Adventure and Solitude
There are nearly 100,000 lakes and rivers running across northern Saskatchewan, so it should not surprise anyone in the know that there are incredible paddling experiences here as good (if not better) than anywhere else in the world.
Many excellent options for beginners and advanced paddlers are found along the historic Churchill River, which stretches west to east almost all of the way across northern Saskatchewan. The majestic waterway, a chain of pristine lakes connected by powerful rapids and falls, was important to indigenous travel and commerce centuries before European contact. The days when explorers charted its waters and when the river was a voyageur highway central to the fur trade are now mostly left to a visitor’s imagination. Landmarks like Stanley Mission Church and First Nations pictographs (rock art found along shoreline cliff faces) only hint at the river’s rich past and all the stories known and unknown.
No longer locked in the wilderness, a few roads now reach the Churchill’s recesses, creating numerous trip options customized to skill level. Regardless of where you are on the massive lake chain, solitude is never more than a single portage away.
More remote wilderness rivers offer remarkable value for advanced paddlers seeking unspoiled nature, miles lightly travelled whitewater, and some of the best freshwater fishing in North America. Canoeing options are endless. Rivers like the Clearwater, Fond du Lac, Geikie, Porcupine, Wathaman, Cree, Grease, McFarlane, Foster and Oldman are all worthy of attention. This is typical Canadian Shield country, where ancient rock, water and boreal forest create a magical place for adventure.
Away from the rocky and rugged shield of the northern wilderness, Prince Albert National Park offers paddlers access to a softer wilderness experience. Amenities and services include comfortable resort accommodations and serviced campgrounds. Small lakes like Amiskowan, Shady or the Heart Lakes, and winding waterways like the Spruce River are sheltered paddling options where waters run more slowly and the haunting yet comforting call of a loon tugs at your heart, inviting you to come back again and again.
A variety of packaged excursions, equipment rentals, and guide services are available.