About Wanapitei CANOE
"Paddling Canada's Less Traveled Waterways for over 50 years"
Why Paddle with Us
We've been on the leading edge of Canada's paddling community since the 1960s. In 1956 we started offering guided canoe trips in northern Ontario and Quebec. By the early 1970s we were running guided canoe trips in the NWT and Yukon. Today we continue to run quality canoe trips throughout northern Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador through Ontario and on to Nunavut and the Yukon. Because of our unprecedented long history we are able to offer a truly amazing canoe trip experience. In addition to offering some of the best professional guided canoe trips you will ever do, one of our specialties is offering truly unique northern trips; paddling routes that are rarely traveled. Co-owner Shawn Hodgins has brought his years of experience and his love of wilderness canoeing and adventurous exploratory paddling to the whole trip planning process at Wanapitei CANOE. Each year we come up with a new trip schedule and try to offer something different. Sometimes this is a trip that only a few groups paddle per year, sometimes it's a trip that virtually no one paddles. Over the years Shawn and Wanapitei Canoe have pioneered many new northern canoe routes. Whether you are paddling one of our exploratory trips in the far north or are joining us for the first time on a near north adventure in Ontario or Quebec, you'll come back from your trip with a heightened sense of accomplishment and joy! We're sure that our trips will exceed your expectations for challenge, discovery and excellence! Our many years of experience, give us the confidence to say that you are joining with the best!
CANOE & Northern Outdoor Expeditions Inc is a small family run business co-owned by husband and wife Shawn Hodgins and Liz McCarney. In 1997 they purchased the business from Camp Wanapitei where Shawn had managed it for 12 years. Shawn has worked in the canoeing/adventure field since the late 1970s. With his years of experience guiding extended deep wilderness expeditions in the Canadian North, over 25,000 canoeing km under his belt, and an innovative spirit, he was well positioned to take over CANOE. Liz, with a canoe trip and camping background of her own, joined with Shawn and Wanapitei in 1989 and then partnered to create CANOE & Northern Outdoor Expeditions Inc. in 1997. Shawn is head guide and trip planner, and Liz, who has her own career as a speech pathologists, continues with an active part time role both in the office and on trips.
Our hand picked trip guides are experienced and talented women and men from very diverse backgrounds. They are remarkable people who are mature, highly trained, have a passion for the wilderness, are good cooks, and are great fun to be with as well. Many have been with us for 15 to 20 years. Our small group approach (our trips vary in size from 4 to 12) means you will get personal attention from the guides. Some of our guides are in their twenties, but many are 30s, 40s and 50s. Owner Shawn, continues to guide a number of our trips each year.
Our clients, like our guides, are diverse women and men from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages. What unites them is a love of the north, an interest in camping and canoe tripping, and a desire to get off the beaten path. Some are in their 20s and 30s but many are simply young at hart, being in their 50s 60s and 70s. Our clients come back year after year, some have been with us since 1980, and others have done as many as 19 trips in a row.
Trips & Trip Routes
We take great care and pride in our trip selection. Each year we redo our trip schedule, not only trying to add a new exploratory trip, but offering routes that we know our returning clients will appreciate. Sometimes we paddle well known rivers like the Coppermine, Hood, Wind, Missinaibi or Nahanni but more often than not we'll offer unique routes like Nunavut's Lunan-Quoich or Rae, the Yukon's Hart, Quebec's L'Eau Claire or Labradors Notokwanon. For entry level arctic trips we offer rivers like the Soper, a standby on our schedule for 20 years. Farther south in the Near North we continue to offer entry level river trips and instruction on the Dumoine for the intermediate or beginner who is interested in getting into easy river canoe tripping. On our trips you can expect a small group personal approach; the trips after all are for you. Schedules are designed to allow time for relaxation, fishing, hiking or exploration. Menus and food are personally designed and packed by each guide and are not only delicious and varied, but nutritious as well.
Co Owners: Shawn Hodgins & Liz McCarney