Boot Lake Park is a 5-minute walk from downtown. It is a day-use park popular for hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, canoeing, and picnicking in the summer. During the winter, after the snow has fallen, the trail and lake become snowshoe and cross-country ski destinations. The park has two gentle recreational walking trails. One is the 10km (6.2-mile) Boot Lake Trail, made up of boardwalk and dirt trail. Footbridges protect the sensitive ecosystem, which is home to wild flowers, waterfowl, and arctic spruce trees. The other hike is Jimmy Adams Peace Trail, which is Inuvik's contribution to the Trans-Canada Trail. The 12 km (7.4 mile) Jimmy Adams Trail follows the shores of Boot Lake and leads to viewpoints, footbridges, and lookouts of the wetlands, the town of Inuvik, and the east channel of the Mackenzie River. Like many areas in the NWT, the northern lights can be enjoyed from Boot Lake during the winter months.
If you visit Boot Lake in the summer, you may want to visit Inuvik Rentals (8 Reliance St.; tel. 867/678-0013; www.inuvikrentals.com) for the appropriate gear: They rent bikes for C$15 a day, canoes for C$25 a day, and small motorized boats for C$99 to C$119 a day. Weekly rates are also available. (They accept Visa and MasterCard.)
Golfing north of the Arctic Circle is growing in popularity. The End of the Road Golf Course is at the junction of Airport Road and Franklin Avenue (tel. 867/678-0083). They advertise having a 9-hole course, but as of 2010, only 3 holes and a driving range were in place. It's open June to August daily 3 to 9pm. The signs advising golfers to watch out for bears is a reminder of how far North you are.
At the End of the Road Music Festival, you can grab a lawn chair and listen to music while bathed in the midnight sun. The highly anticipated 3-day festival is organized by the town of Inuvik (tel. 867/777-8600; www.inuvik.ca) and is held on the second or third week of August at Jim Koe Park in the heart of Inuvik. There are also shows at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex just a couple of blocks away. The festival showcases music ranging from fiddlers to punk rockers. Check www.inuvik.ca for dates.
The Great Northern Arts Festival (tel. 867/777-8638; www.gnaf.org) offers visitors the rare opportunity to watch and take part in drum dancing, carving, and aboriginal craft making. For 10 days in mid-July, the festival features up to 60 visual artists and 40 performing artists from all three territories and as far as Greenland and Alaska. The festival celebrates the artistic traditions of the Inuit, Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, Dene, and Métis. Beware: This is prime mosquito season, so pack lots of repellent and a bug jacket.
The Muskrat Jamboree (firstname.lastname@example.org) takes place the last weekend in March and marks the long-awaited return of spring. The volunteer-run carnival unites people after the long, dark days of winter. The weekend kicks off with a free community feast at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex (95 Gwich'in Rd.; tel. 867/777-8640), followed by a weekend of tea-boiling contests (participants race to build a fire and bring a campfire kettle of water to a rumbling boil), muskrat skinning, harpoon throwing, and dog-team races. Dress warmly: Spring by Western Arctic standards still means -22°F (-30°C).
Up North Tours (tel. 867/678-0510; www.upnorthtours.ca) operates out of the Nova Inn (288 Mackenzie Rd.). One of the most popular tours is the Tuktoyaktuk Delta Cruise. You travel by boat up the East Channel of the Mackenzie River along the Arctic Coast, stopping in Tuktoyaktuk. After a guided tour of the community, you fly back to Inuvik for a very different perspective of the Mackenzie Delta. The 6-hour tour is C$499, with discounts for online bookings. There are also tours of Herschel Island and Dempster Highway, and fishing trips.
Arctic Adventure Tours (which operates out of Arctic Chalet cabins) is also known as White Huskey Tours (tel. 867/777-3535; www.whitehuskies.com). They also offer tours to Tuktoyaktuk, Herschel Island, and the Dempster Highway in the summer. In the winter, experience the thrill of dog sledding by day or by moonlight, or both. Other winter tours include reindeer viewing, driving the Mackenzie ice road, and aurora watching. Owners and operators Judi and Olav Falsnes will also customize tours. See the website for pricing of individual tours.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.