Paddling Routes

Check out these great Prince Albert National Park back country and paddling trips!

Departing from the Adventure Centre launch:

  • Waskesiu Townsite
    • The Waskesiu Townsite offers visitors a variety of services, all within walking distance of Waskesiu’s main beach.  Take a walk on the breakwater, spend time at the “Bears on the Beach” playground or browse through one of the many shops just a few minutes walk away. The main beach offers excellent swimming and sunbathing. 
      • Approximately: 
        • 7 km from the Waskesiu Marina by vehicle
        • 3 km from the Waskesiu Marina by boat.
        • Main beach provides washrooms and showers, playground, camp kitchen
  • Waskesiu River
    • The quiet solitude of the Waskesiu River can be experienced from either land or water. Take a leisurely paddle down the river or hike the 2.5 km Waskesiu River Trail.  Accessed from the Kingsmere Road.
      • Approximately:
        • 2 km from the Waskesiu River
        • 5 km from the Waskesiu Townsite
        • 1.5 km from the Waskesiu Marina paddling on the river
        • Picnic tables and toilet facilities provided at the trailhead.
  • Point View
    • Located just northwest of the Waskesiu River, Point View offers a quiet getaway with a scenic view of Waskesiu Lake.  Accessed from the Kingsmere Road.
      • Approximately:
        • 500m from the Waskesiu Marina (by vehicle or boat)
        • Mini-camp kitchen, picnic tables, hibachis and toilet facilities provided.
  • Birch Bay
    • Swimming, waterskiing, wakeboarding – all this is possible from Birch Bay.  Birch Bay is a popular picnic area for all.  Take the family out and enjoy a day on the water at Birch Bay.  Accessed from the Kingsmere Road.
      • Approximately:
        • 7 km from Waskesiu Marina
        • 15 km from the Waskesiu Townsite
        • 6 km from the Waskesiu Marina by boat
        • Camp kitchens, picnic tables, hibachis and toilet facilities provided at the picnic site.
  • South Bay
    • A quiet bay perfect for a day on the water.  South Bay provides users an excellent place to bring the family.  If you are looking for an adventure, then hike the Mud Creek Trail with access from the picnic area and learn about the many ecological features of Prince Albert National Park.  Access by road via the Narrows Road.
      • Approximately:
        • 7.5  km from the Waskesiu Marina by boat.
        • 18 km from the Waskesiu Townsite.
        • Picnic tables, hibachis, fire circles and washroom facilities provided.
        • Access to Mud Creek Nature Trail located off picnic area.
  • Paignton Beach
    • Situated between Ice Push Ridge and the Narrows, Paignton Beach is a local favourite for a picnic site.  It offers an excellent swimming area and also provides space for boats to pull up on shore.
      • Approximately:
        • 26 km from the Waskesiu Marina
        • 19 km from the Waskesiu Townsite
        • 5 km from the Narrows Marina (vehicle and boat)
        • 9.5 km from the Waskesiu Marina by boat.
        • Camp kitchen, picnic tables, hibachis and toilet facilties provided.
  • Narrows
    • A historic area of Prince Albert National Park, the Narrows offers visitors a different look at Prince Albert National Park. This area is a narrowing of Waskesiu Lake which provides area of calm water regardless of wind conditions. Experience the magic beauty and serenity of the Narrows.
      • Approximately:
        • 31 km from the Waskesiu Marina
        • 24 km from the Waskesiu Townsite
        • 12.5 km from the Waskesiu Marina by watercraft
        • Narrows Campground just a few minutes away providing 87 back-in campsites, fire pits, washroom buildings, picnic tables
        • Large picnic area close to the Narrows Marina provides picnic tables,camp kitchen, small playground.

Departing from the Hanging Heart Lakes:

Pay attention to the sky………..Open water can be dangerous; wind and weather can change without warning.  Always look for shelter and try to travel the shoreline when possible.  A northwest wind is common and can make the southeast shore quite rough. 

(Please note:  for overnight stays at the campgrounds listed below you are required to register the day of your camping trip at the PANP Visitor Centre.  Fees apply).

  • Crean Kitchen
    • A paddle through the three (3) Heart Lakes, starting from the Hanging Heart Lakes Marina.  Pass through the calm, shallow channels and into the clear waters of Crean.  Watch for beaver lodges and otters;  search the skies for eagles, osprey and pelicans.  Stop for lunch or overnight at the Crean Kitchen campground in the south west corner of the lake, just across from the PANP Patrol Cabin.  This is an easy overnight trip or a day paddle.
      • Approximately:
        • 2-3 hrs one way (9 km) from Heart Lakes Marina
        • 4-6 hrs return (18 km total distance)
        • Crean Kitchen Campground provides 3 single tent pads, picnic tables, hibachi, bear cache, kitchen shelter and toilet facilities.
  • Chipewyan
    • Continuing from Crean Kitchen along the west shore of Crean Lake you will find the lovely beach at Chipewyan Campground.  This backcountry campground marks the beginning of an old portage that once connected Crean and Kingsmere Lake.  This 15 km portage trail is now no more than a memory in the forest.
      • Approximately:
        • 4 hrs (14 km) from Heart Lakes Marina
        • 1 hr (5 km) from Crean Kitchen
        • Chipewyan Campground provides 3 single tent pads, picnic tables, hibachi, bear cache and toilet facilities.
  • Jackfish Bay and Lost Lake
    • From Crean Kitchen moving east around the PANP Patrol Cabin and along the shore, you can paddle out towards the three small islands that dot the horizon, and then tuck around Peterson’s Point and into Jackfish Bay.  Both Lost Lake and Jackfish Bay offer some excellent fishing and a chance to get away from it all.  Lost Lake is a small lake just off Crean offering a private and quiet escape.  There are NO powerboats permitted on Lost Lake.
      • Approximately:
        • 12 km from Crean Kitchen going around Peterson Point
        • 2.5 km to base of peninsula from Crean Kitchen
        • 3 km across Jackfish Bay
        • 25 m portage/channel into Lost Lake
        • 2 km into the north corner of the lake where you will find a commonly used but unofficial picnic area.
  • Big Island
    • Make home in the comfortable kitchen shelter on the Island. Travel back in time as you read the walls, and browse the rafters for hidden treasures. 
      • Approximately:
        • 15 km from Crean Kitchen (following the southeast shore)
        • 16 km from Chipewyan Portage
        • 12 km from Moose Bay (following northeast shore)
        • Big Island Campground provides 3 single tent pads, picnic tables, hibachi, kitchen shelter and toilet facilities.  
  • Moose Bay
    • Spend a night in the northwest corner of Crean, tucked away in Moose Bay.  This beautiful and quiet campground sees little traffic and offers some amazing fishing.  Due to the distance and dangers presented with bad weather, this trip is only recommended for experienced paddlers.
      • Approximately:
        • 18 km from Chipewyan Portage
        • From Big Island :
          • 12 km following the north east shore
          • 10 km paddling,  paddle 4 km  to the north shore and then travel 6 km along  the shoreline heading east to Moose Bay.
        • Moose Bay Campground provides 3 single tent pads, picnic tables, hibachi, bear cache, kitchen shelter and toilet facilities.

Departing from the Kingsmere Landing:

Kingsmere is a large, deep and beautiful lake.  At all times be aware of changing weather conditions…watch the sky, be prepared for adverse conditions.  Travel along the shore, play it safe and have a way off the water in case of emergency.

Please note:  For overnight stays at the campgrounds mentioned below you must register prior to departure on the day of your trip at the PANP Visitor Centre.  Fees apply.

  • Kingsmere Lake & Rail Cart
    • The beginning of your adventure starts here at the Kingsmere Landing.  Here you will load up all of your gear into your watercraft and set out upstream towards Kingsmere Lake.  Approximately 500 m up the river is the railcart portage.  This is where you pull your boat up the ramp and onto the large railcart or smaller canoe/kayak cart. Be sure to secure you boat if possible on the cart.  Be sure to balance your boat on the cart as it will make the portage much easier.  At approximately 800 m ahead of you will put you back into the river, easing it carefully back down the wooden ramp.  You are now on your way to Kingsmere Lake.  Be prepared to get your feet wet as in times of low water levels you will have to get out of your watercraft and pull it through the river.
      • Approximately:
        • Railcart portage is 800 m
        • From railcart to Kingsmere Lake is less than 1 km
        • Kingsmere Lake is 11 km across
  • Paddling to Grey Owl’s Cabin
    • Grey Owl’s Cabin is located on the northwest shore of Ajawaan Lake.  The journey begins at the Kingsmere River parking lot and is just over 20 km one way trip.
      • Approximate distances travelling along the east shore of Kingsmere Lake
        • 2 km from Southend to Westwind Campground (group tenting area available)
        • 4 km from Westwind to Chipewyan Portage Campground
        • 5 km to Sandy Beach Campground from Chipewyan Portage Campground
        • 3.5 km from Sandy Beach to Northend Campground (group tenting area available).
        • Heading north along the shore from Northend Campground you will find the trailhead to Grey Owl’s Cabin at the Northend Picnic site.  From the picnic site the trail to the cabin is a total of 3.2 km one way. As you approach the southern part of Ajawaan Lake there is a .6 km portage route that branches off for paddlers that wish to paddle on Ajawaan.
      • Campground facilities are similar, Kitchen shelters are provided at Southend and Northend.  All campgrounds will offer singe and double tent  pads, hibachis, picnic tables, bear cache and toilet facilities. Group tenting areas of Westwind and Northend must be booked in advance through the PANP Visitor Centre (306)663-4522.  
    • Bagwa Canoe Route
    • Starting from the Southend Campground on Kingsmere Lake (after completing the railcart portage) you can continue along the southwest shore, past the PANP patrol cabin heading to the north end of the lake.  The route can be done in either direction, starting at the Clare Lake portage or at the Bagwa Channel west of Pease Point Campground. It is a comfortable and flexible route with the options of tucking off the big lake and into the smaller sheltered lakes.  Dependent upon wind and wave conditions you can access the route through the northern section and exit through the Clare Lake area limiting you time are the big lake. Both Bagwa and Lily offer good fishing with Bagwa more successful in walleye catch.  Clare Lake and the  portages can be muddy due to low water levels.  Be prepared to get your feet wet, bring proper footwear and lots of bug spray.
    • There are no boat motors permitted on Bagwa, Lily or Clare Lakes.
      • Approximate distances:
        • 3 km between Southend and Clare Lake Portage
        • 9 km between Southend and Pease Point Campground and access through the Bagwa Channel
        • 4 km from Pease Point, down the Bagwa Channel to Bagwa Lake Campground
        • 2.5 km between Bagwa and Lily Lake Campgrounds
        • 1 km from the campground at Lily to the 200 m portage into Clare Lake
        • 1.5 km across Clare Lake to the second 200 m portage back to Kingsmere Lake.
      • Campgrounds along this route:
        • Pease Point offers 4 single and 1 double tent pads, picnic tables, hibachis, bear cache and toilet facilities
        • Bagwa Lake offers 2 singe tent pads, picnic tables, hibachis, bear cache and toilet facilities
        • Lily Lake offers 1 single and 1 double tent pad, picnic tables, hibachis, bear cache and toilet facilities.

       

      • note:  potable water – either bring your own water or use lake water but boil or purify before use.

For more great paddling trips log on to www.pc.gc.ca/princealbert or contact the PANP information Centre @ 1-306-663-4522.

Be Prepared Checklist