Northwestern Ontario sights and sounds

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of July 25-August 1, 1996
Non-leisurely Virgin Islands cruises
Resorts that 'have it all'
Adventure Grants for lucky teens
Northwestern Ontario sights and sounds
Visiting Apostle Islands by kayak

Northwestern Ontario sights and sounds
Question: Some friends and I are heading on a canoe trip to Wabakimi Provincial Park above Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, August 4 to 14. I have searched my old issues of Canoe & Kayak and Outside magazine to locate articles by anyone who has been there, but have not yet found anything. I did find one article in Travel Holiday in the Periodical Guide but I haven't been able to get my hands on it yet.

My question is: Do you know of any written material on Wabakimi? I have topographic maps and a friend in Wisconsin is in contact with an outfitter, so this information is not critical to our trip. I just thought it would be nice to read something about someone else's trip there first. If nothing exists, would you like my friends and me to give you a write-up when we return?

Richard D. "Bud" Meade
Brockport, NY
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: Sadly, after sneezing my way through our dusty pile of Outside back issues for possible Wabakimi "hits," I've come up empty-handed. But wait, don't despair! That's not to say there's nothing out there on this true gem of northwestern Ontario, which covers an area larger than Prince Edward Island and is known for its spectacular wilderness and wildlife, most notably caribou.

Bud, meet Mark Bryant, the newest member of Outside Online's editorial staff. Here's what he had to say about time he spent in that neck of the woods:

Hey Bud,

I cannot think of a better time to travel north of Thunder Bay than in August. The wildlife in the earlier summer months is overwhelmingly flying insects--the hungry kind. Enough mosquitoes to make Dracula appear a lightweight, and flies that chomp any exposed flesh. And they thicken the air enough to give you a permanent squint, just to keep them out of your eyes. But they tend to their business early, leaving August a good time for hairless mammals to visit.

While I haven't visited your destination, I did spend a summer planting trees about 60 miles north of Thunder Bay. The country is magnificent, thick with tall confiers and lakes of all sizes. The water is pristine and great for cooling swims. I remember loons calling at night. I also remember a bear mangling a truck parked 50 yards away from my tent.

The weather can be confusing. Winds can blow, the skies turn dark and cold, only to be soon replaced by sunshine. And a day that starts out bright and warm can easily be replaced by a chilling rainstorm, although August reputedly has the finest weather. (At the end of May, I awoke to two inches of snow outside my tent.)

The summer skies, when they eventually do fade into night, can offer a grand view of the aurora borealis. I recall once looking up--sober, I swear--and seeing the lights in the shape of a phoenix, filling the sky. But night or day, the sights, sounds, and skies will leave a lasting impression on any visitor.

-- Mark Bryant

There you go, Bud. And, by the way, I'd love to get a post-trip report from you; maybe it'll turn out to be a place we want to investigate further. Thanks!

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!