The Ultimate Lake Of The Woods Outdoor Adventure Guide
Lake of the Woods is a world-class outdoors destination located in the heart of the continent. The city of Kenora is easy to access on the Trans-Canada Highway, between Thunder Bay, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The region is also within a day’s drive of the Midwestern United States, including Minneapolis.
You’ll find great canoe tripping, kayaking and camping, idyllic cottage and houseboat rentals, and fantastic fishing in the crystal-clear waters and among the countless islands of Lake of the Woods, an iconic part of Northwestern Ontario’s Sunset Country. Kenora is your gateway to Lake of the Woods, Rushing River Provincial Park, Canada’s Great Trail, Blue Lake Provincial Park and so much more.
We’ve created the ultimate guide to help you plan your Lake of the Woods outdoor adventure.
Things to do
The Lake of the Woods area is undoubtedly a canoe tripping paradise. You can choose to paddle the sprawling waters of Lake of the Woods itself, or disappear into the surrounding backcountry that offers no end of route options on rivers and smaller lakes. Camp on Canadian Shield campsites, gaze up at skies filled with more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life, and enjoy the true seclusion this area offers in abundance.
Want to know more? Find more details in the articles below.
- The Best Places to Rent a Canoe in Lake of the Woods – Top Outfitters
- Canoe Routes in Lake of the Woods: 13 Must-Do Canoe Trips
Lake of the Woods hiking trails
It’s no surprise that Kenora, a city perched on the edge of the Canadian wilderness, boasts an abundance of hiking trails for all-season use. The 8-km Rat Portage Urban Trail runs right through town, including boardwalks and footpaths through wooded areas, combining nature with Lake of the Woods waterfront and shopping and dining areas.
Wass’Say’Gaa’Boo, also known as the Tunnel Island Trail, celebrates the region’s Indigenous heritage. The 5-km Rabbit Lake Trail system is accessible to everyone. And the Mink Bay Trail passes through wilderness wetlands that come alive with frogs and songbirds in the spring. You’ll also find great hiking at nearby outdoor destinations, including the town of Minaki, Rushing River Provincial Park and Blue Lake Provincial Park.
Lake of the Woods fishing
Kenora is a renowned Canadian fishing destination, with great opportunities to land trophy walleye, muskie, northern pike and sturgeon on Lake of the Woods, as well as excellent smallmouth bass and lake trout fishing on other bodies of water. With so much water to explore, you’re best to tap into the local knowledge of guides, lodges and outfitters if angling is the prime objective of your Lake of the Woods vacation. Visit Sunset Country provides a comprehensive list of fishing opportunities in Northwestern Ontario.
Canoe trippers and campers have great opportunities to supplement their menu with fresh fish; be sure to pack your fishing rod, tackle, spices and cookware to prepare shore lunches and fish dinners.
To fish in the Lake of the Woods area you are required to have a valid Ontario fishing license (information for Canadian residents and non-residents) and must adhere to regional fishing regulations. The FishingBooker blog provides a great general resource for angling success on Lake of the Woods, and an overview of fishing opportunities in various waterways is available on Fish ON-Line.
Places to visit in Kenora
There’s plenty to see and do in Kenora, including cultural events like Indigenous pow-wows, swimming at Lake of the Woods public beaches, historic attractions like the Lake of the Woods Museum and Kenora Railroaders Museum, and interactive exhibits at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre.
Make sure you grab a selfie at local landmarks including Husky the Muskie, the Loonie Bear and the Tugboat at McLeod Park.
Where to stay
When it comes to Lake of the Woods accommodations, there are a range of options from rustic to luxurious that will allow you to base your stay close to the amazing outdoor activities the area has to offer.
Lake of the Woods camping
From frontcountry campgrounds that have both tent and fully serviced RV sites, to glamping opportunities in cozy canvas tents or log tiny homes, to backcountry campsites, you’ll find it all in Lake of the Woods. Camping is both an affordable option that will allow you to spend more on the other activities that have drawn you to the area, and a draw itself for those looking to venture into the backcountry.
Find more information on the camping options available below.
- Camping in Lake of the Woods: 12 Breathtaking Campsites
Lake of the Woods cabins & cottages
Why rough it when you can have all the comforts of home, nestled in a breathtakingly beautiful location? The Lake of the Woods area has ample cabin and cottage rentals (including some houseboats, for a truly unique experience), making for a great family getaway, a romantic escape or simply a place to base your stay as you enjoy everything else the area has to offer.
Find our picks of the best rentals below.
- 21 Best Cottage & Cabin Rentals in Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods resorts & lodges
Whether you’re looking for a Lake of the Woods fishing lodge or an all-inclusive Ontario wilderness resort, you’ll be more than pleased with the options in the Lake of the Woods area. our best bet is to peruse the Accommodation Finder tool on the Visit Sunset Country website. But here are some of the best.
Crow Rock Lodge
Located at the north end of Lake of the Woods, this boat-in lodge makes for the perfect angling getaway. You can choose whether to fish the main lake, or walk into eight remote lakes where you’ll be the only one fishing. You’ll also have the choice between staying at the main lodge or on a private island.
- Website: www.crowrock.com
- Address: Meet your boat shuttle at the Second Street dock, 201 Main Street South, Kenora
- Phone: 1-800-547-3474
Fletcher Lake Lodge
This full-service fly-in fishing lodge is located 50 air miles north of Kenora on Fletcher Lake, part of a chain of lakes that form the south flowing Sturgeon River. Stay in comfortable lakefront cabins and choose between the American Plan (meals included) or Housekeeping Package (no meals, but can cook in the kitchen in your cabin). You’ll be able to fish the pristine waters that have a history of producing trophy fish.
- Website: www.fletcherlake.com
- Address: Meet your bushplane shuttle at Kenora’s harbor front
- Phone: 807-224-3400 (summer); 218-386-1538 (winter)
Dogtooth Lake Resort
Stay in spacious, fully equipped cabins on beautiful Dogtooth Lake, with access to connecting Kilvert Lake for even more fishing opportunities. You can also choose to stay at the outpost in a more secluded location on the lake. This is a drive-in resort, located 15 miles from Kenora.
Ash Rapids Lodge
Ash Rapids Lodge is located on Lake of the Woods and can be reached by boat or float plane. Rent lakeside cabins with the option to explore in your own way, on your own time, or to purchase the American Plan (fully guided fishing, cabin cleaning, all meals from their restaurant).
Lake of the Woods weather
Kenora is known as the heart of Sunset Country for good reason. The Lake of the Woods region boasts a moderate climate, with comfortable temperatures, modest humidity and plenty of sunshine. An abundance of freshwater lakes (not to mention the vast watery horizon of Lake of the Woods) means you can find a cooling breeze on even the hottest days.
Given Lake of the Woods’ northern latitude, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall tend to be brief transition periods. May temperatures average 16 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit), average June through August daytime highs range up to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), and September temperatures average 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) with cooler nighttime lows.
Lake of the Woods map
Pick up a nautical chart if you’re going boating on Lake of the Woods. Topographical maps are preferred for smaller bodies of water, especially for canoe trippers. Map Town and World of Maps are good sources for online shoppers.
Contact Green Adventures in Kenora for Lake of the Woods canoe route maps, including detailed topographic maps for inland canoe routes and charts for exploring the big water of Lake of the Woods. Local guides at Green Adventures can help you customize your canoe route map with campsites, portages and scenic attractions.
The Path of the Paddle Association produces a canoe trip planning map for The Great Trail, which stretches through northwestern Ontario’s Sunset Country from Vermillion Bay to Rushing River Provincial Park to Lake of the Woods to Kenora and to Minaki before crossing the Manitoba border. It’s your best resource for planning an epic long-distance canoe expedition or exploring the scenic highlights of the Path of the Paddle water trail. Interactive digital maps are also available.
Plan your Lake of the Woods adventure. | Photo courtesy of: Destination Ontario
Published at Wed, 10 Mar 2021 20:40:52 +0000