Destination Advice Please

Hello. I am British, and planning to come to North America (Canada and/or US) this summer. There are two main (very vague) plans that I have, and would be most grateful for any assistance or advice. My geography is a little ropey, and although I have followed lots of these discussion threads with atlas in hand, the vast size of North America is somewhat befuddling, and the use of abbreviations for place names makes things tricky. So, my basic question is, where would you go paddling if time was not really an obstacle???

I am a fairly novice paddler although I have been on extended trips previously. I will be arriving by boat in New York in early June sometime, and travelling by public transport from there onwards. I am very keen on adventures, outdoorsy stuff and wildlife. I have been to Maine once, but not seen any other parts of North America, so it would be a great opportunity to be a tourist aswell. I would love to go to Alaska, and do some ‘full on’ wilderness travel.

My first tentative plan is to go to Maine, and build a sea kayak in Brooklin. Where would be a suitable place to kayak around that area? Can I do it alone? I would like to spend a few weeks on the water if possible.

My second plan is to go anywhere in North America and spend a month or two doing a trip(s). I would need to hire a canoe I imagine. A friend will be joining me for this bit.

I know this is a very vague question, but thought it was worth a try. Many thanks for any assistance you can give me. Regards, Kirsty

Suggestion on Second plan
You might consider a trip with Wilderness Inquiry; either their Big Salmon River or Porcupine River weeks long canoe adventures in the Yukon of Canada. That way your trip is guided, completely planned out and outfitted for you, and it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced. They specialize in providing wilderness experiences to individuals with physical disabilities, and most likely there will be one or two in your group. I went on their Green River trip a few years back. It was a good experience for me. Here is their web site address.

When someone says paddling destination to me I think of a few (all of them canoe because that’s what I do). These include: The Allagash (Maine); Adirondacks (New York); The Ozarks (Missouri); and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Widerness (aka BWCA; BWCAW; BW; Boundary Waters) and Quetico (aka Q).

I’ll limit myself to the BW/Q because that is my area. The BW and Q are pretty much the same with the huge exception that they are in different countries. The BW is in the U.S. and Q in Canada. There are, however, adjacent with only the international boundary separating them. BW is in northern Minnesota. Look to the very middle of the U.S. at the U.S./Canadian border and you’ll find it.

There is so much to tell it is impossible to do so here. The best thing would be to do internet searches on the subject. I’d use these key words:

Ely, MN; Grand Marais, MN; BWCA; Superior National Forest; BWCA Outfitters; Quetico Provincial Park.

There is a ton of information out there!

Good luck.

wilderness trips
There is no “real wilderness” areas left in the US. We have approximations, but for true wild country travel you have to look north of the border.

Here are links to some Canadian trips I have paddled. Though I am self outfitting I either know or have used these outfitters and had good experiences with them.

The Spanish River is a perfect little intro to Canadian river tripping. 3-5-7-9-12 day trips.


The Missinaibi River is further north, more remote and requires more paddling experience.

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is at the western edge of Ontario. Flatwater and river trips are available.

These people outfit the wild and wooly north of Ontario, all the way to Hudsons Bay.

Here is a US link to 40 river trips. You would have to locate a rental canoe but outfitters are usually near the rivers!

Brilliant, thanks very much for those suggestions, and for making them geographically idiot proof. I’ll certainly be looking into all these ideas. Oooh its so exciting!

no problem
glad to help. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

Hi Kirsty
And greetings from Canada.

Just to add to jjoven’s comments.

Spanish River Outfitters can now be found at:

New owners that I have not met.

Another one who specializes in the Spanish River watershed:

And a plug for Canoe Frontier - good people and very good service. I would recommend them to anyone.


If quiet water kayaking…
is a possibility for you and your friend I live in Connecticut (North and a little east of New York) and I drive all over this small state and into Massachusetts,Rhode Island,Vermont,New Hampshire and the far side of New York(when I’m visiting my relatives) just to find quiet waters to spend the day on. If you are interested in any day trips of this type let me know, I have 3 extra kayaks, they are just Swiftys which may not be the fastest or prettiest but they take me everywhere I’ve ever wanted to go. I am out of work from the end of June - the beginning of September and if I’m around I’d be happy to show you some of our quiet waters and wildlife. Let me know as I have yet to figure out my plans for exactly where I’m going this summer except that it’ll have paddling and geocaching/letterboxing places involved-thats guaranteed!

Connecticut is East of the southern part of New York, I checked.

I figured she was talking NYCity …
when I said north and east.

hey mixwithh20…and kirsty…
I know some great day trips here in mass. I also take my dogs- I have 3- they probly weigh the same as your shepard all together. I mostly canoe but I have 2 kayaks also, we should get together sometime.

Kirsty if you make your way to Gloucester mass- I have plenty of boats and could show you some great places to paddle and camp if you want.

happy paddling,


New York?
Looks like your going to be busey, I live in western New york and if your up this way I’d be glad to show you Niagra Falls, Or you could join us on our annual canoe trip to the anderondacks in July, were still planing it and theres some great rivers and lakes up there, some of them wilderness areas

Canoe Trips
I like the “Temagami” Area and “Missinaibi” Area, both in Ontario, Canada.

Depends on time of year you are going.

Temagami–Use Lakland Airways in Temagami, fly into Pinetorch Lake, Paddle and Portage into Florence Lake, traveling to McPhearson Lake, down the North Branch of the Lady Evlyn River, south through Willow Island Lake, then travel up the South Branch of Lady Evlyn River and get picked up by Lakeland. You will love this trip. Not a lot of wildlife, but very very nice trip.

For the above, fly in to Pinetorch Lake in the morning, travel to and camp at a little used flat site where the stream makes a left turn and you have to portage (before the portage crosss the creek) This is a short travel day, but a good way to start. This trail is not used much so be carful you do not miss the portages.

From this site, trave through Florence Lake, down the Florence River, and camp at the first site on the right, just past Duff Lake.

From Duff Lake, continue to Katherine Lake and Camp.

From Katherine Lake, travel down the North Branch of the Lady Evelyn Riber, and camp on Willow Island Lake. Allow a lot of time this day to spend at the 3 beautiful water falls.

From Willow Island Lake, paddle travel up the South Branch of Lady Evelyn Riber, and allow time for the 3 water falls on this route. End at Katherine Lake, and pre arrange Lakeland Airways to pick you up.

This is a beautiful trip. Very deverse, interesting scenery. The falls area does get a little bussy in July and August.

My preference is the end of June, although there are more bugs then, but no people.

Rent a light weight canoe because some of the portages are difficult, but worth it.

Look up on the internet… Lakeland Airways, Temagami

Also, Smoothwater Outfitters, Temagami

Night before trip, have reservations and stay at Temagami Shores Inn, Temagami

Best Reading: Temagami Canoe Routes, by Hap Wilson

Also look at internet site;

Missanibi…Look up Missanibi Outfitters, Chapleau, Ontario

Temagami is located straight north of Toronto, one hour north of North Bay.

Chapleau is located 4 hours north of Sault St Marie, Ontario

Hope this helps.


Tell me where and what kind of trip you want.I am a guide in Florida and can help you here in this state. Also, If you prefer cooler spots I have some great places up north you’d love. One is a native American who’d really show you some neat wild life, and teach you alot.Drop me a line and we can talk!!

John Kramer a FLA guide!

When in New York…
You mustn’t pass up a trip to the Adirondacks. The Park is quite vast. I’d be happy to point you in the direction of a trip suitable for your skills, time allotment & budget.

hasn’t seceded from the US-yet!

Fall in love.
If you want to fall in love try the Adrondacks. You will never want to leave! The area around the Saranac Lakes. A vast area to explore by canoe or kayak. Many lakes, rivers and ponds. Many remote and not over used. Lots of trails for taking side trips hiking. I have been exploring this area for 40 years and am still finding new places and meeting great people. Paddle slow and enjoy god’s wonders.


More Temagami info
Hi, hope this will help you get a feel for the Temagami area. is a great place for canoeing info. I have started my own site based on a CD I produced for the Temagami Chamber of Commerce. It showcases many photos of the area, mostly taken by me (well, rather my Sony F707 Digital Camera). Hopefully it can give you a feel for the beauty of the area. You can find it at

canoe suggestions

– Last Updated: Sep-26-05 12:23 PM EST –

I appreciate your willingness in giving me and my friends a suggestion of an area in the adrondacks. Last week i discovered the area at hoel pond, long pond, fish creek, to my take out. amazing area. as a result of such a great trip I am interested in going in this area again. looking for a river that will be flowing oct 8th weekend with few people or structures along the river for a 3 day float. moderate river with max rapids of class II. or a string of lakes-ponds that do not require alot of canoe carries. you can also reach me at thanks so much four your time in helping me out Adam