Moose River Crossing to Moosonee
Departs: Cochrane, Ont.
Distance: 75 km.
5 days / 4 nights
Skill Level: Beginner
Day 1Day 1 starts in Cochrane, at the O.N.R. train station, where you meet your guide, Rick, approximately one hour before the Polar Bear Express departs for Moosonee. He will help you sort out your river gear, storing most of it in waterproof bags prepped to go. You should have had a bit of breakfast, of course, before you board the Polar Bear Express for a nine o’clock departure. The Express will head for the James Bay Lowlands and your destination of Moose River Crossing some 230 kilometres away. After 3 hours of crossing dozens of rivers and streams and enjoying the view of the remote wilderness, the train will come to a gradual halt. Your guide will scramble to get the canoes and river gear off the train. At last, after months of waiting, you will arrive at the Moose River and your four day river excursion will begin. The canoes and gear will be carried the short distance down to the water. You will receive instruction and participate in basic canoeing skills and then will paddle down river a touch (yes folks...it’s down river) to set up your camp. You will paddle in the immediate area exploring the Gypsum Caves, sharpening your paddling skills in the process. You will also visit the Cree burial site along the river to pay your respects. You will learn about the history of Moose River Crossing...the Cree who lived in this area...their beliefs and customs. After a hearty supper, you may around the campfire enjoying the view of the Moose River...trade stories...thoughts...or just find a quite corner to relax, read or even mark the day’s events in your journal. (It’s your vacation...please treat it as so).
Day 2-3All days start with a nutritional breakfast, followed by a quick briefing on what to expect on the water that day, along with information on where you will be setting up camp later. The next three days on the water will be spent moving your way slowly and safely down river. There will be plenty of breaks along the way with ample time for small shore snacks, consisting of dried fruits, vegetables, granola bars, homemade muffins, and cookies, along with lots of liquid to keep your energy up till your 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, at the end of each day, be rested to enjoy your 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. You’ll see the mouth of the Abitibi River as it roars into the Moose, along with the French River and dozens of smaller rivers that also feed the Moose. The river is laced with all shapes and sizes of scenic islands, most with names, and all with character. You will camp on sandbars or ends of islands. Each location has plenty of firewood and excellent spots to swim or wash (just an option… it’s your vacation). After days of river travel you will start to begin to feel the Moose’s pulse, be in awe of the sunsets, for they are second to none, and late at night, when the Northern Lights appear, you’ll be guaranteed a pristine, majestic dance, for they are performing for the mighty Moose and the spirits of all those who have passed before you.