If you’re a fan of our blog, you’ve likely been influenced by our posts showcasing Northeastern Ontario’s amazing outdoor adventures. You might even have seen a friend’s photos of moose and beaver from a recent trip to Timmins or read about a journalist’s wilderness expedition on the French River. Maybe our blog posts have inspired you to practise your canoeing skills and strike out on your own wilderness expedition, and you’re all ready to roll. Well, at least you think you’re ready . .
If you’d like an expert’s helping hand to arrange the logistics, consult on routes, or even go on the journey with you, there’s an outfitter for that, and they can help make your dream trip run safely and smoothly. Here are a few of the best options that offer a wide range of support to suit your needs.
Want to visit one of the most intriguing and most remote regions of our province? Moosonee and Moose Factory are historic Cree settlements that were settled by Europeans in the mid-seventeenth century by the Hudson’s Bay Company. These remote towns are accessed by train or, for the more adventurous, by water.
Howling Wolf Expeditions guides canoeists and kayakers to these communities along various rivers (including the Moose River and the epic Mattagami) depending on skill level. Camp along the river where you’ll see stars in a clear night sky and experience an absence of human noise like you’ll never find elsewhere. After your trip, take the famed Polar Bear Express train back to Cochrane.
Georgian Bay is world-renowned for its pristine blue waters. Get a new view of this natural wonder – a view that just can’t be achieved sitting in a deck chair!
White Squall Paddling Centre provides your kayaks, tents and gear, menus and food, and, of course, an expert guide. The Centre regularly leads group trips planned at regular intervals during the summer and early fall. For example, this September 8-12, head off to Killarney as you explore the limestone islands filled with fossils and amazing mountain scenery.
The Missinaibi River (with an Upper section that flows to James Bay up by Moosonee and a Lower section starting at Missinaibi Lake near Chapleau) is one of the Hudson’s Bay Company classic canoe routes. Most do not attempt the entire 550-km river in one trip, and beginners should not attempt the river at all without a guide.
One trip offered by Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters is a Thunderhouse Falls fly-out, which includes 80 km of paddling over 8 days, Class II and Class III rapids, and swimming and fishing at the impressive Thunderhouse Falls.
They also offer a Northern Expedition for Women along the Lower Missinaibi that offers the beauty of Northern Ontario scenery without the rigours of portaging. Head up the Missinaibi, 40 km north of the last road, to real wilderness. The outfitter takes care of the guide, airport pick up and drop off in Timmins, a floatplane to the river, tents, meals, and a night at the Cree Village Eco Lodge in Moose Factory. So grab your best girlfriend, mother, or colleague and take them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Ontario Provincial Park system, Killarney is home to the picturesque La Cloche Mountains – one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. There are several ways to get to panoramic views, including Voyageur Quest’s 5-day sea kayaking and camping trip. Enjoy sandy beaches, ancient forests, and thousands of islands in Canadian Shield country. Your guide will also take you on a few memorable hikes along the way.
All of these outfitters are great choices for crafting the paddling adventure of a lifetime, no matter what your skill level. You’ll find that in Northeastern Ontario, people are more than happy to accommodate you, and make sure that you feel right at home in the splendour of the Canadian wilderness. For more information, check out our page on paddling.