5 Essential Boreal Experiences in Ontario's Sunset Country

Ontario's Sunset Country is Mother Nature at her best. Whether you're coming from Manitoba or you're an Ontario resident, we've rounded up 5 essential Boreal forest experiences to have this summer.

Have you always wanted to visit Sunset Country but just haven't been able to?There's a saying that goes "good things come to those who wait" so now that the wait is over, here are 5 Boreal forest experiences you can have right now in Ontario's Sunset Country.

Located just about two hours' drive east of Winnipeg and six hours west of Thunder Bay our region is the perfect destination for your summer adventures. we are also located in close proximity to folks that live in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It's packed full of gorgeous freshwater lakes, hundreds of thousands of miles of shoreline to explore, and plenty of fresh air and space for social distancing. Make this the summer you experience all that Northern Ontario has to offer! 

1) Freshwater Fishing

Giant muskie!

It's what almost everyone who visits here comes to do: fish.  We have few competitors in North America when it comes to the variety and the size of the freshwater fish species you can catch here. We even have remote wilderness lakes that you can "own" for the week. It's true: your own a private lake awaits you in Sunset Country. Visitors are dropped off and picked up in a floatplane for a private fishing adventure like no other. Get ready to catch fish until your arms are sore.

"Own" a lake for a week in Ontario's Sunset Country

2) Boreal Shorelines

Anyone who's paddled the lakes in Sunset Country understands why this tops the list. When it comes to shorelines, the rugged Canadian Shield is a master artisan. Its granite structures carved by the impacts of waves, ice, winds, and gravity, are billions of years old! You'll be gazing at some of the oldest rocks found on the planet so it's a pretty cool experience. No two shorelines are exactly the same, either. If you're looking for solitude and a place to relax, gently drifting along a boreal shoreline in Northwestern Ontario is that place. It's definitely something worth waiting for.

The awesome Canadian Shield!

3) Boreal Wildlife

Covering an area 100,000 square kilometres (that's 62,000 square miles), the Boreal forest in Sunset Country is home to a wide variety of bird and animal species who make it their home. There are animals of all sizes, some are elusive while others are not. As you travel along a highway, walk on a trail, or paddle in a canoe, your chances of seeing wildlife are high. There's nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing a bull moose off the side of the highway or a mother deer encouraging her newborn fawn to take its first steps. These scenes are a common sight in Sunset Country, so always have your camera ready for the capture of a lifetime.

Young bull moose. Photo: Ginny Riege

4) Boreal Sunsets

As the western-most region in Ontario, and the last place in the province where the sun sets each day, we've rightfully earned our reputation for spectacular sunsets. It might be the combination of our scenic vistas, rocky shores, emerald green pines, and big skies that make them so good - we're not actually sure where the magic comes from. What we are certain about, is the sense of wonder you'll experience when gazing at one of our sunsets for the first time. It's an experience that alters you. A Sunset Country sunset may be the most memorable part of your trip here.

If anything we offer is worth the wait, gazing at the sun as it sinks below the horizon is definitely one of them. 

Insider info: The sunrises are as good as the sunsets!

5) Boreal Forest Hiking

With all that forest cover, you know we are going to have a bunch of great trails to hike. If you've been here before, then you may have hiked some of them yourself. These gems in the Boreal have much to offer those who love the outdoors and in many cases, there is a wonderful reward along the way or at the end of the trail. The promise of a waterfall or a freshwater lake for swimming is always just around the next corner. Trails also make for great birding opportunities or if you're lucky, the chance to photograph wildlife. These authentic hiking experiences are a part of what makes Sunset Country so special. 

These small waterfalls are a wonder to see

The bottom line is any chance you get to experience the wonders of the Boreal forest you should take. It's a life changing experience and will leave you in awe of nature and its wonders.

About Gerry Cariou

Gerry is Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country Travel Association and is an avid fisherman and nature photographer. Gerry has been writing about Sunset Country's varied travel experiences for over 20 years and lives these experiences year-round in Kenora, Ontario.

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