Travel: Wabakimi Provincial Park with Ray Mears

Pete Coombs travelled with Ray Mears to Wabakimi Provincial Park, which is a 90 minute drive due north of the Lake Superior harbour city of Thunder Bay. Wabakimi is accessed at the end of highway 527, where it meets the Trans Canadian Railway line (CNR).

Wabakimi Provincial Park was created in 1983, and extended to a staggering 5 million plus acres in 1999. It’s probably the largest canoe-able reserve in the world, yet sees less than 1,000 visitors a year. And whilst it does take time to get there, it is truly one of the most comfortably accessed wild spots on the planet.

Day 1
We visit the Fort William fur trading station, just outside the harbour city of Thunder Bay. Fur traders would hunt in Ontario’s far north all summer, before returning to Thunder Bay to sell pelts to the Hudson Bay Trading Company. In the afternoon we drive north to the boundaries of Wabakimi Provincial Park.

Day 2
We take a renovated 1950’s float plane, deep into the parks interior, before paddling for the rest of the day to a wild camping spot. Ray builds a fire and teaches me how to bake Bannock bread on an open fire.

Day Three
We canoe all day, shooting some rapids, yet Ray still finds the time to carve a paddle in the late afternoon.

Day Four
We take the train out of the park, as the float plane is very expensive and it’s fun to wave down a huge train and stick our canoes onboard.

For a chance to win, an all expenses, trip with Ray Mears to Wabakimi Provincial Park go to www.ontariotravel.net/ukadventure

Wabakimi Canoe & Fishing Outfitters, offer bespoke adventures into Wabakimi PP including bus transfers, floatplane hire, guiding, kit hire and accommodation. www.wabakimi.com

Photos and video by Goh Iromoto @gohiromoto

Factbox
Flights: Air Canada Heathrow to Thunder Bay, via Toronto from £622 return.
Outfitters and guides: Wabakimi Canoe & Fishing Outfitters offer bespoke adventures into Wabakimi PP includingbus transfers, floatplane hire, guiding, kit hire and accommodation (www.wabakimi.com)

Accommodation
Armstrong – Wabakimi Wilderness Eco-Lodge and Bed and Breakfast ([email protected])
Thunder Bay – Valhalla Inn, doubles from Canadian $112.50 (www.valhallainn.com)
Wilderness North also offer bespoke adventure alongside high quality in park accommodation.

Restaurants
For a post adventure feast, try the Caribou Restaurant (www.caribourestaurant.com)
For a lunchtime snack there’s none better than www.growingseason.ca

Pete Coombs is a freelance adventurer and travel writer. His main passion is Snowboarding, and he loves to travel far and wide to catch the best snow. He digs dub tunes and classic motorbikes and his favourite film is True Romance, or maybe it’s The Good The Bad and The Ugly or possibly everything the Coen brothers have ever made (yes even Barton Fink too). You can follow him on Twitter @pcsnowboard

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