the park begin to reveal the areas’ Ojibway legacy that dates back 10,000 years. There’s also lots of wildlife including a large group of Woodland Caribou. The fishing is superb. Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is part of a larger boreal forest straddling the Ontario-Manitoba border called Pimachiowin Aki or “the land that gives life”. It’s the first region in Canada nominated to become a World UNESCO Heritage Site based on both its natural and cultural heritage values. It is hoped that a final decision by UNESCO will be made sometime in 2013.
Self-reliance is very important in wilderness backcountry travel. You have to be able to react and adapt easily to nature in this park. After Day 1, the likelihood of seeing another camper is remote so careful trip planning is essential. Trippers are advised to call Woodland Caribou Provincial Park directly for trip planning advice, (807- 727-1329). The Ontario Parks website, the Park Blog, Canadian Canoe Routes and Canoeing.com are good places to begin your trip planning.
Ontario Tourism, another great source of information, will be launching a special contest featuring a fully-guided expedition to Woodland Caribou – called the “Woodland Caribou Quest Adventure”. The contest opens on January 11 and closes May 31, 2013. Winners will travel the summer of 2013! So start dreaming…