We’ve set the 2018 dates for our annual whitewater/canoeing clinic at Cabin Falls. Learn whitewater skills, expedition travelling and survival, and more. This is a great primer to get you prepared to tackle any river. Limited space!
Yes! It’s that time of the year again, when all the paddling and outdoor explorers gather for one spectacular weekend of presentations, demonstrations, as well as Canada’s largest showcase of outdoor gear and adventure travel experiences, all at the Toronto – OAS 2016.
Hap and Andrea wait out a storm while out mapping the route for the TCT
This year, look for Hap and Andrea at their NEW Cabin Falls Ecolodge booth, where there will also be books and other Hap Wilson works available. Plus, be sure to catch Hap at the Paddler’s Pavilion, where he will be presenting this year’s topic: TEMAGAMI.
Plus, receive a discount off the cost of your admission ticket to the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show when you print out the coupon image (see coupon image below) or purchase your tickets online using the promo code: HAPWILSON
OAS 2016 Show Info Show Hours
Friday, February 19, 2016, 11am – 8pm
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 10am – 6pm
Sunday, February 21, 2016, 10am – 5pm
Admission: (Don’t forget the coupon or online promo code above!)
Youths 12 – 17: $12
Seniors 60+: $12
Weekend Pass: $18
Children 11 & under are free
For more information, or to purchase your tickets online, see: http://outdooradventureshow.ca/toronto/show-info/
(Note: The image here shows a hapwilson.com watermark for posting online but is not part of the actual “Dawn Portage” print.)
A short note from Hap:
Many thanks for your interest in my artwork… it was inspired by the over 100 trips down the Lady Evelyn, sometimes at dusk and sometimes at the breaking of the day…always beautiful, always different. Each print is signed and numbered: please let me know if you want the print “personalized” and to what address the prints are to be shipped to. Thank You!
Instructions for Purchasing Limited Edition Prints:
HST: Please add $7.80 for one-print | $6.50 for each additional $50.00 print
Note: Present available payment options include Paypal invoicing, INTERAC e-Transfer (email money transfers), personal cheques or money orders at the present time. Please email info(@)eskakwa.ca or make your cheque or money order out to Hap Wilson. Mailing address: 1141 Crawford St. Rosseau, ON, Canada, P0C 1J0 For more information email: info(@)eskakwa.ca or call:705-732-8254
Please find your general location below and add the corresponding shipping cost to your purchase total. Thank you!
GTA area: $12.00 (express post, 2-days)
All other Ontario: $14.00 (express post 2-3 days)
East coast: $18. Reg. or $22.50 express
West coast: $16. Reg. or $19.00 express
$10.00 regular mail (7-10 days) or $19.00 with tracking (6-7 days)
Other Available LIMITED EDITION PRINTS and BOOKS
“The Skier” limited edition print: reg. $120 on sale for $100.00
As many of you are aware, Hap has countless talents, skills and accomplishments under his belt, and thus is known to wear many “hats”. However there is one hat he wears rather proudly above the rest – the one of “Poppa”. And he has a lot to be proud of! Take for instance the recent and very impressive accomplishment of his two children, Chris and Alexa…
Chris, only 14 and 1/2 yrs old, and Alexa, who just turned 13, have been travelling the route to their Temagami home (Cabin Falls) together before they could even crawl – always with the guidance of their father to get them to their backwoods lodging and destination.
However, they undoubtedly impressed their Poppa and Mum just this past week when they spontaneously requested permission to paddle the 30 km route upstream on the Lady Evelyn, and back to the car from the cabin – without guidance.
With a just a 2.5 hr. headstart, they had to portage/line and hump canoe and gear around 15 portages, rapids, chutes and falls… Oh yes….AND stop to pick a litre of blueberries along the way!
Amazingly, Hap and Andrea caught up with them only 5 km short of the end.
As Hap tells it, “the headwind was fierce and they were ‘bone-tired’ but in all – very proud parents and a job well done!”
Yes, a job well done indeed! No wonder “Poppa” is so proud!
Note: Chris is a skilled wilderness canoe tripper and has done independent trips before this, however this is Chris and Alexa’s first “Beat The Parents To The Car” Trip together.
Not long before the season started this year, Hap and Andrea were approached by their friends at Badger Paddles and Portageur.ca to help with an intriguing contest idea.
There has never been a greater need for society to unplug and reconnect all at the same time. The Paddle In The Park Contest was created to remind people of the many rewards of getting outside, from our health and well being, to supporting our parks and wild places. What better way to do this than with a chance to find a handcrafted Badger® paddle, hidden somewhere in parks across Ontario?
So, with the hope to encourage more people to get “Out There”, Hap and Andrea decided to join the Paddle In The Park Contest crew to help promote spending time in the wilderness (parks and conservation areas as well as remote locations) by way of hiding a paddle in the Temagami area and also by providing prizes for the contest winners.
You see, Hap and his beautiful Andrea have not only contributed their time to finding a good place to hide a paddle, but have also provided prints of The Skier and signed copies of Hap’s book “Grey Owl and Me” to the Paddle In The Park Contest prize packages (which also include gear and SWAG from Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Portageur.ca, and more).
So to explain it all in more detail, Hap Wilson is joining two other paddle hiders by individually hiding 6 canoe paddles at different dates in undisclosed locations (along the portage trails) around 3 different canoeing areas in Ontario (Algonquin, Temagami, and Killarney) and who ever finds them while on trip – gets to keep them!
As an incentive for recording the found paddles with the Paddle In The Park Contest organizers, they have also compiled a number of backend prizes that the paddle finders will receive once they have contacted contest officials to let them know they have, indeed, found a paddle. Hopefully with pictures and a good story to share with the rest of us too.
Plus, to help make more people aware of the rewards of getting “Out There”, they have also gathered a bunch of prizes to give away to those who are following along back at home or who are too far away to find a paddle themselves. You can enter the home version of the Paddle In The Park Contest here: Enter Draw.
The contest runs until September 15th or until all the paddles are found – which ever comes first.
Paddle In The Park Contest:
There are 6 (six) Badger® Canoe Paddles hidden along the portage trails in Algonquin, Temagami and Killarney areas
• Clues to their specific location will be offered throughout the summer, becoming increasingly specific
• The contest will also include draws to take place each time a paddle is found
• Once you find a paddle, contact us and we’ll send you the rest of the prize package
• Prizes, besides the hidden paddles, include signed books by authors Hap Wilson, and others along with prizes provided by Portageur.ca, Jeff’s Map, North Water, Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Keyak, Hooligan Gear and more!
Visit the Paddle In The Park Contest website for prizes and other information:
But this is not just about finding paddles. In fact, the folks at the Paddle In The Park Contest put together 9+1 Rewards and Reasonsto spend time in nature every day this summer by composing a list that includes benefits for your heath, relationships, sleep and brain function.
Since at least 1947, there was a footbridge on site along a challenging section on the Centre Falls trail in Temagami (now part of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park). That changed in 2003 when the MNR removed the footbridge for liability and budgetary reasons. The path that must now be used predates the bridge but includes a very difficult and steep climb up and down the small ravine.
A direct message from Hap Wilson on the removal of the Centre Falls Footbridge in Temagami:
“When I was a park ranger in Temagami back in 1978, one of my first jobs was to rebuild the footbridge at Centre Falls (then Lady Evelyn Waterway Park – pre Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Wilderness Park).
The old bridge, built in the early 1960’s by a dozen Junior Rangers and two foremen over a 2-week period, spanned the sixty-foot ravine beside the falls. I had a crew of four and we rebuilt the bridge in five-days in early May. Tar and rolled asphalt helped preserve the joints.
The bridge was still in good shape well into the new century; however, the MNR removed the bridge for liability reasons a few years ago, even though the couple of planks that had deteriorated could easily have been replaced.
It is a very difficult lift or drop through the ravine without the bridge. When the MNR took down the bridge they left all the spike-laced debris in clear site instead of dragging it back into the bush; when we built the bridge we made sure the old take-down material was cleared away.
If you think this iconic footbridge should be rebuilt again, let me know…I’ve seen a lot of trippers struggle through this dangerous cut in the rocks.”
“We stood at a long, sloping bedrock terrace; before us, riverside, was a neatly trimmed, brown log cabin, and set below the cabin, overlooking the falls, was a quaint canopied gazebo. And elderly man was waving us over. Excited to know more about this haven in the midst of rock and pine, miles from anywhere, we complied and met the man on the deck with a barrage of questions. He welcomed us by pouring freshly brewed cofe in real ceramic mugs.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin, (upon viewing this wilderness cabin paradise for the very first time as a young lad)
Located on the first falls south of Katherine (Divide) Lake on the Lady Evelyn River (now the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park), the Cabin Falls is Canada’s most unique wilderness eco-lodge retreat.
Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.
Original 1931 picture from the Cabin Journal.
Built in the early ’30’s, with this cabin (as one can imagine) the building and reparations of, are no easy task as all materials and supplies have to be flown in from Temagami, paddled down river (through two rapids with canoes lashed together) and portaged twice, sometimes three times.
Lumber and all other supplies have to be flown and paddled in.
Canoes lashed together with Andrea helping to steer the load.
Over 100 Beaver aircraft flights have been made to bring in lumber – almost all it milled in Muskoka from local timber mills cutting on private land (not Temagami!). In fact, much of the material was salvaged from construction sites or old buildings being torn down. Almost all work is done by hand tools only – from skinning logs with a draw-knife to paddling in propane fridge. Solar powered since 2000 and soon to have its own hydro-power by way of non-intrusive pelton turbine, this eco-retreat is a paradise of mind as well.
Propane fridge being brought in by canoe with Hap in the stern.
Andrea skins the logs with a draw knife in the summer heat of 2012.
The old deck (circa 1931) being torn apart and replaced (2012).
“… I felt that I would, someday, become conjoined with this wonderful place at the falls; call it premonition or gut feeling, the seed was planted for a new adventure that was sure to unfold sometime in the future.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin, (upon visiting Cabin Falls for the very first time as a young lad)
Originally built by two American brothers as their own personal wilderness nirvana, Hap now has been taking client trips up to Cabin Falls EcoLodge for over twenty years; welcoming mostly executive and family groups, as well as photographers, writers and artists to a memorable wilderness eco-retreat. All fly-in by floatplane from Temagami but other visitors may include canoeists who are passing through and in need of shelter on trip as Hap always leaves a little cabin (away from the main structure) open for trippers in need.
Hap at work making things comfortable around the cabin.
But the history of the cabin’s custodians have not always been peaceful perfection. Besides the fact that one of the original owners, Newcolm, chopped his wife up with an axe and slit his own throat with a razor at their home in 1934; at one time there were many who saw Cabin Falls and it’s occupants as a threat to their destructive economic ideals and single-minded industry.
“We woke up the next morning to a smoke-filled cabin. It was so thick outside that we couldn’t see across the river, less than fifty yards away. …”They’re trying to burn you out!” he announced. … “Elk Lakers — two of them — they were boasting about it in the local bar last night and someone overheard them,” Dawson expained, saying nothing more and returning to the post office. Shit. So, they actually did it, the bastards. They burned out the park, just like they said they would.” ~ Hap Wilson, The Cabin
To learn more about Cabin Falls, it’s history and it’s soul; read the book The Cabin – A Search For Personal Sanctuary, written and illustrated by Hap Wilson or visit for yourself!