Kopka River Women’s Trip

Five years ago Chris and I did a seven-day paddling trip on the Kopka River with five other friends and this year I went back; only this time it was for a shorter three-day trip with an awesome crew of eight women!

Our Route

Nicole planned our linear route and did an amazing job coordinating logistics to pull it off. We put in at a bridge around kilometer 30 on Obonga Lake Road and took out on Bukemiga Lake three days later. From the put-in point, we paddled north for about 8 kilometers before we entered Kopka River Provincial Park; a “pristine wilderness of rugged northern boreal forest” and “good spot for backcountry canoeing and camping, swimming, picnicking and fishing” according to the Ontario Parks website.

Day one was pretty long but very rewarding. We started paddling around 8:00 am (having stayed in Armstrong the night before), covered roughly 20 kilometers, stopped to cliff jump along the way, ran some rapids and did six portages. With every portage came a combination of beautiful views, waterfalls and hilarious moments which made the often grueling terrain much more bearable. It also helped that I had done these before and remembered things like “Yes, we are suppose to go down this cliff”.  It was pretty amazing when we finally arrived at the double-tiered waterfall campsite – our destination for the night.

On the flip side, day two was very laid back and involved a lot of drifting, signing and day-drinking. We covered less than 10 kilometers and traveled much of the distance as a four-canoe raft with only two paddlers propelling us forward. We opted to stay on an island on Wigwasan Lake for our second night rather than to portage into Bukemiga Lake where we expected to encounter motor boats and people. We paddled the last 12 kilometers or so of our route on the third and final day before packing up and driving back to Thunder Bay.  Three days, two nights and an awesome weekend canoe trip!


  • Not seeing anyone else on for over 48 hours
  • Running fun little rapids
  • Swimming and cliff jumping
  • Catching breathtaking views along the river and its portages
  • Eating amazingly well
  • Generally winning at life
  • Feeling strong, capable, and empowered among a group of strong, capable, and empowered women 🙂

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