Ray Mears Hosts Winners of the Great Canadian Grey Owl Adventure Contest

Didn't win? You can still meet British Expert Ray Mears at the Temagami Canoe Festival.

The contest is now closed. If you didn't win, you can still meet Ray Mears at the Temagami Canoe Festival July 15 to 17, 2016. Please check schedule for appearance times.


In 2015, Ray Mears, British adventure traveller and TV personality, journeyed deep into the remote backcountry of the Temagami region of Ontario, Canada. Here he found himself immersed in Canada's canoe culture and the captivating legend of Archibald Belaney, better known as Grey Owl.

"Grey Owl was the most effective conservationist of his age; he preached a message of concern on behalf of the creatures of the wild that he found suffering in the advancing tide of industrialization. His books were bestsellers and his lecture tours inspired thousands. Upon his death, it was revealed that Grey Owl was not a Native at all, but in fact an Englishman who travelled to Canada to live out a boyhood dream.

His real name was Archie Belaney, and his transformation into Grey Owl is one of the most fascinating human stories I have ever encountered.

To have even the slightest chance to see beyond his accepted biography, one must walk for a while in his moccasins and encounter the lore and wisdom of the Anishinaabe First Nations and travel in the Ontario Wilderness." – Ray Mears on the Legend of Grey Owl

Grey Owl with a beaver in a canoe and Ray Mears at Grey Owl plaque
Grey Owl helped protect the beaver. Ray Mears ponders the legend of Grey Owl.


In July 2016, Ontario Tourism is offering one winner and their guest the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Grey Owl with Ray Mears as your guide. This journey will take you deep into the spectacular back-country of legendary Northeastern Ontario's Temagami region – n'Daki Menan Aboriginal community, where you'll be immersed in Canada's canoe culture and the story of Grey Owl.

Experience the Old Growth Forest and beauty that captured Grey Owl's heart, travelling by land, air and paddle into the heart of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.

Enter Now

  • Round-trip airfare from anywhere in Canada or continental United States to North Bay, Ontario where the adventure begins and ends
  • An 8-day fully outfitted and guided trip including:
  • Exciting floatplane adventure into Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park with Lakeland Airways
  • 4 day guided canoeing adventure with Ray Mears and Smoothwater Outfitters
  • The story of Grey Owl and wilderness travel instruction including paddling, bushcraft skills, wildlife observation and tracking
  • Immersion into Canada's canoe culture at the Temagami Canoe Festival
  • Tour of the First Nation's community of Bear Island on Lake Temagami and experience First Nation ceremonies, storytelling and history
  • 7 nights accommodation (3 nights wilderness camping, 3 nights Smoothwater Ecolodge, 1 night hotel)
  • All meals and ground transportation
  • Plus two $500 gift cards for outdoor gear from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

Total prize valued at $5,000 CAD / $3,900 USD Prize redemption is July 15 to 22, 2016. Contest closes 11:59pm (EST) May 15, 2016. See full contest rules for details. 

About Trish Manning

Trish Manning is an adventure travel writer and the content coordinator for Ontario Outdoor Adventures. She is an avid outdoor person who loves to hike, paddle, SUP, snowshoe, cross-country ski and explore Ontario's great outdoors with her golden retriever, Daisy.

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