Canoe Canada – The Bloodvein/Details


The Bloodvein: A Rich Seam Of Nature

Canoe on the Bloodvein River

The Bloodvein passes through pristine boreal forest.

The Frontier Bushcraft Bloodvein River expedition is a two-week voyage through pristine boreal wilderness.

This trip requires insertion by float plane to a remote starting point in the far west of Ontario, Canada.

When the float plane takes off and its drone finally subsides as it disappears into the distance, we will be on our own.

The silence around us will mark the beginning of a remarkable journey.

After canoeing to view the fascinating rock art in the area of Artery Lake, we will head west, cross the Ontario-Manitoba border and descend the Bloodvein River towards Winnipeg.

View of northern coniferous forest from the window of a Beaver floatplane

Travel into the start of the Bloodvein expedition is by float plane. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Red ochre and sturgeon fat rock art

The Bloodvein Bison is part of a highly important rock art site in the Artery Lake area. Photo: Ray Goodwin.

The Bloodvein: A True Wilderness Canoe Journey

The journey involves paddling a wild and remote route, covering 225km of river with over 100 sets of rapids, all through wonderful boreal wilderness.

Topographical map of part of the Bloodvein river expedition

The Bloodvein follows a wild and remote 225km route through forested wilderness. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

We will make considered use of a combination of careful running, lining, lift-overs and portaging to take us and our canoes safely through this wild land.

Running rapids on the Bloodvein


Lining a canoe on the Bloodvein River


Portaging on the Bloodvein River.


In addition to the full application of a wide range of expedition canoeing techniques, there will be ample opportunity to employ your campcraft skills each day. There are also many interesting trees and plants to learn about in the area, opportunity for good fishing and the potential for some amazing wildlife viewing.

This trip is a wilderness canoe expedition in the truest sense and there are fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities.

Bald eagle in a tree

A bald eagle, perched like a sentinel overlooking the Bloodvein river. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Beaver swimming

Beaver in a creek feeding the Bloodvein. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

During this time you will have the opportunity to employ and hone your canoeing and bushcraft skills under the guidance of legendary canoe coach and guide, Ray Goodwin and renowned wilderness bushcraft instructor, Paul Kirtley.

To minimise impact on the environment, to maintain travelling efficency and to keep the sense of isolation around us, we have opted for a small group size. Therefore, spaces on this trip are limited to only 6 people.

Suitability: The trip is certainly suitable for those who have or are working towards BCU 3-star open canoe or equivalent. That said, this is just a standard measure of experience/capability and it is the experience and capability which are more important than a piece of paper. Hence, we are always happy to discuss your experience. If you are interested in joining us on this trip, please pick up the phone or drop us an email. Paul or Ray will be more than happy to chat with you. All our contact details are here.

Canoe on the Bloodvein river

The Bloodvein River expedition is a two-week journey through real wilderness.

More Information on The Bloodvein River Expedition

For dates, pricing and more information on how to reserve one of the 6 places available on the next trip, please click here.

All food, canoeing equipment, ground transfers, float plane flights and accommodation is included.

You can obtain a detailed view of what this trip involves by reading Paul's article about the 2014 trip here.

For more images from previous trips please check out the Bloodvein River Expedition photo gallery

You can also explore the region through which the Bloodvein flows with our interactive map.

Man paddling canoe in misty morning conditions with sun starting to burn through

An atmospheric early-morning paddle on the Bloodvein. Photo: Ray Goodwin.

Booking the Bloodvein River Expedition

To reserve your place, please see the following page for more details: Bloodvein River Expedition dates and pricing.