a really nice 45+ inch Northern Pike! http://t.co/mADgLzdT6A
Welcome to the Northern Ontario, Canada! Bigger than Texas, wilder than the west, more welcoming than a campfire in October, Northern Ontario is like no place else. The Northwest is famous for its spectacular fishing lakes, Algoma Countryhas Lake Superior as their back yard, and the Northeast provides excellent vacation destinations close to Toronto and other large urban centres in Southern Ontario.
When I found out that work would take me to Timmins for a few weeks I had visions of being in the "Frozen Tundra" with little to do outside of work. Little did I know at that time that two months following my work visit I would be bringing my family with me to visit a community that I fell in love with.
For the first time since the kids have been old enough to travel and truly enjoy it, we were in a place where the whole family not only got to enjoy a number of the typical tourist attractions that many communities have but, more importantly, our visit to Timmins gave my family an opportunity to explore the "great outdoors" while being close enough to the city to eat in good restaurants and sleep in a comfortable hotel.
On how many trips can your daughter catch her first fish and have it cooked for her at a local restaurant, pet a moose and get to go underground dressed in a miner's outfit all in the same weekend.
So good was our experience in Timmins that my wife and I have talked about bringing the kids back on March Break to see what Timmins might have to offer during the winter.
Michael - Newmarket, ON
Do you love to get out in the great outdoors for a weekend of camping, but you don’t have a ton of camping gear or a lot of time to get organized? How to solve this dilemma, you ask? How about Yurt camping!?
WHAT IS A YURT?
A “Yurt” is a Mongolian style semi-permanent tent, customarily used in Central Asia by Nomads. Traditionally, the tent-like structure is circular in shape with a wooden lattice frame.
WHERE CAN I FIND YURT CAMPING?
Select Ontario Provincial Parks in Northeastern Ontario are now offering Yurt camping as an alternative to traditional tent or trailer camping. The Ontario Provincial Park Yurts are modern, aluminum-framed, eight-sided insulated tents, 16 feet in diameter, constructed on large wooden decks. Each Yurt is remotely located and furnished with a dining table and sleeping room for six people.
The modern Yurts are also equipped with lights, electric heat, 2 GFIC outlets, and 4 windows for your comfort. Outside on a private deck, you’ll find a BBQ with a shelter, a picnic table and a metal bear-proof food box. A cooking surface is also provided along with a second picnic table near a fire ring. Now that’s camping in style!
WHEN CAN I GO?
The best part? These hybrid tent/ cottage lodgings can be enjoyed year-round! Experience camping in the winter months for a weekend of snowshoeing, cross country skiing or ice climbing!
Learn to kayak this summer
From the rocky shores of Lake Superior to the Toronto Harbourfront, Ontario is home to a wealth of stunning places to paddle; matched with world class instruction and expertise.
Take a dip in the waters of Georgian Bay near Parry Sound. White Squall, with 25 years of experience in kayak instruction, has classes running June through to September for every skill level. Try a workshop for beginners exploring essential strokes within a calm sheltered lake. Venture further out in the waters with one of many courses designed to fine tune your paddling technique. You can maximize your stay in the area by joining one of the weekend kayak trips exploring the nearby islands.
The sleek and fast design of the kayak is ideal for challenging whitewater adventures. The Madawaska Kanu Centre offers weekend and 5 day kayak courses; along with thrilling white water rafting trips along the Madawaska and Ottawa river. World renowned for kayak instruction, weekend kayak clinics will take you from flatwater to currents! Five day courses are arranged by skill level and gradually prepare you for more challenging whitewater.
Experience the big water of Lake Superior with certified instruction from Naturally Superior Adventures. Their Lake Superior paddling centre is a unique site with opportunities to go from sheltered flatwater to more advanced currents. Naturally Superior offers courses from beginner to advanced including sea kayak guide training, instructor level courses and four-day wilderness trips. Here you can learn basic skills for kayaking on white water in just one weekend!
Staying in the city? Head down to the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre for one of many weekend and evening kayak courses. The centre features pool practice nights, kayak rescue courses, private lessons, kayak exercise classes and even a morning social paddle. Their weekend kayak courses are taught in small groups and offer you a chance to explore the Toronto Island Archipelago. Guided kayak tours, map and compass training and certification courses are also available.
For these and more great Ontario outdoor adventures visit: www.OntarioTravel.net/outdoor
Explore Ontario From The Trees This Spring
What is zip-lining?
Zip-lining is best described as close to flying through the trees with the birds as it comes. Participants don a harness with a carabiner that is attached to a wheel on a cable strung between trees. You push off from a platform on one tree and zip along the cable to a platform on another tree. You can be anywhere from 20- to 80-feet off the ground and, literally, flying between the trees at a height where birds hang out.
The thing about zip-lining is, in contrast to the idea that it’s an extreme sport it’s very much geared for a wide range of ages and abilities. There are a few different options available in Ontario – from straight lines running down hill, to multi-platform full canopy tours.
Spring is a season of transition, as we move from our favourite winter activities into gearing up for fun outdoors in warmer weather. It’s a time when we put our waterproofing to the test for the last few thrills in the snow and bit of chill in the air.
One of the best activities to get you out of the slush and feeling that exhilarating high of adventure is zip-lining. The event gained a lot of attention this winter in Vancouver at the Olympics, but there’s no need to go west for the experience. In fact, Ontario is home to several zip-line courses. From tree top adventures, complete with observation platforms and scenic guides, to the sheer thrill of soaring straight down hill at top speeds reaching 50 kilometres per hour.
1 ARBRASKA TREE TOP TREKKING
Location: Horseshoe Valley (Barrie)
Relive your childhood dreams at Treetop Trekking Horseshoe, situated at Horseshoe Valley Resort, an hour’s drive north of Toronto and just minutes outside of Barrie. You’ll discover the park in the Copeland forest located on the resort.
2 EAGLECREST AERIAL PARK
Billed as the “Ultimate Treetop Experience" for the whole family, teams, groups and corporate training, spend three hours at 10-50 feet in the forest canopy of the majestic pines located along the Muskoka River. The giant 350ft zip-line across water will give you a thrilling ride.
3 LONG POINT ECO-ADVENTURE
Location: St. Williams
Travel high above the forest floor and take in the views overlooking Long Point Bay World Biosphere and Turkey Point Marsh. Between each zip you will be able to enjoy the amazing views from the observation platforms.
4 PINE RIDGE ZIP LINES
Location: Chicopee Hills (Kitchener)
Experience over 300 meters of soaring fun, starting from one of the highest and most scenic elevations that the Chicopee Hills have to offer. Enjoy a breathtaking ride while taking in a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and trees.
5 SCENIC CAVES/NATURE ADVENTURES/ECO ADVENTURE TOUR
Location: Blue Mountain (Collingwood)
High among 200 year-old oak trees, up to 60 feet above the ground, get ready for an experience like no other. Explore the beauty and wildlife of the picturesque forest valley at the top of Blue Mountain, as you become one with the birds, then soar along the new 1,000ft zip line.
6 TREETOP ADVENTURES
Location: Goulais River
Ride the Big Zip, play some paintball or test your agility on the tree-top obstacle course. Trek across cables, beams, and logs, cross wobbly bridges, swing like Tarzan, zip line with speed, and test your balance as you maneuver through many obstacles, all while safely attached with two carabiners.
Location: Canopy Tour, Haliburton
Take a “Walk in the Clouds" through treetops on the world’s longest canopy walkway at Halliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. Over half a kilometer long, the canopy boardwalk winds through the treetops some 10-20 meters above the forest floor. A platform suspended from the treetops above, becomes the gathering place where your guide elaborates on the forest environment surrounding you.
For more ideas on Spring Highlight in Ontario, visit www.ontariotravel.net/outdoor
Photography workshops in the wilds of Ontario
Ever wonder how photographers capture the vividness of autumn colours or the raw crisp edges of a rugged coastline? Ever wish you could capture an extraordinary glimpse of a moose or rare bird? Bring your camera and come discover the nuances of nature photography from Ontario's best. You can learn all the skills and techniques necessary to produce exceptional photographs; meanwhile taking time to explore some of Ontario's most unique landscapes.
Moose Photography in Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park is one of Ontario's most well known spots for canoeing and viewing moose. Voyageur Quest offers the opportunity to combine a canoe tripping experience with some hands-on instruction in moose photography. This 3 day and 2 night canoe trip will take you through the Northwest corner of Algonquin with professional photographer Rob Stimpson. Here, with the help of your skilled guides, you'll have the opportunity view and photograph one of Canada's most iconic animals - the moose. The trip will take you through gorgeous mixed maple forests and several spectacular wildlife viewing locations. All accommodations, meals, equipment, park permits, workshops and campsites are included. For more information visit: VoyageurQuest.com
The Best of the Bruce
Looking for luxury? Come join this small group photography workshop combined with incredible accommodations, fine foods and the spectacular beauty of the Georgian Bay shoreline. Through custom chartered boat excursions, participants will explore landscapes not accessible by foot. Guided by expert photographer Ethan Meleg, the workshop is hosted at the renowned award winning ecolodge E'Terra. Rise early to catch the wonderful light of the sunset and learn more about practical lighting techniques in the field, composition and image contrast. For more information visit: EthanMeleg.com
For the avid birder, an overnight workshop is the perfect way to explore techniques related to nature and wildlife photography in the heart of Presqu'il Provincial Park. An ideal location for viewing a wide variety of birds, this workshop is guided by experienced nature and wildlife photographer Tony Beck. Covering techniques specific to this form of photography, participants will explore a region known for being a birding 'hot spot'. The workshop takes place during peak fall migration and a myriad of different bird species will be encountered. For more details visit OntarioTravel.net/outdoor
Not having to buy all that camping gear makes trying it out very affordable
Don’t have camping gear? or looking for more hands on learning? Check out these all inclusive camping packages, which include instruction on how to use all that gear.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park is offering an all inclusive camping experience that includes all equipment and activities, from pick-up in Honey Harbour and pre-assembled luxury tents to guided hikes, canoeing and campfires. Located in the south east corner of Georgian Bay, this park is only accessible by water, which means every campsite is an island site. It also means that you will be surrounded by canoeing , kayaking, hiking, boating and great swimming options. More information and reservations can be made at www.pccamping.ca
A bit further to the north east, Algonquin North Outfitters is offering a similar program in either Algonquin or Samuel de Champlain provincial park. Each Discover Camping trip is customized and you get to decide where to camp. The program includes a 2 hour learn to camp tutorial, campground fees, comfortable tents, all your cooking gear along with optional activities, such as canoeing or a GPS lesson.
If you are looking to kick it up a notch on the scale of comfort and instruction, then head to Samuel de Champlain provincial park just outside Mattawa. They are offering a more intensive learn to camp experience that is geared towards groups of 8 to 20. The two night package will provide the novice camper with hands on experience on all aspects of camping from cooking to lighting a fire. One of the highlights will be retiring each night to your ultra comfy tent for a good nights sleep.
Bookings and details on both these experiences can be found at www.visitmattawa.travel
For more great camping ideas, visit www.ontariotravel.net/outdoor
Northwestern Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park and northern Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are among North America’s best-known canoe destinations but North of Superior’s lesser-known Wabakimi Provincial Park is as big as those two areas combined, offering some 2000 kilometres of amazing canoe routes.
Wabakimi Park is a true northern wilderness, featuring the world’s largest boreal forest reserves and spectacular views of the Canadian Shield. Home to woodland caribou, moose, eagles and wolves, the park was established in 1983, largely due to the efforts of Thunder Bay/Superior North’s new MP Bruce Hyer as well as many other long time residents of the Town of Armstrong.
Visitors can fly from Armstrong’s numerous fly-in bases in to remote lodges and camps to sport fish or they can enter the 892,061 (2.3 million acre) park by train and canoe. Paddling treks can take as few as three days and are a great chance for novices (with help of guides) to sample variety of types of paddling, from gentle streams, crystal clear lakes (there are 12,000 of them in the park) and long rapids.
Wabakimi is also known for outstanding fishing for trophy walleye and great northern pike along with lake trout and speckled trout. Ask your guide to take you to all the hot spots and be sure to visit www.northofsuperior.org for a long list of lodges and outfitters in the Wabakimi Park area!
Lake Nippissing is really great for ice fishing. I went out on a Sunday and had a blast catching some nice Largemouth Bass and even a couple Walleye. I was using a silver ice jig and had a ball. I didn't fish in a hut but kept moving till we hit a school of fish. Once on them we would catch a few and then move to the next hole.
If you get a chance you should definitely get out there and give it a try. It's a lot of fun and the Bass are better eating when they come out of the colder water.
Lake Nippissing ice fishing is a lot of fun.
Chuck and I chalked up another good fishing and boating season at Limerick Lake. We always enjoy our visits to Northern Ontario, especially at the lodge and meeting the friendly cottagers around the lake. Even my wife, Nancy, became a full-fledged bass angler at Limerick and always looks forward to her trips to the lake.
We enjoy occasional trips to the busy little town of Bancroft. They're doing a good job with the improvements to the lodge and cabins. The Limerick Lake web site is outstanding with its photos of successful anglers, lake activities and updates. It's a good source of information for anyone interested in a fishing trip to Limerick Lake, especially anglers from here in the states. As always, we are looking forward to our trips in the next year. As Chuck always says, "a vacation at Limerick Lake is good for whatever ails you."
I have been taking fishing trips in Northern Ontario for the past two years. Klotz Lake Camp is very clean, affordable for families, and easy to reach. The cabins they have are nicely situated, close to the washroom facility, and the fish cleaning station.
Being a family run business for more then 40 years, there is very little that the owners cannot help with. When it comes to directions the owners know where all of the best spots are. Whether it's a fishing hole that's hidden away, or a remote lake, these guys know their way around.
The washrooms are spotless and cleaned daily. They have cabins with cold running water, or more modern cabins with hot and cold with showers. For those wishing to take their RV, they have water and electric hook-ups in a quiet area past the boat launch, however we have had seven people fit comfortably in a cabin without any problems at all.
There are many lakes to fish from while visiting Klotz Lake Camp; Klotz Lake, Flynn Lake, Flint Lake, Peanut Lake, Batiste Lake, and Chowder Lake, just to name a few. If you need any supplies most of the lakes have a small store that has many supplies on hand, however the town on Longlac is only about a 30 minute drive away. Sometimes one of the owners (Mike and Toni) may be heading that way, they're always happy to pick up any supplies you may need.
I definitely would recommend Klotz Lake Camp to anyone looking for a great time fishing in Nothern Ontario. I have nothing but good things to say about this camp.