Hap Wilson’s paddling guidebook to Ontario’s Temagami region turns 47 years old this year, and to celebrate, it’s just been reprinted (and updated) for the twelfth time.

Temagami, A Wilderness Paradise has always been a leading resource for the countless routes spread out amongst the clear blue lakes, tumbling rivers and massive old growth pine of northeastern Ontario, labelled as “Deep Water Country” and considered by many as the Holy Grail of Ontario wilderness. Hap’s guidebook is the bible for it!

Courtesy of Hap Wilson

The book was spawned from Hap’s time spent paddling this area of the province between 1970 to 1976. In 1977, he took a job as a cartographer/technician/ranger for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to map out a 10,000-square-kilometre area known as the Temagami Wilderness. The first year he paddled over 3,000 kilometres working on a precise inventory with the main emphasis on waterway protection and the protection of the 5,000-year-old “Nastawgan” Indigenous canoe trails.

The first two printings sold out quickly. I still proudly own the original and it’s on display on my bookshelf. It was initially published by the Ontario government, but Hap took over the publication shortly after, and the book went through several reprints and updates. It’s now published by Firefly Books/Boston Mills Press.

Courtesy of Hap Wilson

This comprehensive guidebook details 25 of the best canoeing, kayaking and hiking routes and contains notes on the region's history, geography, archaeology, flora and fauna, as well as important outfitting, camping and safety tips.

However, this is not just a guidebook that has pointed thousands of paddlers where to explore the true wilderness. Hap’s book—in fact, all his books (14 in total)—also emphasizes us to protect this unique and precious wild area. This is truly a collector's item for all paddlers.


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