View topic - Looking for insight on paddling from Edmonton to Ontario

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PostPosted: August 26th, 2018, 1:38 pm 

Joined: February 13th, 2018, 11:56 pm
Posts: 14
Hi, I am 22 and live near Edmonton. I greatly enjoy extended tripping and so most of my canoeing solo. I also do a lot of fishing, camping, hunting etc at any time of the year, love the outdoors.

It is just a thought in my head and nothing serious as of yet, but I have been considering taking early spring to late fall off of work to canoe from Alberta to Ontario. I would like to leave from somewhere where I live now and end up somewhere in Ontario for family to pick me up at the end.

I have a 14foot solo Clipper Prospector. My idea is I would try to paddle as much as I can and then camp on shore overnight and repeat the process. I would depart from either Devon or Rocky Mountain House along the North Saskatchewan and end up in Manitoba. I am not too familiar with the routes currently, but from there I would like to make it to at least Lake Superior, or even better Thunder Bay. Now I don't know if I should end my trip there because of difficulty of paddling the great lakes, but it would be even better to canoe all the way to South Central Ontario and end up somewhere like Collingwood or Tobermory.

I would eat a lot of fish, have solar energy, water filtration, some hunting of small game, and stop at towns along my way for supplies and additional food (For example North Battleford).

Is this idea way too far fetched? How long do you think it might take/how far can be travelled in a day? (I am thinking it would take 5-6months but that is just a guess; I am fit and healthy and will paddle as hard as I can). The North Saskatchewan appears pretty easy, especially since its pretty wide and would move me pretty quickly. By the time I get to Manitoba and Ontario, that would be harder with more portages. And the Great Lakes seem very difficult, but I could be very cautious to weather conditions and stay near shore.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. Would just love to hear some feedback on the potential of this idea in my head. I am always practicing and of course I would not embark on a trip that I am not prepared for (Currently not even close to ready for this, but hope to be so one day)


PostPosted: August 26th, 2018, 4:04 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Toronto
In mid-September 2017 while my brother and I were paddling in the French River delta area by Georgian Bay, we met Cas and Michael Wild, a newlywed couple from Scotland on the last leg of their epic canoe trip. It had started at Rocky Mountain House in mid-May. They were on the home stretch to Montreal!

We chatted for a while and then headed in opposite directions,  they on to Lake Nipissing and on to the Ottawa River. They got to Montreal in mid-October.

Their detailed trip report will give you a really good idea of what you are looking at. You can check out their website for more on their epic canoe trip on their WordPress website – The Doctors Wild.


PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 10:13 pm 

Joined: March 25th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Thunder Bay
The Path of the Paddle Association has published very detailed route descriptions from Kenora Ontario to Thunder Bay. Check them out online if you go ahead with your trip.

PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 8:08 pm 

Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 2124
Location: Manitoba
Every year people paddle across large parts of Canada. You should be able to search the Internet and find relevant information, including searching here at myccr.



PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 10:04 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2016, 10:37 am
Posts: 95
Location: Northern Alberta

As previous posters have suggested there is info out there that may give you an idea of routes and timimg.

I live in Edmonton area and have done a fair bit of paddling the North Saskatchewan, including taking part in a 2008 Bi-Centennial celebration of David Thompson when a large group paddled Rocky Mountain House to Fort William on Lake Superior.
I only paddled to Prince Albert so can't give you the lowdown on the rest of the route but a couple of comments:
14' canoe for a 3 month journey? Seems a tad small to carry the gear you'll need. I personally like 16' for tent and gear.

The Saskatchewan River after Cumberland House has many rapids and sections of tough portage -our group bypassed this section to Lake Winnipeg. And Lake Winnipeg is a notorious lake for paddling...

Along the North Saskatchewan from Edmonton to Prince Albert you pass through a couple of cities and towns but most of your camping will be on private farmland abutting the river. Very few campsites so water and washrooms/showers very limited. Some access in Elk Point, Battlefords, etc. but the river valley is generally a fair distance from towns.

While your idea of fishing for provisioning is good once you get to Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods and Lake Superior, I wouldn't count on eating anything caught in the Saskatchewan River.

Sounds like an adventure, and I'm envious. If you'd like more detailed info, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the folks that planned the 2008 trip.


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