Those planning canoe trips in northern Saskatchewan must prepare to meet a variety-filled
wilderness environment. With few exceptions, the country is forested. The waters vary in
character from rockbound lakes to teacoloured sloughs, meandering rivers, sweeping
marshlands and boiling rapids. The general relief is low; shores are covered with alder,
willow, tamarack and water-loving plants. On higher ground poplar, birch, spruce, fir and
jack-pine occur. Rocky shores and numerous islands typify the ancient mineral-rich
Precambrian lake country. Sandy or marshy conditions with fewer islands and less rock
predominate in the geologically younger area south of the Precambrian Shield.
Muskrat, beaver, mink and otter inhabit the thousands of kilometres of shoreline. Deer,
bear, moose and, in some areas, woodland caribou visit the shore to drink and feed. A
variety of loon, grebe, other waterfowl and shore birds are certain to be seen during the
course of an extended wilderness canoe trip. The bald eagle nests in northern
Saskatchewan and on some routes it is not unusual to see a pair circling their nest.