Outdoor Adventure

I’m off to paddle Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

Kevin CallanGuest blogger Kevin Callan is the author of 13 books, including best sellers The Happy Camper and Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss. Callan contributes to radio, television and print, working as field editor for Explore magazine and as a columnist for Canoeroots. He’s hosted several pilots and assisted film projects with BBC, Ray Mears and the Discovery Channel. He also hosts The Happy Camper, a CBC Radio show. He is a winner of five National Magazine Awards, three film awards,and is a Patron Paddler for Paddle Canada

Very exciting news! I’ll be paddling Woodland Caribou Provincial Park the last weeks of June. I spend a lot of my time paddling northwestern Ontario, including Quetico Provincial Park, Wabakimi Provincial Park and the Turtle River system, and I’ve had Woodland Caribou on my hit list for years. My buddy Andy Baxter and friends Bill and Anne Ostrom fly out with Red Lake Outfitters on Monday and will be searching out some of the lesser known lakes and portages.


Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is comparable to the great Quetico. It has endless possibilities for canoeists who are looking for a place to paddle, while also experiencing the remote boreal forest region of Ontario. Woodland Caribou and Quetico are also managed in a similar fashion; portages and campsites are not marked and no roads, railways or powerlines penetrate the interior. The only difference is that Woodland Caribou has only been around a little over two decades, while Quetico has been a prime paddling park for close to 100 years.

The bonus of being a relatively new-found park is that the crowds are minimal. On average, only a thousand paddlers use the park in any given season and its common to find yourself alone out here. The park’s immense size also helps to increase your level of seclusion, measuring at 450,000 hectares or 1.2 million acres. On top of all that, it’s also nestled beside Manitoba’s Atikaki Wilderness Park, close to the same size as Woodland Caribou, and is the headwaters for one of Canada’s Heritage Rivers, the Bloodvein.

This is a park that simply can’t be beat if you’re looking for an accessible but remote wilderness getaway.

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