Top Ten Canada Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Paddle Prince Albert National Park
By Bill McRae
Timber wolves in Prince Albert NP
Where the wolves are: Explore Prince Albert National Park

With a million acres of wilderness, Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan is a canoeist's dream: more than 30 percent of the park's surface is water, making a canoe the prime method of transport in this nearly roadless area. The varied terrain begins at the edge of the great Canadian prairies and moves into the dense boreal woodlands of the north. The hilly landscape is dotted with ponds and trenched by streams, and at the heart of the park is a series of large glacier-gouged lakes, linked by fast rivers.

Because of its size and the fact it straddles two major ecosystems, Prince Albert Park is home to a wide range of animal species, including lynx, black bears, and timber wolves. The park is also habitat for one of the world's largest colonies of nesting white pelicans, and has the largest free-roaming prairie bison herd remaining in North America.

A number of canoe routes depart from Kingsmere Lake, including the gentle Bagwa route and the rugged Bladebone route. On all trips in Prince Albert Park, you'll be largely on your own, needing backcountry survival skills and quality gear for a long canoe trip. Although there's no inherent danger here, help is a long ways away when you're at the heart of a million-acre wilderness.


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