Temagami (group of parks)
|Character:||Wilderness and Waterway|
Winter in Temagami
By David Richardson
The Temagami region in Ontario is perhaps best known for its huge abundance of wilderness canoe routes all through the vast tracts of undeveloped northern forest and seemingly endless lakes. With countless opportunities for fishing, camping, boating and any other activity an enthusiast can imagine, the area is unquestionably popular with any outdoor explorer in the warmth of the summer, but what about the snowy winter months? The adventures in Temagami don't stop because of a little snow. The area is full of chances for true winter wilderness experiences.
Located along Highway 11, farther north than North Bay, the area is part of the Canadian Shield which is the remains of the oldest mountain range in the world. Over millions of years the land was eroded down to the large hills that surround the multitudes of lakes today. The Temagami area is still the location of the highest point in Ontario at Maple Mountain along the Ishpatina Ridge. Old growth pine forests, the last in the province, can also be found here. With all of these geological features put together and several outfitters and accommodations in the area Temagami is a year 'round adventurer's paradise.
A visit to the fire tower on top of Caribou Mountain offers a beautiful winter view that is unsurpassed in height anywhere along Highway 11. The tower itself is 100' high, sits 400' above the town and 1300' above sea level letting you survey over 40 kilometers. Caribou Mountain also provides access to the White Bear Forest trails which wind through Ontario's largest old growth forest. These untouched woods are a must see for any naturalist at any time of the year.
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails abound in this wilderness. With all the frozen lakes, provincial park areas and forest reserves a person could go on for days and never run out of places to explore.
If ice fishing is your pleasure then any of the numerous lakes in the area will give up that big catch including Lake Temagami itself. All the lakes provide various species of cold water fish. Among these are bass, pike, walleye, lake trout, ling and white fish as well. There are charters available and several places to rent a hut for protection from the wind.
There are even opportunities for dog sledding with several outfitters offering introductory, day, weekend or even week long expeditions that can be customized to suit your tastes. Of course, if you're new to the world of dog sledding you can just leave yourself in the outfitter's hands and take in an experience like no other as you rush through the forests with a dependable team of man's best friends.
If you need a bit more speed the Temagami area can be explored by snowmobile. Along with all the frozen lakes the local trail association grooms and maintains 165 kilometers of trails that lead in every direction.
Temagami has long been a favorite area of outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world including the famous Grey Owl. This land is great in the summer but becomes almost magical in winter. If you don't mind the winter weather and have a craving to get out into the powdery snow, one visit to the Temagami area may make it a favorite with you too.