In Manitoba, you'll find a goose sanctuary at Whiteshell Provincial Park. Gull Harbour's Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, on Lake Winnipeg, has a wildlife-viewing tower; the Grassy Narrows Marsh there is home to a wide variety of waterfowl. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded at Riding Mountain National Park. And many varieties stop near Churchill on their annual migrations.
In Saskatchewan, Moose Mountain Provincial Park is home to many waterfowl and songbirds, including the magnificent blue heron and the red-tailed hawk. As you may expect, Prince Albert National Park has a wide variety of bird life; the highlight is an enormous colony of white pelicans at Lavallee Lake. Finally, the Wascana Centre in the middle of downtown Regina is a wide expanse of urban marshland where over 60 bird species have been sighted.
In Manitoba, the best places to canoe are Riding Mountain National Park, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, Atikaki Provincial Park (on the Bloodvein River), and the chain of lakes around Flin Flon, which is right on the border between the two provinces.
Saskatchewan is one of the world's great wilderness canoe areas. Half of the province is covered by forest, and one-eighth is water. The Precambrian Shield in northern Saskatchewan provides the setting for an adventurer's paradise. Prince Albert National Park has some fine canoeing, and plenty of other northern water routes offer a challenge to both novice and expert. Some 55 canoe routes have been mapped, traversing terrain that hasn't changed since the era of explorers and fur traders. You can get to all but three of the routes by road. Various outfitters will supply tents, camping equipment, and canoes; look after your car; and transport you to your trip's starting point. Most are in either Flin Flon, in the remote northwest, or Lac La Ronge, 400km (249 miles) north of Saskatoon.
Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, near La Ronge, Saskatchewan (tel. 877/511-2726 or 306/635-4420; www.churchillrivercanoe.com), offers a selection of packages. Canoes and kayaks rent for C$40 to C$60 per day, or they can outfit you for a multiday wilderness expedition. You can also rent cabins from C$45 per person per day, with a C$125 to C$225 per-cabin daily minimum. The Canoe Ski Discovery Company (tel. 306/653-5693; www.canoeski.com) offers several canoeing and cross-country skiing wilderness eco-tours in Prince Albert National Park, in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, and along the Churchill and Saskatchewan rivers. The trips last 2 to 12 days. Prince Albert National Park canoe packages include 2-day, 1-night trips from C$375 per person, to 4-day, 3-night excursions for C$850, and are led by qualified eco-interpreters. For additional information on canoeing in the province, contact Tourism Saskatchewan (tel. 877/237-2273 or 306/787-9600; www.sasktourism.com) or Canoe Saskatchewan (www.canoesaskatchewan.rkc.ca).
The same clear, cold northern lakes that draw experienced paddlers hold out the chance of catching walleye, northern pike, four species of trout, and arctic grayling. Licenses are required in both provinces.
Since Manitoba has strong catch-and-release and barbless-hook programs, the number of trophy fish is high. The province is also known as one of the best places in Canada to hook a monster channel catfish, particularly along the Red and Bloodvein rivers. Good fishing abounds in Whiteshell and Duck Mountain provincial parks, the lake chains around the Pas and Flin Flon, and in fly-in areas up north. For a selection of outfitters, visit the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association website (www.mloa.com).
In Saskatchewan, La Ronge, Wollaston, and Reindeer are just a few of the lakes so densely inhabited by northern pike and walleye that you can practically pluck them from the clear waters. More than 300 northern outfitters -- both fly-in and drive-in camps -- offer equipment, accommodations, and experienced guides to take you to the best fishing spots. Rates for packages vary -- commonly in the range of C$1,400 to C$3,800 per person per week, including transportation, meals, boat, guide, and accommodations. Contact the Saskatchewan Outfitters Association (tel. 306/763-5434; www.soa.ca). A motorboat rental will cost about C$120 to C$250 per day, and guide services run about C$100 to C$250 per day.
Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park is a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts, who may be able to spot moose, coyote, wolf, lynx, black bear, beaver, and more -- even a bison herd. Grass River Provincial Park is home to moose and woodland caribou. Churchill, in the far northern part of the province, is a fantastic place for viewing polar bears. During the summer, you can use Churchill as a base for day trips to see beluga whales in the mouth of the Churchill River.
In Saskatchewan, Prince Albert National Park is the place to be; you'll be able to spot and photograph moose, elk, caribou, bison, black bears, and more. It'll come as no surprise that moose live in Moose Mountain Provincial Park, where their neighbors include deer, elk, beaver, muskrat, and coyote. You can also spot adorable black-tailed prairie dogs in Grasslands National Park.
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.