Our company’s philosophy and approach can be defined as heart-felt. Those of us responsible for Canoe North Adventures believe in adventures that are genuine, life-altering personal journeys.

Each canoe or hiking expedition is designed to ensure people have a larger-than-expectation experience.  Canoe North Adventures embraces a successful system for managing safety and logistics in the wilderness. This system has been developed over the last twenty years refined over time to ensure that each person becomes a better paddler or hiker by the end of the expedition. We are dedicated to bringing delight, fun and an incredible spirit of adventure to all of our expeditions. Our aim is to offer expeditions full of shared events that generate satisfying memories and amazing stories of the simple, inspirational moments of life spent in a canoe on a river or counting joyful footsteps on a wilderness trail.

Adventure Philosophy

Canoe North Adventures combines a high level of professionalism and a deep respect with a significant knowledge and understanding for the northern regions we travel.

Canoe North Adventures combines a high level of professionalism with significant knowledge and understanding for the northern regions we travel.

  • Our dedication to safety and reliability is backed by our diligence in embracing best practices demonstrated in the outdoor tourism sector.
  • Our flexible approach to combining trip participants based on interest and skill levels has ensured a solid track record of well-run trips based on successful logistics, heartfelt delivery of service to clients and significant comradery between clients.
  • Our knowledge and understanding of our clients and the canoeing opportunities in the northern regions combines to produce significant repeat business. Currently, one in three people return for more than one trip and one in four people return for more than two trips. A large number of clients have completed multi-trips with us.
  • Our reputation as a company that cares deeply about our clients is demonstrated by the number of our clients that continue to be friends and supporters.
  • Our expertise ensures the safe delivery of a significant wilderness experience with paddlers feeling well-cared for and at home in the wilderness.
  • Our aim on any canoe trip is to have clients finish their trip with the feeling of wishing it could have gone on forever, to have a huge amount of fun and to have built friendships for life.
  • Our greatest strength is our ability to get things done, to make things happen, to pay attention to detail, to take on big projects, to find ways around obstacles and to do this with respect, dignity, humour and fairness.
  • Our dedication is to giving back to others, showing people that we care, seeing how people, places and things fit together, letting people know they are doing a good job and to do this with enthusiasm, grace and good nature.

Raising the Bar

Since 1987, Canoe North Adventures has been pushing the boundaries of adventure tourism. The following are just a handful of the many ways CNA is raising the bar to create truly meaningful wilderness experiences for our clients.

Personalized Approach

Canoe North Adventures is a family-owned company, operated by Lin Ward, and Al and Taylor Pace. Canoe North Adventures offers 15 to 20 guided canoe expeditions each summer on more than a dozen northern rivers. From their home/office base in Ontario and their summer Outfitting Centre in Norman Wells, NWT, they are able to provide exceptional hands-on personalized care for each of their tripping clients. Many of their expedition bookings are made a full year in advance and their impressive 50% rate of returning clients indicates a high degree of customer satisfaction.

Lodge B&B and Outfitting Centre 

The Canoe North Adventures Lodge B&B and Outfitting Centre is unlike any other canoeing facility in northern Canada. It serves as a canoeing resource and training centre and as a full-service Lodge B&B with accommodation and meals. The handsome timber-frame and log structure was expertly handcrafted by the Canoe North Adventures guide team. It is strategically located in Norman Wells, NWT at the North-Wright Air Float Base because of the close proximity to the glorious rivers of the Mackenzie Mountains in the Sahtu Region.  With this world-class facility, Canoe North Adventure is the only guiding company that provides outstanding personalized  service from the moment your plane lands in Norman Wells to begin your trip until the moment you depart for home having experienced your trip of a lifetime.

Northwest Territories Specialists

At Canoe North Adventures, we specialize in canoeing a select number of remote, world-class wilderness rivers accessed through the Sahtu Region, NWT like the Snake, Natla, Keele, Horton and Mountain; the Coppermine; the Nahanni and Broken Skull; and, the Yukon Rivers. Our commitment is to only explore rivers that are remote and less travelled. Recently, we have discovered exciting new river possibilities like the Ravensthroat and Redstone River that are truly wild and untouched.  With such a specialized approach, you can rest assured we are the local experts. No other guiding company knows the Sahtu rivers as intimately as we do.

Food! – Glorious Food!

Our healthy, fresh-food menu has evolved over 30 years of wilderness tripping. With virtually no portages on a majority of our river trips, we have the luxury of including fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses and frozen meats carried in special cooler-packs. Imagine barbecuing freshly-thawed striploin steaks on Day 8 – that’s ridiculous!  At Canoe North Adventures, our trippers can be involved in food preparation teams and this adds an air of friendly competition among the group. Our trippers are also invited to each bring and prepare a surprise hors d’oeuvres or secret dessert for the entire group. This unique Canoe North Adventures tradition continues to bring personality, originality and sometimes “shock and awe” to every evening meal. With all of the amazing recipes our trippers contribute, we just know there is a spectacular Canoe North Adventures Cookbook in the not-too-distant future!

Special Dietary Needs

We can easily adapt our menu to accommodate dietary restrictions or specific food allergies. We consult all of our trippers about food preferences prior to finalizing our expedition menu.

Guide Ratio

To provide the highest quality experience in a safe and nurturing environment our guide to client ratio ranges between 1:3 and 1:5 depending on the river trip and the experience level of the canoe trippers. Canoe North Adventures has developed a highly effective on-the-water management system which is unique in the guiding industry. Your expert guides are eager and available to review maps, refine paddling and river-reading techniques, share their intimate knowledge of local flora and fauna and to share tricks of the trade when setting up camp.

Detailed Logistical Planning

Embarking on any wilderness journey invites a certain level of uncertainty. Even the best laid plans can be affected by severe weather, cold temperatures or an unexpected illness so it is important to have an effective “Plan B”. At Canoe North Adventures, we maintain the highest level of attention to every logistical detail. We carry Iridium Satellite Phones on every expedition and make regular calls to our Base Manager at our Outfitting Centre. By maintaining regular contact, the trip leaders can be advised of severe weather alerts, forest fire updates, extreme fluctuations of water levels or changes to charter flight scheduling.

Environmental Philosophy

Canoe North Adventures supports environmentally responsible tourism and supports conservation efforts in the regions we travel. Our efforts can be summarized in our Environmental Philosophy:

We practice no trace camping on all of our northern trips. We camp on durable surfaces. Once we leave a campsite, other than footprints, nothing is left behind and there is no trace that we have been there. We are very careful to leave no food traces on any campsite and we pack out our garbage. We pack out garbage left behind by others. We leave any artifacts undisturbed.

In our marketing, we communicate the opportunities for wildlife viewing on river trips and allow respectful viewing so as not to disrupt animal nests, sites, dens or feeding areas.

If we encounter other people on our wilderness trip, we treat them with respect and consideration.

We have a great deal of respect for local indigenous culture and are respectful when meeting in local communities. We embrace the involvement of indigenous people through interpretive presentations and activities that will grow our understanding of the indigenous culture and its significance to the region.

Canoe North Adventures supports environmentally responsible tourism and supports conservation efforts in the regions we travel.