Sea Kayak the Pukaskwa Wilderness Coast

Paddle the True Wilderness Shore

Trip Description:

Guided and partially outfitted sea kayak trip–ten days kayaking, nine nights camping, half-day group skills workshop.

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The Pukaskwa Coastal sea kayak trip is a quintessential Canadian paddling route that remains as pristine today as it was when it inspired us to start Naturally Superior Adventures in 1994.

Extending 190 km through Pukaskwa National Park and the Superior Highlands Conservation Reserve, finishing at our base at Michipicoten Bay, it’s wild, remote and beautiful with spectacular geology, bright sand and cobble beaches, awesome waterfalls, sacred Native sites and isolated lighthouses. The transition from crystal clear sweet water to towering cliffs, boreal and transitional forests is magical.
Your trip begins with an afternoon of individual and group sea kayak safety coaching from our base on Lake Superior near Wawa, Ontario. Later we’ll enjoy a trip orientation following a home-cooked meal in the front room of Rock Island Lodge.

Dozens of rivers and streams feed into the Pukaskwa coast, including the Cascade which drops directly into the Lake and 100 ft Denison falls now part of the newly created Superior Highlands Conservation Reserve. Along the way we’ll visit ancient Pukaskwa Pit “villages,” where it is thought that aboriginal peoples once held vision quests on cobblestone beaches.

We’ll encounter a number of short exposed headlands but no significant crossings. Daily paddling distances range from 10 to 26 kilometres (average 19 km) with a day included to accommodate rough weather or a more relaxed or exploratory group pace. The lake is mostly calm in summer, but when it gets rough we enjoy the view from shore.

This trip is for paddlers who are physically fit with previous paddling and wilderness camping experience. Most participants will be in single sea kayaks although occasionally we open trips to less experienced paddlers in double sea kayaks. You’ll be responsible for carrying a portion of the group gear in your kayak, along with your tent, sleeping bag, personal gear and food. You can choose between packing and preparing your own meals or joining in with our hearty and healthy meals/snacks packed and prepared by your guide(s).

Our Guides

Our guides are drawn from Canadian outdoor adventure/recreation programs or are teachers and outdoor professionals. They’re certified with Wilderness Advanced First Aid and with our own Lake Superior Sea Kayak Guide Course. Many return to work for us year after year.

Typical Itinerary

DayActivity/Campsite Approx distanceSights
1Arrive NSA at 2 pm. Group kayak skills/safety session, trip prep & fresh home style meal at Rock Island Lodge Michipicoten River, Lake Superior
2Shuttle to Hattie Cove, trip start, paddle past Pic River, White River camp8kmPukaskwa National Park Interpretative centre
3Oiseau Bay22kmPictographs, Oiseau falls, beach thistle 
4White Gravel Beach13kmFisherman’s Cove, Tip Top Mountain
5Otter Island Lighthouse Area22kmCascade Falls, Lighthouse, Pukaskwa Pits
6The Wheat Bin24kmPukaskwa River, Schist Falls
7Les Petits Mort Rocks14kmCrane Island
8Ghost River20kmGanley Wilderness Area, Redsucker Cove
9False Dog Harbour18kmPoint Isacor
10Dog River5kmHike to Denison Falls
11Mid-afternoon arrive Rock Island23kmDore River, Seagull Islands, Perkwakwia Lighthouse 


A video review of the Pukaskwa Coastal trip we ran late July 2014. Thanks Robert Rolley!

Photo Gallery

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Trip Route Map