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A true wilderness getaway

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A true wilderness getaway

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

Wabakimi Canoe Outfitters is a paradise for canoers and a chance to fish for walleye, trout, and pike.

Wabakimi Provincial Park covers over 5 million acres and is the world’s largest paddling area! To put that in perspective, it is five times the size of the Boundary Water’s Canoe Area and twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Wabakimi Canoe Outfitters are the only full service operation serving this massive area blanketing Ontario’s Superior Country. This unspoiled wilderness had only 700 canoeists and 1,000 fly-in anglers total during the entire 2017 season. There are thousands of interconnect lakes, including both flatware and whitewater rivers, which offers near endless exploring!

paddling at sunset

We started out our adventure by driving to their Eco-Lodge Bed and Breakfast, located in Armstrong. It is just three hours north of Thunder Bay. What a great place to rest up before our trip. This eight-bedroom lodge has an awesome lake view, a hot tub for relaxing, and a big open main area for meals and meeting other guests. Brenda and Bert Zwicker run the place and will make you feel right at home with their hospitality, help and home-cooked meals. This is way better than staying in a little motel! Wabakimi Outfitters offer many outpost options peppered throughout the park for getting back to nature. Because there are no roads, the only way to get in and out are by float plane, train or canoe. Very remote! If that concerns you, don’t worry, they have you covered. You always have two-way radio communication with the base.

For our TV episode, we chose the Shawanabis Lake Outpost. Shawanabis Lake is six miles long, and holds walleye, pike, and lake trout. The outpost is the only cabin on the lake. There are two bedrooms, a sauna, and an extra cabin if your group needs that.

fresh fish dinner

We cooked up some fresh caught walleye and lake trout in the fully equipped kitchen (propane lights, refrigerator and stove). The showers have hot/cold running water too. For our meals, we dined outside on the picnic table which was a fantastic experience. This is a perfect location for families and groups of friends who want to get away. This location on Shawanbis has 14’ and 16’ boats, canoes and kayaks to use. You’ve probably heard that there’s nothing like a fresh shore lunch. Well, we had shore lunch and dinner with the delicious walleye and lake trout caught from Shawanabis. It was tough to say which tasted better! And speaking of tasting good… the blueberries! There were patches of them all around the island. I picked more than a few handfuls…

wild blueberries

people sitting around picnic table

Owner Bruce Hyer is called the “Father of Wabakimi.” After meeting him and hearing his amazing stories, it’s very clear why. He has lobbied and kept the park road-free and unlogged! Did I mention he’s a biologist (specializing in caribou), trapper, wilderness guide, and a bush pilot… which has lead him to knowing this park inside and out. Bruce (and his staff) can help you organize and plan for your trip, whether you’re staying at one of their outposts, or maybe a custom paddling excursion with friends. Our group consisted of Bruce, his wife Margaret, son Michael and his girlfriend, Bruce’s long-time friend Bob, Ontario Experience producer/cameraman Pete Palony and I. We had a wonderful time!

boating on the lake

Wabakimi Outfitters offers entirely different adventures than anything we have done filming the TV show. If you’re a novice paddler or an experienced canoeist, they have you covered for an amazing Ontario Experience. For more information on Shawanabis and their other outposts, as well as their Spruce Forest Lakeside Bed & Breakfast, visit: https://wabakimi.com/

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