Wakami Lake Provincial Park lies in the heart of northeastern Ontario’s Boreal Forest.
Four hours from Sault Ste Marie and 5 hours from Sudbury, this park is the epitome of nature.
Wakami Lake is quiet and far from busy highways and city lights. The night skies are filled with stars and off-grid camping allows you to fully submerse yourself in the wilderness experience.
Hike, paddle, boat, or fish – there’s so many ways to get away from the hustle and bustle!
Here are five reasons you need to visit:
1. A big, beautiful lake
Wakami Lake lies near the “Height of Land” in northeastern Ontario. That’s where the watersheds of the Great Lakes to the south, and Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north meet!
Water in Wakami Lake flows north to James Bay. James Bay and Hudson Bay are technically part of the Arctic Ocean, so the water in Wakami Lake is actually in the Arctic Ocean watershed!
Wakami Lake spans 15 km with a number of bays to explore. There are no cottages, marinas, or lodges on the lake — just stunning boreal forest.
Paddlers, boaters, anglers, and swimmers can spend the day relaxing on the cool waters. The lake’s name “Wakami” comes from the Ojibwe word waakamin – it has clear water.
Experienced paddlers should pick up a map at the park store and spend the day exploring the structures and shoals throughout the lake.
Canoes and kayaks are available for rent.
2. Casting a line couldn’t be better!
Ask any Ontario Parks staff, they’ll tell you that Wakami Lake is their favourite northeastern fishing spot. And for good reason!
Anglers can hook great Walleye, Northern Pike, and lots of Yellow Perch. Those without watercraft can find great success from shore fishing, too!
Park facilities include a boat launch, plenty of dock space, and fish cleaning tables at Birch Hill and Brown’s Bay to clean your catch on.
As Scott Gardner of Outdoor Canada recently said: “Wakami Lake is about as good as drive-to camp/fish/paddle adventures get in Ontario. Simply put, it’s a treasure.”
Read his full article: “8 reasons why I’ll be going back to Wakami Lake Provincial Park.”
The park has two rental boats with motors for visitors who want to get out on the lake. See the park’s webpage for details under the Facilities tab.
3. See the stars
Leave the cities and four-lane highways behind. The dark skies of Wakami Lake are calling your name!
Relax on your campsite and stare up at the stars. Listen to the swaying of trees and the loon’s distant wail. There’s truly nothing better.
Interested in doing some amateur astronomy? Read up on our “Eyes on the skies“ blog series so you can catch any constellations or meteor showers possible during your visit!
4. Explore the boreal forest
Did you know the boreal forest is one of the largest ecosystems in the world?
If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting, you’ll find the forest has a uniquely northern look; think towering Black Spruce and Balsam Firs draped with lichen.
Hikers can take in the beauty of the boreal forest on these stunning trails:
- The Transitional Forest Trail (2.5 km, with optional 5 km) has forest with trees typical to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence lowlands, growing side by side with boreal forest species
- The Beaver Meadow Trail (2.4 km) takes you into the boreal forest where hikers can discover how the industrious beaver has altered the landscape
Known as Ontario’s “songbird nursery,” the boreal forest is also teeming with wildlife that you may not see in the south! Birders, don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars and your life list.
5. Truly get away from it all
Wakami Lake visitors can choose their own adventure! No matter which type of camping you choose, you’re guaranteed a serene stay.
For those who don’t want to be burdened with bringing equipment, check out Wakami Lake’s soft-sided shelter. This prospector-style canvas is equipped with a propane barbecue, firepit, and two Adirondack chairs, as well as a dining table and two queen-sized beds inside.
RVers and tent campers will find solace at one of the park’s four campgrounds: Birch Hill, Pine Grove, Maple Ridge and Brown’s Bay encompassing 59 campsites.
Many of these sites provide spectacular waterfront views (some even have space to pull up your boat, canoe, or kayak!).
Don’t hold out for electric sites though! They’re not available at Wakami Lake so campers can get their semi-wilderness experience.
Prefer even more privacy? Wakami Lake offers nine backcountry sites surrounding the perimeter of the lake. Each site has fire ring, picnic table, and box privy.
Those without watercraft can rent a canoe or motorboat by the hour or day in the main campground.
Make sure you call ahead at 705-864-3137 to reserve as rentals are in high demand.
Ready to plan your trip?
No matter what you choose to do at Wakami Lake, you’ll agree: it’s surely worth the drive!
Wakami Lake Provincial Park is open until September 24, 2023.