Wabakimi Provincial Park
In the heart of Northwestern Ontario, the Wabakimi Provincial Park is pure grandeur. It is home to woodland caribou, moose, eagles, and wolves. Known for its high quality fly-in fishing and hunting, Wabakimi is one of the world's largest boreal forest reserves and wilderness areas. Wabakimi is an Ojibway name meaning "Whitewater" as there are many rapids found in the rivers throughout the park. It was established in 1983, and expanded almost six-fold in 1997. The park's current size is 892,061 hectares (8,920 square kilometers, 3,444 square miles, or almost 2.3 million acres.) It is now the second largest park in the Ontario Parks system, (the largest is Polar Bear Provincial Park, near Hudson Bay.)
As the premier Ontario fly in fishing destination, Thunderhook Fly-Ins offers exclusive access to the lakes, rivers, and streams in the Wabakimi Provincial Park. Almost all of our remote outpost camps are located in the park, along with our Ontario fishing lodge on Smoothrock Lake. All of these locations are accessible by air only. If you are looking for the ultimate adventure in the park you may want to try a wilderness canoe trip or an Ontario moose hunt with us as well. A canoe trip is a great way to reconnect the mind and spirit to the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Shield, while a moose hunt is considered the adventure of a lifetime by many outdoor enthusiasts alike.
If you are looking to visit the Wabakimi Provincial Park, you can access it from two primary points of entry. These points of entry are Savant Lake, Ontario and Armstrong Station, Ontario, coincidentally where Thunderhook is located. The Canadian National North Railroad runs between the two towns and provides rail service to each. However, Armstrong Station has many more amenities than Savant Lake. These amenities include restaurants, hotels, bait shops, outfitters, and many more. If you are looking to specifically visit the Wabakimi, we highly recommend viewing our trip planning guide to make prior travel arrangements.
Possibly the two most notable features of the Wabakimi Provincial Park are the Woodland Caribou that inhabit the park as well as the vast granite bedrock that composes most of the park. The Woodland Caribou was once a thriving species throughout much of the United States and Canada. However, during the 20th century the population found itself in steady decline and is now only found in very specific regions of Ontario’s boreal forest.
In fact, today the Woodland Caribou is an endangered species and (in some instances) only be found in the Wabakimi. For those of you planning to visit the Wabakimi Provincial Park, the best way to see a Woodland Caribou is generally along the shores of the lakes within the park.
Many times the species can be seen along a shoreline or crossing a river, creek, or stream. When looking for the caribou it is important to note that the size of the animal is not that large. Most caribou are much smaller than a Whitetail Deer which is contrary to popular misconception. The Woodland Caribou is extremely elusive and seeing one can be considered a rare treat.
The second most notable feature in the Wabakimi Park is the large granite rock outcroppings that make up a large majority of the park. The granite in the Wabakimi is some of the oldest rock on the planet. In total, approximately 25 percent of the parks core is composed of this exposed and semi-exposed bedrock.
The bedrock extends below the water's surface and creates ideal fishing structure and habitat for game fish like the walleye. The native people of the park, the Ojibway, also used the large rock outcroppings in the park to paint pictures and scenes on. These cliff paintings were used to mark territory and share stories of the past within the native families.