Black Bears, Moose and Birds, Oh My!

Explore the world's largest game preserve

When you hear "game preserve" it likely brings to mind African safaris with packs of lions lazing about, wild herds of elephants wandering the savannah, and cheetahs chasing down their prey. You may be surprised to learn that the world's largest game preserve isn't in Africa. It's in Northern Ontario–in the heart of Algoma Country to be exact.

black bear
The Chapleau Game Preserve is home to a strong population of black bears. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

The Chapleau Crown Game Preserve encompasses 2 million acres (700,000 hectares) making it the largest crown game preserve in the world. The first thing you should know about the game preserve is that hunting and trapping are banned (fishing is allowed) within its borders making it a place where wildlife abounds.

Wildlife Viewing

Healthy populations of moose and black bear flourish here and you may encounter timberwolf, lynx and beaver, bald eagle, osprey and species of owl. This is the perfect place for nature lovers and photographers who want to view wildlife in their natural surroundings. It's not uncommon for some animals to be oblivious to human disturbances.

Wildlife Viewing Tips

  • Be patient and stay quiet when trying to view wildlife.
  • Binoculars are still the best way to view wildlife at a safe distance.
  • Try not to wear strong perfumes or scents. This may deter wildlife but attract mosquitos and black flies.
  • The best time to view wildlife is morning or evening.
  • Safety First: there's always a risk when viewing wildlife and it's important to respect the animal's boundaries. Never approach a wild animal no matter how big or small.
  • Never feed the animals.
The preserve is home to many species of birds: bald eagle, osprey, owls, heron, ducks and sandhill crane. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)


Missinaibi canoe trip
Paddling the Missinaibi on a guided canoe trip. (Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors)

Wildlife viewing is just one of the amazing wilderness adventures in the Chapleau Game Preserve: it's renowned for its historic canoe routes.

Book a paddling trip with MHO Adventures an adventure company with decades of experience in the guiding industry. 

Missinaibi canoeing
There are many amazing moments to capture for the amateur or professional photographer. (Photo credit: James Smedley Outdoors)

Five Things to Bring on a Day trip to the Preserve

  1. Bring your camera because you want to capture those moments forever.
  2. Bug repellant: a true must in Northern Ontario.
  3. Light, long-sleeved clothing to protect you from bug bites and scratches and sturdy shoes help you keep your balance when hiking along wooded trails.
  4. Map or GPS.
  5. Your Sense of Adventure!
About Heather Bot

I'm a staff writer for Algoma Country and I hope my articles entice you to plan your next vacation in Algoma. Our beautiful area has everything you need for a true outdoor adventure: fishing and hunting, epic touring routes and breathtaking outdoors. We are home to many awesome places to eat, cool places to shop, museums and galleries, festivals and events. 

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