Moose River Crossing to Moosonee
Package A

Departs: Cochrane, Ont.
Distance: 75 km
8 days / 7 nights
Skill Level: Beginner (Guided by Howling Wolf Expeditions)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1-2

You had flown into Timmins the day before and would have met your guide, who had picked you up at the airport, and driven you to Cochrane (1 hour approximately) to your luxurious room at the Swan Castle Inn. You would have discussed the trip with him and he would have already picked up your river gear, stored it in waterproof bags prepped to go. After a relaxing evening and a solid nightís rest you meet your guide at the train station, have breakfast and board the Polar Bear Express for a nine oíclock departure. The Polar Bear Express heads for the James Bay Lowlands and your destination, Moose River Crossing, some 230 kilometres away. After 3 hours of crossing dozens of rivers, streams and enjoying the view of the remote wilderness, the train comes to a gradual halt. Your guide scrambles to get the canoes and river gear off the train. At last, after months of waiting, you have arrived at the Moose River and your river excursion truly begins. The canoes and the gear are carried the short distance below to the water. Then you receive instructions, demonstrations and participate in basic canoeing skills, before paddling down river a touch (yes folks...itís down river) to set up camp. Once set up, itís back to the canoes to paddle and explore the nearby Gypsum Caves, sharpening our paddling skills in the process. You will also visit the Cree burial site along the river and pay your respects. You will learn about the history of Moose River Crossing, the Cree who lived in this area and their beliefs and customs. After a hearty supper you can sit around the campfire enjoying the scenery and trading stories and thoughts or just find a quite corner alone to relax, read or even mark the dayís events in your journal. (Itís your vacation...please treat it as such.)

Day 3-4-5

All days start with a nutritional breakfast, a quick briefing of what to expect on the water that day, plus in which area you will later be setting up camp. The next three days on the water will be spent just moving slowly and safely down river. There will be plenty of breaks and ample time for small shore snacks of dried fruits, vegetables, granola bars, homemade muffins, cookies, along with a lot of liquids to keep your energy up till our next campsite and main meal. H.W.E. has designed their trips (length of paddling time each day) to a minimum, so you can enjoy your experience to the maximum and yet be suitably rested at the end of the day to enjoy each campsite to the fullest. As you work your way down river you will be treated to sightings of eagles, geese, hawks and even the odd moose or bear. Youíll see the mouth of the Abitibi River as it roars into the Moose, plus the French River and dozens of smaller rivers that also feed the Moose. The river is laced with islands of all shapes and sizes, most having been named and having a distinct character. You will camp on a sandbar or coast of an island. Not only will you discover its scenery but you will find plenty of firewood and excellent spots to swim or wash. After days of river travel you will begin to feel itís pulse, be in awe of the sunsets for they are second to none and, late at night, when the Northern Lights appear youíll be guaranteed a majestic dance, for they are performing for the mighty Moose and the spirits of all those who have passed before you.

Day 6-7-8

You paddle the home stretch into the historic Cree villages of Moose Factory and Moosonee. Water taxis buzz everywhere, most doing the water shuttle from Moosonee to Moose Factory Island. You feel proud of your paddling accomplishment as you set foot on the shore of Moosonee; however you also feel sadness that your paddling experience on the Moose has come to an end. Your sadness is short lived once you step inside the beautiful Cree Village Ecolodge, located in Moose Factory, surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian sub-arctic, your home for the next two nights. From this environmentally advanced facility you will be able to explore these two historic communities and visit the churches, gravesites, and, of course, the Hudson Bay Post. At the end of the day you return to the comforts of the Ecolodge and indulge in their modern version of Cree inspired meals, served daily in the comfort of the Shaapuhtuwaan restaurant. Footprints in the ceramic tiles portray some of the animalsí home to this area. You will be treated to a Cree guided boat tour by freighter canoe (awesome...the way to travel) from the mouth of the Moose River to the salt waters of James Bay and beach on Shipsandís Bird Sanctuary, where you can photograph the wildlife and tidal marine fauna. Your guide will stop at various points to explain tidal progression, ancient travel marks used by navigation, unique land marks and, of course, the history of the James Bay area. That evening you board the Polar Bear to return to Cochrane. On your way back H.W.E. guarantees that, when the train slows to a crawl over the Moose River Bridge Crossing, you will stare out the window at the majestic river below, and visualize yourself paddling down it...This is when all your precious memories will begin.

(A) Package
8 days / 7 nights
$1,800.00 Cdn.
Pick up / Return Timmins airport
Shuttle to Cochrane / Return Timmins
4 days on the water which includes,
guiding, equipment, meals
2 night stay at the Cree Village Ecolodge
James Bay boat Excursion (Cree guide)
Train fare / passenger, canoes / to/from Moosonee

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