Pipestone and Winisk Rivers to Hudson Bay

CanadaOntarioHudson Bay, James Bay north
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Eric Thum
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
800 km
23 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
0 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Driver from Thunder Bay to start of trip (14 hours) on the upper reaches of the Pipestone River, near Pickle Lake. 

Technical Guide: 

Followed the Pipestone River to the Winisk River. Ended at the village of Peawanuck, about 16 miles from Hudson Bay. Went through several First Nation villages along the route, where we could stay the night and pick up a few supplies at the Northern Stores. Can fly out of Peawanuck.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Started June 10 on the Pipestone River. Water level was high-we encountered many rapids and current was strong. Portages, for the most part, were nonexistent. We used a Garmin Inreach with preselected waypoints to find the best way around falls and rapids and surveyors tape to mark the portages. Much of the country was burned over from various fires over the years. Decent campsites were hard to find-sometimes we had to cut down small trees and brush to make an area to pitch a tent. We did camp several times at old trapper cabins. Lake Wunnummin was perfectly calm-it took us three hours to paddle across this huge body of water. We were prepared to be wind bound a day or two! We heard we may encounter polar bears as we got closer to Hudson Bay. The last day we paddled 70 miles to our final stop at Peawanuck, about 16 miles from the Bay. Current was very strong and once off the Shield we wound our way through a maze of rapids. We had bear repellant, but never had to use it. Strongly suggest having repellant, fireworks or a gun when traveling the lower reaches of the Winisk. 

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Maps are available online. We printed sections and laminated them for water protection.
Special Comments: 

I strongly suggest taking a machete and collapsible saw. Also needed: bug spray, mosquito head net, satellite phone, paddling gloves, windbreaker, long johns, and wool hat. Definitely need bear repellant.


Post date: Fri, 04/10/2020 - 17:09


Updated on April 10, 2020.