Wabakimi Provincial Park
|Wabakimi Provincial Park|
|Nearest city||Armstrong, Ontario|
|Governing body||Ontario Parks|
Wabakimi Provincial Park is a wilderness park located to the northwest of Lake Nipigon and northwest of Armstrong Station in the province of Ontario, Canada. The park contains a vast and interconnected network of more than 2,000 kilometres of lakes and rivers. The park covers an area of 8,920 km² and became the second largest park in Ontario and one of the world's largest boreal forest reserves following a major expansion in 1997 (it was expanded almost sixfold that year). A number of local citizen groups and residents, including Bruce Hyer (now MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North) have been instrumental in the creation, expansion, and preservation of this region.
Armstrong Station has access points to this remote park by Caribou Lake Road,Little Caribou Lake,canoe, float plane, or rail. The main line of the Canadian National Railway skirts the south end of the park and Via Rail provides passenger service three times a week.
Paddlers (mostly canoeing) often travel the Allan Water, Flindt, Pikitigushi, and Ogoki River (along with a number of additional extended waterways) during the summer months. Wabakimi Provincial Park's waterways straddle a height-of-land from which water flows either to the Atlantic Ocean via Lake Superior or to the Arctic Ocean via the James Bay/Hudson Bay basins.
Several provincial waterway parks connect to Wabakimi:
- Ogoki River, to the east
- Albany River, to the north
- Kopka River, to the south
- Brightsand River, to the southwest
Many camps and outfitters use Wabakimi including Keewaydin Canoe Camp.
The Wabakimi Project
The Wabakimi Project is a unique grassroots volunteer initiative to explore, rehabilitate and document the historical and traditional canoe routes of Wabakimi Provincial Park. Since its inception in 2004, the scope of this ambitious effort has been expanded to include the canoe routes that lie on the Crown lands adjacent to the park. They provide vital access to Wabakimi as well as strategic links to nearby provincial parks and conservation reserves.
To date, 161 different volunteers from across North America and Europe have collectively spent a total of 890 days on 104 trips exploring and mapping the canoe routes of this vast wilderness area. Together, they have travelled over 4,393 km (2,730 mi), identified and cleaned more than 843 campsites and located, cleared and measured 829 portages whose total measured lengths exceeded 212,404m (232,288 yards or 42,234 rods). At least two more years will be required to complete reconnaissance of all area canoe routes.
From the outset, the primary purpose of The Wabakimi Project has been to produce a set of canoe route maps designed to help visitors plan and mount trips in the Wabakimi area. This lofty ambition continues to be realized with the pending release of the third volume of detailed canoe route maps. Proceeds from the sale of these booklets will be used to achieve the targets set out below.
Mission - to promote the Wabakimi area as a world-class wilderness canoeing destination
Aim - to make self-propelled travel on area canoe routes safer, more inviting and user-friendly
Objective - to advocate the preservation and improved protection of area canoe routes
Goal - to develop public support for the long-term stewardship of area canoe routes
Vision - to establish a province-wide land use policy for the uniform protection of Ontario’s Crown land canoe routes