Kopka River Provincial Park is immediately south of Wabakimi Provincial Park and flows from west to east, eventually emptying into Lake Nipigon. The Kopka River is one of the most interesting, varied and exciting trips in the area. It combines pristine lakes and scenic rivers, dramatic falls and a good number of rapids. Many of the rapids can be run in the right conditions or lined. As well, a few of the portages are quite challenging and require a good degree of competence. The scenery is typical of the Canadian Shield, a gently rolling terrain with impressive granite outcrops, ridges and lakes. To the west the landscape is mostly characterized by high smooth rock formations with spruce and jack pine forest. Further east, closer to the Nipigon basin, the rocky terrain appears more rugged and the forest becomes a mix of both coniferous and deciduous trees.
Access to the river is gained either from the CN Rail line, the Graham Road to the West or by float plane to the headwaters at Redsand Lake or any one of the other lakes along its course.
The Kopka River I a shorter trip
If you want to paddle the Kopka but are short of time, there are three alternatives:
- start at Aldridge Creek (mile 32.3 on the CN rail line). This is a 7 or 8 day trip and follows Aldridge Creek south to Beagle, Laparde and Aldridge Lakes, portaging to the Kopka at about its halfway point. You will then paddle the second half of the Kopka River to the take-out at Bukemiga Lake on Highway 527.
- or begin at Shawanabis Causeway (mile 24.4 on the rail line) and paddle south through Shawanabis and Boulder Lakes, entering the Kopka at Kenakskannis Lake. A 4 day trip.
- or begin with a drive or shuttle along the Obonga Lake Road from Highway 527 to Magotte Lake. Paddling north on Magotte, a short portage will take you into the south end of Kenakskannis. This will likely only take 3 days.