The Untamed Beauty of Wabakimi Provincial Park

Even though Carol and Glenn have spent the last 3 years paddling their way across the rugged terrain of Canada, for months at a time, their canoe adventure in Wabakimi Provincial Park was no easy feat!

Wabakimi Provincial Park is a rural and untamed section of wilderness starting about 4 hours north of Thunder Bay.  The park itself is over 5 million acres, which is twice the size of PEI. And the only way to access Wabakimi Provincial Park is by floatplane, train or canoe. On day 1 of their adventure, Carol and Glenn took an exciting floatplane ride from Wabakimi Canoe Outfitters & Ecolodge and were dropped off in the middle of a lake! Full of excitement they began their journey!

Carol and Glenn spent 16 days paddling a remote route, without seeing a single soul. Plus, they completed 67 portages during this short period of time! And for some of the portages, it was nearly impossible to find the path. Check out the picture below of Glenn trying to figure out the portage route. Somehow, Carol and Glenn always figure out how to find their way no matter where they are!

Since Wabakimi Provincial Park is so expansive and challenging to access, the portages are not maintained frequently. The portages are also not marked. Luckily, with Carol and Glenn’s wilderness skills and training from their adventure across Canada they figured it out! Here are a few other pictures of the portages and the many challenges they faced.

Glenn carrying their canoe through an open rugged forested area.

In the above picture, Glenn is carrying their canoe across the passenger bush train to access Wabakimi Provincial Park. However, due to COVID it was not running, but Freight Trains were still active. Glenn made sure to look both ways before crossing.

Carol and Glenn trying to figure out this one!

After a few portages, Carol and Glenn started to discover old (axe cut) blazes on trees. Blazing is an Indigenous method of marking a trail and/or portage which was a welcomed sign for them.  The above picture shows all of their items for 16 days (not including the canoe) that also needed to be carried through the multiple portages! This time, Carol and Glenn did not have the luxury of using their canoe cart as it only works on smooth surfaces like roads or flat paths. However, each and every portage was worth it as they got to see beautiful views and natural landscapes such as these:

In Wabakimi Provincial Park, campsites are not marked and are used very infrequently.  Carol and Glenn had to be very careful about where they placed their tent because storms, heavy rain and high wind come fast! They always made sure they were not under dead trees that looked like they were about to topple over!

Of course, they always found a great place to camp, some camp spots being more interesting than others! One day, they placed their tent on Caribou Moss. Caribou Moss grows in arctic and northern regions around the world. It grows on the ground and on rocks. It looks like a foamy, grey-green spongy mass, and grows to be 2 to 10 centimetres high. Another reason why it is called Caribou Moss is because Caribous love to eat it!

And sometimes there was just enough room for their tent! As you can see in the picture below there are a lot of fallen branches and trees surrounding this camp spot from previous destructive storms.

There were many islands to camp on as well! Whenever Carol and Glenn have the chance to camp on an island they do! One day, they had located an island they wanted to camp on. As they were getting closer, they saw one very large black bear swimming. They stopped to watch to see (from a safe distance) what this bear was up to. It was swimming from island to island most likely looking for berries to eat!  And one of the islands is where they had planned on camping. Carol and Glenn decided to go to the mainland to camp instead for that particular evening! Below is a picture of Carol preparing breakfast with fresh berries! You do not need to be a bear to enjoy these berries!

Carol and Glenn have returned safely and happily to their home in Kingston with many wonderful memories of Wabakimi Provincial Park! I am sure they are already planning the next trip!

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