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Backcountry Maps & Safety

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Accessing the Park

Wabakimi Provincial Park is accessible by floatplane, train or canoe. Innovative canoe trips can be arranged by combining ttransparent-spacer610wx55h.gif (281 bytes)ransportation methods (e.g. train in / fly out), by arranging a vehicle shuttle service with an area outfitter, or by variations of these possibilities.


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Air access to Wabakimi Provincial Park:

Canoeists planning a trip to the park may arrange for direct floatplane transportation. There are a number of outfitters offering floatplane services located in the Wabakimi area, many of whom offer accommodations and other services.

Aircraft Landing Authority: Aircraft Landing Permits are required and are available by contacting the Armstrong Resource Development Corporation (see page 2 for contact information). The permit fee is $65.00. The permit is valid for use in other Ontario Provincial Parks which permit aircraft landings, and can be transferred between aircraft. A permit covers the ‘open water’ season (May - October).

Road access to waterways leading into Wabakimi Provincial Park:

• Caribou Lake Road via the Armstrong Road (Highway 527); approximately 12 km gravel road from the town of Armstrong to Little Caribou Lake and Caribou Lake.
   
• Camp 702 Road east of Savant Lake to the Flindt River System.

• Graham Road extending north from the Trans-Canada Highway (#17), accesses the Brightsand River system (which adjoins the Allanwater River system) at three locations . The Graham Road/ Highway 17 junction is located northwest of the town of Upsala.

Three waterway provincial parks adjoin Wabakimi Park:

• the Brightsand River on Wabakimi's southwest corner,
• the Kopka River on the southeast corner and
• the Albany River at the extreme north end of the park.

All three offer excellent canoeing opportunities, and can be used to build on a Wabakimi trip. More about connecting and other canoeing parks in the region...

Rail access to waterways leading into Wabakimi Provincial Park:

VIA Rail offers passenger service as well as the transport of tripping equipment and canoes (max. 18 ft. length) along the Canadian National Railway line (at the south end of the park). Contact VIA Rail Canada or area canoe outfitters to get the latest on train schedules and procedures.

Passengers and equipment/canoes can be dropped off or picked up at certain points between Armstrong and Savant Lake, including Collins or Allanwater Bridge. Canoes will be accepted on board only if there is sufficient space in the baggage car. VIA trains currently offer service from Armstrong westbound and eastbound three days per week.

Topographic Maps:

A park map suitable for trip planning purposes is available from Wabakimi area outfitters for $6.00 + taxes. Due to scale, the map does not provide portage information.

For trip planning purposes, the following 1:250,000 scale maps are sufficient:
•    Armstrong 52-I (southeast part of the park)
•    Miminiska Lake 52-P (northeast part of the park)
•    Sioux Lookout 52-J (western park area)

Where can you get topographic maps of Wabakimi and region?

Climate

The summers of Wabakimi are hot and dry. The average July daily temperature is 18.4C (65.1F). By contrast, the winters in the Armstrong area are cold and clear with an average temperature in January of -20.4C (-4.7F).

The prime canoeing season is normally from mid-May until mid-September. Early and late season canoeists may experience widely variable weather, from summer-like conditions to snow showers, with afternoon temperatures typically less than 15C (60F). Fly-in fishing or hunting opportunities usually extend from approximately mid-May until mid-October, with ice usually occurring on the lakes shortly before and after these dates.

Check the latest weather forecast for the Wabakimi area here

Safety

Visitors to Wabakimi must be fully prepared for independent wilderness travel. Emergency assistance may be available only by attracting aircraft in the area. Make sure that you include in your pack a complete first aid kit in the event of a mishap. Whitewater canoeing skills are necessary on some routes.

Canoe Route Caution:

Wabakimi Park is a big area. Not all canoe routes are maintained and some areas receive less frequent maintenance than others. Note that maps and park information may be wrong for a variety of reasons. Campsites and portages are not signed. Natural circumstances may have changed the configuration of waterways, landscape features and portage routes. There are no signs showing the location of portages in the park, and trail conditions may vary considerably. On some routes and portages, navigation can require skill with map and compass. Canoeists travel these water routes and follow the route descriptions at their own risk. Additional information on waterway and portage conditions can be obtained from outfitters in the Wabakimi area.

Canoe Trip Itinerary:

Prepare and leave a comprehensive 'trip plan' with a family member, a friend or your outfitter. The plan should be a blueprint for action should you need to be contacted or to respond to an emergency. Your trip plan should include your intended route, departure and completion dates, put-in and take-out sites, and the names of everyone in your party. In addition, the plan should have a description (colour/ make) of your canoes, tents, vehicles and vehicle locations. Where possible, review your agenda with someone who has previously travelled in Wabakimi or with your outfitter. In the event of an emergency, the trip plan information can be forwarded to the Ontario Provincial Police detachment in Armstrong (phone 807-583-2394).

Wild Fire:

Wild fires play an integral role in the life cycle of the Boreal forest. Wabakimi Provincial Park has a wilderness wild fire management philosophy. You may be travelling in areas where wild fires are not suppressed. Your safety and well being may depend upon your ability to assess potential respiratory or visual problems associated with thick smoke, ash and haze, as well as your selection of travel routes to avoid narrow waterways and portages near fires. Check with the Ministry of Natural Resources office or your outfitter regarding the status of wild fires in the park and the fire weather indices. Consider wild fire contingencies during the planning of your trip.

Campfires:

A common source of forest fires is campers leaving cooking fires that are not fully extinguished. Drown your fires thoroughly, stir the ashes and drown it again to ensure it is dead out.

Drinking Water:

Although the park's lake and stream water are of excellent quality, all drinking and tooth brushing water should be filtered, boiled for at least 5 minutes, or treated with purification tablets or iodine to be rendered safe.

Swimming:

Never dive into waters you have not checked for underwater obstacles. Because most waters in Wabakimi Park are light brown in colour, rocks that are not obvious from above may lie hidden just below the surface.

Thunder Storms:

Severe summer thunderstorms are common in Wabakimi, with lightning and strong winds being a particular hazard. In an approaching storm, get off the water and avoid prominent exposures and tall trees.

***Snow and Wind Damage Update

While most visitors to Wabakimi will not require a snow shovel, nobody should be surprised by a late season snow squall. Last fall took this concept to new depths.

On October 24, 2001, about 40 - 50 cm (18") of heavy, wet snow fell in the park area, and was followed by high winds. This storm caused extensive tree damage in the form of broken tops and blowdown over a very large area. An initial assessment of the storm's impact on the park will occur over the winter months. Work crews are being planned for spring and summer portage maintenance.

The potential impact of this storm on campsite and portage conditions and general safety should be factored into all trips, particularly early season trips. Watch for 'snagged' tops and sweepers, weakened and leaning trees, and be prepared for some portage challenges. Be aware of the potentially increased forest fire hazard associated with having new fuels at ground level.

The park office and your outfitter will be able to provide additional information on specific areas.

 
www.Wabakimi.on.ca

Wabakimi is one of over 270 parks in the Ontario Parks System.

Wabakimi is one of over 270 parks in the Ontario Parks System. Click here to visit the Ontario Parls Website - www.OntarioParks.com
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