The Hudson Bay region is made up of an immense wilderness area over 500,000 square kilometres in size, which is accessed, only by air or canoe. Rivers flow north and east from the rich, untouched boreal forest where headwaters of such famous rivers such as the Winisk, Pipestone, Fawn, Severn, Attawapiskat, Otoskwin, Albany, and Sutton begin then end in the famous Hudson or James Bay.
The village of Pickle Lake, located at the end of the highway (north of Ignace on the Trans Canada highway west of Thunder Bay) is the jumping off point for access to this crownland area and nine provincial parks.
Imagine paddling the mighty and historic Winisk River where nine portages take paddlers around the big rapids during the first 70 miles of paddling over the last edge of the Canadian Shield. The river then continues down (downhill) across the floor of the ancient Tyrell Sea where the Winisk has cut it s route leaving a myriad of rocks, minerals and fossils to discover along the banks. This stretch of 170 miles is travelled quickly (in 5 6 days) until the reaching the impressive limestone cliffs that stretch 50 75 feet straight up out of the water alongside your canoe or kayak. These cliffs signify the coast is near and after a short stop in the Cree village of Peawanuck you are on your way to Polar Bear Park home of over 300 bears and their summer vacation grounds.
Wildlife viewing opportunities are immeasurable with Woodland Caribou, wolf, fox, wolverine, sand hill cranes, otter, mink, moose and hundreds of bird species in addition to the arctic flora and fauna found out on the coast of Hudson Bay in Polar Bear Park (Ptarmigan, arctic fox, snow geese and almost 300 bird species). Tours are arranged through our outfitter or through the services provided up in the village of Peawanuck.
Both flat and whitewater enthusiasts will enjoy this region especially if you are looking for remoteness, pure wilderness, and seeing virtually no other paddlers. Sea kayakers will also enjoy the tripping opportunities on huge lakes such as St. Joseph, North Caribou, Cat Lake Chain, Attawapiskat, and the Winisk River.
The opportunities are endless and unexplored. Some wilderness tripping experience is necessary as the land is remote and rarely travelled and out of cell phone reach.
- Click here to see a Paddling.net Trip Report on the Pipestone River.