A man and a women gaze at the shoreline as they paddle in a yellow canoe.
© Parks Canada

The uniquely accessible Bagwa Paddling Route gives visitors a chance to experience an iconic Canadian canoe trip – complete with plenty of paddling, portaging (carrying the canoe overland) and overnight camping – without requiring an extended time commitment.

Canoes and kayaks launch up the Kingsmere River (car-accessible via Kingsmere Road), portaging on a rail bed past a one-kilometre set of rapids to windy Kingsmere Lake. The route then loops through a string of pristine backcountry bodies of water (Bagwa, Lily and Clare Lakes) with some short portaging between. Anglers can even drop a line during the late-May to late-September fishing season.

Two young women portage a white canoe through the woods using a wheeled cart on rail tracks.
© Parks Canada

Spend the night at any of four lakeside backcountry campgrounds along the way, which come equipped with picnic tables, firewood and other basic amenities. Finally, plunge back into Kingsmere Lake for a paddle back down the shoreline to conclude this aquatic odyssey through Prince Albert National Park.