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Wabakimi Provincial Park

Backcountry Camping

1. Experience:

Wabakimi Provincial Park, the second largest provincial park in Ontario, is known for its remote backcountry experience. The park is pure northern grandeur, home to Woodland Caribou, eagles, and excellent Northern Pike, Walleye, and Lake Trout fishing.

Located on the Canadian Shield in the Boreal forest, the park encompasses 10,000 lakes and a network of rivers and streams that provide 1,500 km of paddling routes. Visitors can enter the park by train, floatplane, or canoe.

The park waterways have been traveled for centuries by Indigenous people. Most portages in the region have evolved from this use. Ancient campsites, artifacts, and pictograph (rock painting) sites found throughout the park tell Wabakimi’s story.

Portage trails through Wabakimi vary in length and condition. Park staff work to maintain and clear these trails annually. Portage trails are not signed, the entrances may only be marked by a blaze on a tree near the shore.

There are approximately 500 backcountry campsites scattered throughout the park. Each campsite varies in size and ground cover, from large bedrock tent areas to small earth-covered clearings. Some campsites will have a fire ring, but no other features are provided, and campsites are not marked.

2. Reservations and Interior Camping Permits

Camping reservations are not available at this park. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Interior camping permits are required for backcountry camping in Wabakimi Provincial Park. Permits can be purchased online up to two weeks in advance of your arrival date.

Camping permits may also be obtained through the park office in Thunder Bay by calling the park or through local permit issuers. For a complete list of local permit issuers please contact the park office.

3. Trip Planning

Wabakimi park maps can be obtained from the park office in Thunder Bay, several local retailers, or by contacting the Armstrong Resource Development Corporation at 807-583-2080.

For more information about Wabakimi and local outfitters, click here.

Accessing the park by canoe: There are several canoe entry points from the town of Armstrong located 3 hours north of Thunder Bay via Highway 527, and the town of Savant Lake located 4.5 hours west of Thunder Bay via Highway 599. Both highways are paved but offer limited services. From the Armstrong area, Graham Road and Obonga Road lead to Wabakimi by paddling through Kopka River Provincial Park. Little Caribou Lake can be accessed from Caribou Lake Road leaving directly from the town of Armstrong. From Savant Lake, forest access roads can provide entry to several smaller lakes and rivers leading into Wabakimi.

Accessing the park by train: For VIA Rail train access through Wabakimi, Armstrong and Savant Lake train stations are the closest and largest options. The train only operates certain days of the week depending on direction of travel. There is a one-hour time difference between Armstrong and Savant Lake due to a change in time-zones.

Once you reserve a train ticket, please request drop off and pick up locations at least 48 hours in advance. Please be aware that each canoe brought on the train will be an additional charge. Fees, schedules, and reservations can be found online or calling 1-888-842-7245.

Accessing the park by floatplane: Air services from Armstrong and Savant Lake are available for drop-off, pick-up, or both. Flying into the park lets you see more of Wabakimi in a shorter amount of time and is a breathtaking experience. The contact information for these air services can be found here.

To ensure your health and safety while visiting Wabakimi please be reminded of the following:

  • Cell phones will not work while in the interior, so another remote communication method is recommended.
  • All lakes and rivers carry the chance of parasites so be prepared to boil, pump, or filter your drinking water.
  • The weather can quickly change and become severe in a matter of minutes. Always have an alternate plan when making large lake crossings.
  • Be aware and respectful of the wildlife. Keep food, garbage, and scented items sealed, and carry bear spray, a whistle, or an air horn.
  • Forest fires are a natural occurrence within Wabakimi and the surrounding landscape. As part of your trip planning you should inform yourself about the local forest fire activity and restrictions. Visit here for more details on how to stay safe when travelling in forest fire season.

Please be respectful of the natural environment and other visitors. Practice leave-no-trace camping, and be aware of your surrounding neighbours, ecology, and wildlife. We appreciate your efforts to maintain this pristine environment.

Winter Camping

Winter camping, ice fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are permitted, but access is limited during the winter months. There are no groomed winter trails in the park.
Ice fishing is subject to Ontario’s fishing regulations.
Snowmobiling is only permitted in the park expansion area. Please contact the Park Office for specific details.
Winter visitors should take extra precautions. Wabakimi’s isolated location means help is not nearby. Only those with significant winter camping experience should consider an overnight stay in the park.