HOW TO GET THERE
The town of Armstrong is the main staging point for most trips into the Wabakimi region. It lies at the northern termination of highway 527, a two and a half hour drive north from Thunder Bay and Lake Superior.
From there you can enter the Park by canoe, train or float plane. The main line of the Canadian National Railway skirts the south end of the park and VIA Rail provides passenger service three times a week in each direction.
Taking the train to the selected put-in point is a great choice as its less expensive than flying in and quicker than paddling in. Book on-line or by phone to the next official stop (Collins, Allanwater Bridge or Savant Lake) and tell the conductor when you board the exact mileage point where you want to be dropped.You can also end a trip at the rail line but the train will only stop if you have booked in advance.The baggage car typically has plenty of room for canoes and gear.
Our choice has often been to take the train in and paddle out to the bridge on Little Caribou Lake (5 km from Armstrong). This allows access from the CN rail line to the nine or so river or lake entries to Wabakimi, the Kopka River to the south and even the downstream end of Brightsands Provincial Park to the west. The main entry routes from the rail line into the centre of Wabakimi are the Allanwater River, the Flindt River, Nemo River and Schultz's Landing on Onamakawash Lake and Bath Lake and the Boiling Sand River.
If you are arriving from the West and planning a train-in and train-out route, the town of Savant Lake may be a preferable access point. Trains from the West arrive at the various put-ins in the park during the more convenient morning hours.
Via Rail westbound runs on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Armstrong at 9:31pm and arriving at Savant Lake at 10:18pm. Eastbound service runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Savant Lake at 7:07am (central) and arriving in Armstrong at 9:48am (eastern).
If you prefer a paddle in route or loop trip, there are three options to drive or shuttle to the put-in from Armstrong: the bridge at Little Caribou Lake is the closest from where you can paddle to Caribou River; secondly, a shuttle along the Tamarack Road from Armstrong takes you to Tamarack Lake and Boiling Sand River; and finally, the Obonga Lake Road from Highway 527 to Magotte Lake, from where you can paddle to Kenakskaniss Lake and the downstream section of the Kopka River or North from Kenakskaniss to Boulder, Shawanabis or Collins Lakes with a choice of routes from there.
Access from the West can also be gained from Highway 599 with a shuttle from Savant Lake/Highway 599 to the Flindt River.
Or, further North on Hwy 599, you can put-in at Pashkokogan Lake and paddle East into Wabakimi or even North on the Pashkokogan River to Lake Osnaburgh and the Albany River.
For quicker access, a fly-in or fly-out can be arranged for any interior routes. Several outfitters, located off Highway 527, south of the town of Armstrong or in Savant Lake provide float plane services.