Northern Ontario, Canada

The Best Ice Fishing In the World Happens Here

Ontario Ice Fishing Reportne-clusteralgoma-cluster sunset-clusterssm-clusterthunder-cluster
Father and daughter hoisting nice eating-sized Nipissing walleye caught from inside the on-ice bungalow
“Can we stay another night?” Lillian asks as we sit down to our feast of barbecued steak and salad under the warm glow of propane lights. “We haven’t even spent our first night,” I tell my young daughter, “you might not even like it.” She looks around knowingly at the 10x20-foot ice bungalow complete with bunk beds, table, chairs, propane furnace and kitchenette. “Oh I like it here”, she says with all the conviction a ten-year-old can muster.     Earlier today we met outfitter Rob Hyatt for snowmobile delivery toward a cluster of rectangular metal-clad ice fishing shacks set amongst the pine capped islands of Lake Nipissing’s Callander Bay. More than 2000 ice huts dot the surface of Ontario’s fourth…
Play, explore and learn in Thunder Bay with Big Boreal Adventure.
When my family moved to Thunder Bay four years ago, we started exploring our new city and it wasn’t long before we started seeing cedar posts with round metal engravings on them—one at Vanderwees Home and Garden, another at Chippewa Park, a third at Vickers Park. Was it some kind of public art project, we wondered? Then we discovered it was nature-based scavenger hunt called the Big Boreal Adventure. Here’s how it works: you pick up a free kit—a laminated map and a spiral-bound guidebook—at any of the Thunder Bay libraries, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Wilderness Supply or a variety of children’s resource centres. There are 38 posts all over Thunder Bay in both rural and urban areas. What…
Visit Kakabeka Falls - There's a Reason, Every Season.
Kakabeka Falls, a 25-minute drive west of Thunder Bay, is a no-brainer for a spring, summer or fall destination—consider the awesome majesty of the falls, the quiet trails and beach at the provincial park, and the opportunity to sample the treats at the wide variety of ice cream shops in the village. Related: Reasons to Stop in Kakabeka Falls But winter? As a matter of fact, yes! I had heard good things about a diner-style restaurant called KB Checkers, on the north side of Hwy 11/17 as you enter the village. When I arrived for lunch, I discovered that the restaurant had undergone a name change (but fortunately not a menu change) the previous week and was now The Eddy, with…
Ontario Northland's Polar Bear Express train
Northeastern Ontario has an abundance of nature and outdoor opportunities, but have you ever wondered what lies in the heart of that remote and untouched wilderness? You can find out for yourself when you book a train-in outdoor getaway with Shooting Star Camp, North to Adventure's Lodge Eighty Eight or when you jump aboard the Polar Bear Express. Whether you’re a seasoned rider of the rails or it's your first time, consider the many advantages rail transportation provides, such as a relaxed atmosphere and quality service, the enjoyment of the drive without the traffic, the beautiful back country scenery, and the affordable ride with generous baggage limits. Travelling by rail also has a nostalgic appeal and a certain element of…
Explore Greenstone on Skis
  Quality of life is as important to the residents of Northwest Ontario as it is to visitors and there is no shortage of calming, stress-relieving, natural sites to explore in the region.   In winter, the nordic ski is the preferred method of exploration and Greenstone is unique as it offers 2 Cross Country Ski Clubs within a 30 km distance. It is just a short drive along Highway 11, from Geraldton to Longlac and you can ski 2 different trails. Ski rentals, day passes and a place to stay make it easy for you and your family to spend a day skiing the trails in Greenstone. Related: 10 Things to Do in Greenstone The Geraldton Nordic Ski Club trails are situated…
Mountain Lions, Foxes and Bears, Oh My!—Tracking Footprints in Ontario’s Northeast
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of Ontario’s most majestic creatures or simply learn more about the creatures you share a habitat with, animal tracking is a great skill to add to your wilderness toolkit. Northeastern Ontario, with its sly red fox, beautiful snowshoe hare, iconic black bear, magnificent moose and elusive lynx, is a great region to track animals by studying footprints left in fresh snow and earth. The study of animal footprints dates back to prehistoric times where hunters used tracking to gather food. But you don't have to be out catching your dinner in order to read the landscape and locate fascinating animals. Tracks can be discovered as close as your backyard or nearest provincial park.…
One of the more intricate entries at the snow sculpture competition at the 2015 Kenora Winter Carnival
  Which Snow Sculpture Would You Choose as the 2015 Winner? The cold wind did not deter the artists from carving these snow sculptures for the Kenora Winter Carnival.  For me, the highlight of the winter carnival is seeing the snow sculptures that line the Harbourfront in Kenora. 8 artists or groups worked hard to carve these beautiful sculptures for the snow sculpting competition. With the theme being wildlife this year, many carved out hearty Canadian animals that live in Northwest Ontario. Moose, deer, bear, otters and wolves all wander our forests and swim in our lakes.  I really have to give these carvers extra credit this year. In the few weeks they had to carve, the biting wind howled…
Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Centennial Botanical Conservatory Today!
    Thunder Bay’s Centennial Botanical Conservatory is having a bit of a moment, as residents and visitors alike discover or rediscover its charms. It’s a great year-round destination but it’s especially appealing as we shiver through another frosty winter. Here are five reasons to put it on your must-visit list. Reason #1: It’s a mini tropical vacation When you walk in from this... You see this... And this...  And how about this? It’s a positive feast for the senses: the feel of warm humid air on your skin, the sound of trickling water, the scent of dirt and moisture and growing green things. Standing in the arboretum under its soaring glass roof on a cold winter day, or even a…
A Winter Adventure in Quetico Provincial Park
  Each March, cross country skiers of all abilities descend on Quetico Provincial Park and the nearby town of Atikokan for the Cross Quetico Tour.  Normally known for its world class wilderness canoeing opportunities, Quetico’s interconnected waterways become a venue for a ski adventure like no other in winter. The one day Cross Quetico Tour is a group event where participants are encouraged to stay together over their choice of 35, 45 or 60 km routes that stretch from the town of Atikokan south to the Quetico park boundary and then east across the canoe routes of Batchewaung and Pickerel Lakes to the tours end point at the parks Dawson Trail Campground. The Cross Quetico Tour is a true wilderness…
Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. beer is on tap at many locations throughout the region
"Lake Life in a Bottle". Lake of the Woods Brewing Company beer is "like lake life in a bottle," says owner Taras Manzie. The lake country brewery, which opened in 2013 in a transformed 102-year-old firehall in Kenora, Ontario follows traditional beer-making techniques applied on a cottage-sized scale. The setting itself is worth the visit. The designated Ontario heritage building has the firehall's original white tile walls, spectacular original tin ceiling, fire fighters' masks hanging on hooks, a firemen's pole, and a 67-foot red brick tower with the original bell. Manzie's favourite features are the big fire-truck doors. They let in a lot of natural light and in summer open to a large street-side patio, "bringing the outside inside," he…


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