Atikokan – Selecting Your Park


The Quetico Provincial Park is the superlative canoe-expedition wilderness. Almost all human traces have been removed, crews are allowed to camp anywhere they choose and park usage is strictly limited through a rigorous permitting system. The park’s 1.2 million acres include over 600 lakes with well over 2,000 remote campsites. The Quetico is considered the finest canoe park in the world. Paddling the Quetico requires a permit ($17/adult/night and $6.50/youth/night CND- in addition to your Northern Tier fees and crews are responsible for the Interpreter’s permit fees). LEARN MORE.

Particularly adventurous crews can choose to paddle across the entirety of the Quetico from the Atikokan Base to the Sommers Canoe Base outside of Ely, Minnesota. Atikokan-to-Ely (“A-to-E” for short) trips range between 80 and 150 miles (9-10 day trip length is required), include crossing the US-Canadian border directly, and feature some of the best wilderness paddling around. If your crew is interested in an A-E, contact Northern Tier to discuss the logistics involved in a multi-base trip. On your permit application, select A-to-E as your park choice and choose Quetico entry points as a normal Quetico trip would.


Crews paddling in the Crown Lands can expect to find old trappers cabins, abandoned gold mines, and rotting logging sluices in addition to a gorgeous wilderness area. Roughly equivalent to National Forest or Bureau of Land Management regions in the United States, the Canadian Crown Lands are designed for multiple users: logging, mining, and tourism all coexist in the massive area of land owned and leased by the Canadian government (89% of Canada are the Crown Lands). A rich human history coexists within a wonderful natural area. No permits are needed for the Crown Lands; crews are limited to 11 or less participants.


Crews looking for a pure wilderness experience may prefer the Quetico, which has strict management rules that limit any human impact. However, this management and resultant solitude comes at a price – Quetico fees can be cost prohibitive (an additional $17/adult/night and $6.50/youth/night CND – crews are responsible for the Interpreter’s park camping fee).

Crews with more than 8 members must choose to travel in the Crown Lands.


If your crew chooses to travel in the Quetico, an entry point must be selected. The available entry points for the Atikokan Base crews paddling in the Quetico are listed below with a brief description. Crews must reach their entry point within the first 48 hours of entering the Quetico.

  • Sue Falls (22) – Starting very close to base, crews will have access to the full range of the northern Quetico from this entry point. Paddle the larger lakes of the West, the smaller lakes of the east, or include a bit of both in a loop. This is a terrific entry point for most crews. Sue Falls makes for a moderate A-to-E trip, allowing access to the famously beautiful Argo and Darkwater Lakes in the Southwestern Quetico.
  • Batchewaung Lake (21) – Entering at Nym Lake allows crews to head straight south into the heart of the Quetico. Sturgeon Lake, the large lake at the heart of the park is only a day and a half away from this entry point. This entry point gives crews a great deal of flexibility in choosing their route. This is the most common place to begin an A-to-E trip.