White Lake Provincial Park, Ontario: White River Canoe Route

Paddle and portage fish-filled waters past wild cascades to the greatest of lakes.
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Paddle and portage fish-filled waters past wild cascades to the greatest of lakes.

For deep-woods adventure, you can’t beat the 52 miles on the White River between White Lake Provincial Park and Lake Superior in Pukaskwa. There are 18 rapids on the stretch, from class II (easy) to class VI+ (fatal), each with a signed and mapped portage trail so you can skip any you choose. Most paddlers will walk at least half the drops, including the longest, a 1.4-mile mandatory portage around 100-foot Umbata Falls and its hydropower plant.
From White Lake Provincial Park, spend five days paddling through forested canyons and camping on granite ledges beside roaring rapids, before a four-mile lake paddle across Superior. Build in extra days in case winds or surf delay your lake travel.

Looking for more challenge? Run the longer, swifter and more remote Pukaskwa River (go in May or June). Fill any extra time fishing for “jack” (Northern pike), “pickerel” (walleye) and rainbow trout. For that you’ll need an Ontario Outdoors Card ($10CAD) and a separate fishing license ($21-$76 CAD; 800-387-7011; mnr.gov.on.ca/en).

Map Crismar White River Wildwater; $13CAD; (905) 852-6151; chrismar.com
Permit Via Pukaskwa National Park; (807) 229-0801; pc.gc.ca
Guide & Gear Naturally Superior Adventures; naturallysuperior.com
Shuttle McCuaig Marine Services; $110CAD; (807) 229-0193; mccuaigmarine@shaw.ca
-Mapped by Steve Howe

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 83.8

Waypoints

WRV001

Location: 48.696201, -85.641947

Start the paddling trip from this boat ramp in White Lake Provincial Park.

WRV002

Location: 48.658356, -85.725584

Campsite

WRV003

Location: 48.65699, -85.736863

Portage around the White River Dam.

WRV004

Location: 48.655088, -85.749064

Kapok Rapids and campsite

WRV005

Location: 48.654699, -85.755249

End of the Kapok Rapids

WRV006

Location: 48.64724, -85.762923

Abigail Rapid

WRV007

Location: 48.642017, -85.766098

Fearless Rapids

WRV008

Location: 48.639597, -85.769257

Campsite below Fearless Rapid

WRV009

Location: 48.626351, -85.818553

Stalk Lake

WRV010

Location: 48.619736, -85.818281

Jumbo Rapid and campsites

WRV011

Location: 48.604755, -85.864003

Chicagonce Falls portage

WRV012

Location: 48.60042, -85.862025

End 650M portage

WRV013

Location: 48.598182, -85.864211

Campsite

WRV014

Location: 48.597412, -85.877124

Angle Falls

WRV015

Location: 48.594915, -85.883093

There's a campsite at the end of the 800M portage.

WRV016

Location: 48.583553, -85.892812

Baptisimon Chute and campsite

WRV017

Location: 48.555389, -85.921504

Ess Rapid

WRV018

Location: 48.55326, -85.921791

There's an excellent campsite at the end of the 590M portage.

WRV019

Location: 48.516262, -85.971249

Oskabukuta River

WRV020

Location: 48.517404, -86.004654

Possible camp on river right

WRV021

Location: 48.541684, -86.028638

Hayward Rapids

WRV022

Location: 48.544579, -86.036282

Possible camp

WRV023

Location: 48.552253, -86.104752

Stash Rapids

WRV024

Location: 48.54602, -86.129212

Take the Umbata Falls Portage Trail on river right.

WRV025

Location: 48.534155, -86.146976

End the 1.4-mile portage at this campsite.

WRV026

Location: 48.537755, -86.175306

Twin Rapids 1

WRV027

Location: 48.538776, -86.179036

End 360M portage

WRV028

Location: 48.539303, -86.18095

Twin Rapids 2

WRV029

Location: 48.546276, -86.226038

Hook Falls portage and ridgetop campsite

WRV030

Location: 48.554386, -86.229552

Unnamed rapid

WRV031

Location: 48.555647, -86.229454

End 60M portage

WRV032

Location: 48.558216, -86.232903

Follow the Chigamiwinigum Falls Portage Trail.

WRV033

Location: 48.561615, -86.237301

End of the 700M portage

WRV034

Location: 48.54589, -86.269571

Lake Superior

WRV035

Location: 48.55302, -86.270654

Excellent campsite on the Superior Shore

WRV036

Location: 48.590554, -86.290336

Coast trailhead and visitor center