Arctic Rivers & Boreal Forest
The Singing Forest
The region is the source of most Ontario rivers that flow to Hudson Bay or James Bay, also known as the Arctic watershed. Great portions of the boreal are undisturbed and can be likened to the Amazon Rainforest in scope and importance. Recent research has shown that this forestland is home to an estimated 5 billion songbirds — at least 227 different species of land birds leading to the Boreal forest being called, the “Singing Forest”.
Two large, wilderness parks found in the Boreal Forest, include Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou, which can be experienced by a fly-in adventure.
Many rivers within the Boreal Forest and Arctic region are protected as provincial parks. Missinaibi, Little Abitibi and Otoskwin-Attawapiskat are a few. With these characteristics, the most favoured form of adventure travel is canoeing — there are many thousands of kilometres to paddle.
These rivers lead northward to the ‘last frontier’ of Ontario’s saltwater coast — Hudson and James Bays. Quality trip guiding, planning and outfitting services are provided across this region. Remote and accessible by air or water, Polar Bear is Ontario’s largest provincial park.
Ontario’s Arctic Coast — Summer Home of Polar Bears
This sub-Arctic region is populated by Woodland caribou, moose, marten, beaver, fox, black bear and, of course, polar bear. Seals, walruses, Beluga and White whales frequent the coastal areas. The peak bird watching periods are during migration (late spring and early November). The town of Cochrane is a key jump-off point for the Arctic Coast. Home to a newly developed Polar Bear Rehabilitation Centre, Cochrane is also the start of Ontario’s Arctic train ride to the Arctic Coast at Moosonee.
For more than 3,000 years this area has been occupied and today is home to 28 First Nations communities. These Aboriginal people share their rich culture and heritage with visitors to the area. Many native experiences are offered through the Northern Ontario Native Tourist Outfitters at moccasintrailtours.com.
Ontario’s Arctic Coast
Bounded by Arctic tundra, the Boreal Forest of Ontario is part of a worldwide area of conifer-dominated trees. This area stretches across the northern hemisphere in Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska and Canada.
The Boreal Forest is Ontario’s largest forest region, comprising almost 60% of the total vegetation cover and, in practical terms, it is roughly all of the area north of the French and Mattawa rivers — which is an area five times the size of all of the countries in Western Europe.
- Useful Links:
- Ontario's Wilderness Region
- Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
- North of Superior Travel Association
- Wabakimi Provincial Park
- Polar Bear Provincial Park
- Sunset Country Travel Association