Two university students from Winnipeg will embark this month on a 10-week canoe trip across northwestern Ontario to promote Path of the Paddle, a watery route connecting Thunder Bay to Kenora. Departing on June 18th from Thunder Bay, Paul Schram and Hadley Burns will paddle their way along a route full of beauty, history, culture, and nature.
The Path of the Paddle comprises the northwestern Ontario section of the Trans Canada Trail, a recreational route across the country that is being developed in time to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday in 2017. When complete, the Trans Canada Trail will stretch almost 15,000 miles, touching the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans.
“The fact that we have the TransCanada Trail — and opening up these wilderness areas to people to make it easier for people for whom it may not have been accessible before — is such a wonderful opportunity,” Schram told the CBC.
The Path of the Paddle will ultimately make up more than 600 miles of the Trans Canada Trail. It includes about 124 miles through the Quetico-Superior region along the Border Route and through Quetico Provincial Park. The route name was borrowed, with permission, from writer, filmmaker, conservationist, and canoeing icon Bill Mason.
While the trip will pass through areas that are more populated than the Far North rivers that both the “Trail Ambassadors” have previously explored, it will still offer rugged travel, including between 200 and 300 portages.
Schram and Burns will meet with local community members and communicate broadly during their trip, seeking to learn more about the route and promote it to the rest of the world.
“We’ll be running into a lot of people along the way, and I think sharing stories and getting to know people out there is something we haven’t experienced as much, and something we’re both looking forward to,” Schram told the Winnipeg Free Press.
The pair will blog during their trip at http://pathofthepaddle.wix.com/popatrailambassadors.
Watch their application video: