Fort Edmonton This Weekend!

July 21st, 2015


This weekend at Fort Edmonton Park, Teresa is pleased to be going to the Lads on the River weekend! She will be available for one-on-one chats about the York boat expedition she captained, and if you’d like her to sign your book, she’d be happy to!

You’ll find her at the “Ask an Expert” table all day, and if you can, try to come by 1:00 pm, so you can see the York boat arriving on the river! It’s pretty neat, if we may say so, to see Yorkmen pulling on the oars, and the steersman making his/her moves to angle the boat in!

We’d love to see you there!

One more thing: we’ve had quite a few people ask about the paddling guide for the Peace River. It is available here, at GeoTourism Canada’s website, but if you have additional questions, feel free to send us an email!

Canoe tent in Grouard-sm

We are excited to announce that Flow North will be operating out of a new base this summer! We will be located in beautiful Grouard, Alberta, on the western end of the Lesser Slave Lake.

Grouard is about 33 km from High Prairie; go west on Hwy 2 and then turn at Hwy 750, when you see the large blue signs for Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park. From Edmonton, head North to Slave Lake, then drive West on Hwy 2 for about 100 km and watch for the large blue sign.

After driving on Hwy 750 for about 15 km, you’ll see the lake and drive across a low-level bridge across the channel.

Our base will be at Ferguson’s Market, a large blue metal building on the right side of the highway as you approach Grouard, less than a kilometre after the bridge.

We’ll be offering canoe and kayak rentals as before (all safety equipment included) but we are also working hard on offering half-day trips on the York boat! We have some details to work out, but for now we can say:
– the tours will start from the bridge and go into Buffalo Bay
– the morning tour will run from 10 AM – 1 PM
– the afternoon tour will go from 2 – 5 PM
– the boat can also be reserved for whole day tours if desired.
– the boat can accommodate a maximum of 7 rowers (adults and large teenagers) and 3 children, but tours can run with a minimum of 4 rowers.

Check back on our website for more details as we fill them in. Please note that as a result of this move, we will not be offering canoe rentals or parties in the High Level area.

Grouard Area paddling map

2012 in Review

December 31st, 2012


Happy New Year! As we look back on 2012, we wanted to share some things that we’re very pleased about and some things we are looking forward to in 2013.

York Boat Expedition

Crew of the York Boat Expedition on Peace River, Canada
Hooray for another successful York Boat expedition! Along with Jae Penner of Peace Valley Woodcraft and everyone at GeoTourism Canada, we are so pleased with how the trip went this year. Stay tuned for plans for 2013! We are working with all the partners and past crew members to formulate the best plan for offering both long and short trips on the boat. It is such an amazing experience, we are looking forward to sharing it with more people. If you are interested in being a partner, please contact us without delay!

Canoe Camps

We once again offered several successful canoe camps, including a very special one for the students of the tiny country school, Dr. Mary Jackson School. The students and principal were such a joy to work with! Thanks so much for making that canoe camp so rewarding! This canoe camp was actually “Paddle the Peace Junior” (read more about Paddle the Peace below).

Memorable Trips

The three-day trip with the Junior Forest Rangers of Sustainable Resources Development was once again, a very memorable trip. We thoroughly appreciated each young man’s positive attitude and the excellent leadership displayed by the two staff, Mike and Rob. You guys are such great examples (and also very cool)! 🙂

Paddle the Peace

We once again partnered with the County of Northern Lights, Northern Sunrise County, the Town of Peace River, GeoTourism Canada, Mighty Peace Tourist Association, the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation to offer Paddle the Peace in Peace River, AB. Weather for the day was perfect and we all agreed that the August date worked better than the June date we had tried in 2011 (it was cancelled that year due to high water levels). Flow North offered canoe lessons for adults — which were completely sold-out — as well as helping with the safety briefing and other logistics on the day of the event. We’d really like to thank Teresa Tupper from the County of Northern Lights for all her hard work!


Teresa was pleased to do a 1+ hour presentation at the Peace River Museum and Archives this year. She spoke about her solo paddling, sublime experiences on the river, and how surviving a thunderstorm outdoors with no shelter changed her life. Everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her slides and storytelling.

Teresa and Cheryll also gave a presentation to two lively grade two classes from Florence Macdougall School in High Level. The kids loved seeing pictures of the York boat and touching the HBC coat, but I think what they remember most is the taste of bannock and dried moose meat they got to try!

In 2013…

As mentioned, we are working on the exact details of our York boat offerings for 2013. We know you need to plan in advance, so we’ll be releasing the plan soon!

We will once again be offering trip guiding to interested groups — please contact us well in advance so we can discuss where you would like to go and what we can do to make your trip extra-special.

We are still happy to offer our drop-off and pick-up service for those paddling long distances. 🙂 Making use of your vehicle is the most economical way, but even if we use ours, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Contact us for more info!

Best wishes for 2013 and beyond!

News for June

June 19th, 2012


Another successful York Boat trip is concluded! I am so pleased to have been a part of it again this year, and once again, it was a fantastic experience. Rowing is such a nice way to travel the Peace River and sailing is even better! Pictures to come!

If you are interested in participating in a York boat trip, you’re in luck! There are still two spots available on a three-day trip in July. Although much shorter than the one we just completed, I am sure it will prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Contact Jason at GeoTourism Canada for more details. Act now to get one of those last spots!

Canoe Lessons for Adults: Flow North will be offering some adult canoe lessons through Chinchaga Adult Learning. So far, we have a full day of lessons planned for Saturday, July 28. Lessons will run from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm and cost $50 per person. Call 780-926-5625 to sign up!

Canoe Camp for Kids: In partnership with the town of High Level, we are once again offering a two-day Canoe Camp for kids aged 10 – 15. It is a day camp (kids go home at the end of the day) which takes place at Footner Lake, with all transportation provided. Contact the town at 780-926-2201 to sign your child up for this camp. There are limited spots, so call soon!

Trips this summer: Many people ask us what trips we have planned this summer! Well, we don’t operate like other outfitters – we don’t schedule a bunch of trips and then make you plan your schedule around us. If you want to go on a trip and you have a group of 4 or more people, give us a call and we’ll talk about what you have in mind! If you have a group that is interested in just going for a day, you can also have a Canoe Party.

York Boat Expedition 2012

June 8th, 2012


The York boat expedition for 2012 is underway! Flow North is not as fully-involved as last year, but we are still very excited to see the boat in the water. GeoTourism Canada is recreating the expedition we did last year, from Fort Dunvegan to Fort Vermilion, on the Peace River. And I, Teresa (Flow North’s owner/operator) will be on it!
Because of a canoe camp we did for the Dr. Mary Jackson School from Keg River a few days ago, I couldn’t do the whole trip, but I am joining them at Notikewin Provincial Park for the second half of the trip.
This is a wonderful, unique boat! So, if you would like to come see it and chat with the crew, here are your options:
– Notikewin Provincial Park today (June 8) or tomorrow (June 9) morning
– Tompkins Landing/La Crete Ferry Campground on Monday, June 11 (aprx 3 pm on)
– Wall’s Landing on June 12, afternoon/evening (ask someone from LaCrete for directions)
– Fort Vermilion on Friday, June 15, afternoon
Sorry we can’t give more exact times for our arrivals, but it’s hard to say exactly when we will arrive and I hate to promise something we can’t deliver on.
Hope to see you there!

Note: Contact us if you are interested in having a Canoe camp (2 days of canoe lessons) for a group you lead. We are also doing some adult canoe education, open to the public: Sat, July 28 near High Level and Sat, Aug 18 in conjunction with Paddle the Peace in Peace River, AB.

Teresa was the faithful captain of the trip. She started out as manager of the project and graduated to captain. She was able to keep the crew in line (which was easy) and got to make all the big decisions (which was hard).

On Saturday, June 18th, my crew and I arrived safely in Fort Vermilion! There were a couple of hundred people there to greet us as we brought our boat to rest on that muddy shore. They’re all muddy shores it seems! 🙂 We left our campsite at Wieler’s Landing a little late, so we had to row pretty steadily for four hours to arrive on time. But hey, we’re hardened Yorkmen, so it wasn’t too tough!

The trip was absolutely amazing, and that was in large part due to the incredible crew I had! They had wonderful, positive attitudes, great senses of humour, strong initiative, keen work ethics, and were just the best damn crew a Captain could want! I have never before experienced teamwork like that, and I consider every member of the crew a member of my family now.

It wasn’t easy saying goodbye, but at least 2 of them live close by and we’ll visit often. I’ll be blogging lots more about the trip, and you’ll also be able to read about it in some magazine articles in the coming months.

NEW! York Boat Photo of the Day!

I’ve decided to share some of my photos with you, releasing one each day. Some are of the boat, some of the crew. Click for larger view. Enjoy!

Two days before the trip sets sail, Jae, Andre and Jack try on their costumes. Notice how *clean* the coats look!

Since Teresa is still on the water, I, Darren, am posting some of the latest pictures and information from the York Boat Expedition. The crew left Dunvegan, Alberta on June 1st, and they’re all set to arrive at Fort Vermilion on June 18th.

They’re having a fantastic time, being welcomed by communities and school groups all along their journey. The hospitality they’ve received has been wonderful.

You can read all about the York Boat expedition at the Geotourism Canada website, including scheduled stops.

There’s also a live progress map, a Facebook page, and a Twitter page.


York Boat Update

May 29th, 2011


Well, the York boat is on the road! The construction is complete, and we left the build site today. We just wanted to quickly update you and show you a few photos of the York boat going onto the trailer and the lake test at Ghost Reservoir! Enjoy!

Come see us at the grand opening/launch/big push off at Dunvegan Provincial Park on June 1!

Read more about the York boat here. Click for larger photo.

The York Boat project is coming along nicely, with lots of the details that need to be taken care of coming together. One of the project members recently visited the construction site at North Woods Canoe and send these pictures along. Check out the GeoTourism Canada Facebook page for updates too!

We still have a couple of spots available for the crew! Please see this page for more info and to sign up (link is at the bottom).

The York boat is being built in a temporary shed, cleverly called "the York Boat Factory."

Check out the size of that rudder! This is one BIG BOAT!

York Boat page

York Boat Expedition

March 17th, 2011


It’s official! Flow North Paddling Company is working with GeoTourism Canada to manage their York Boat Project. We have obtained copies of York boat plans created in the 1970’s from the last surviving boats. We received three quotes for York Boats and settled on Northwoods Canoe Company of Cochrane, AB, to build the boat. They have begun construction and anticipate completion in mid-May. This puts us on track for an expedition from Fort Dunvegan to Fort Vermilion — 538 km — to start around June 1.

York boats were used in the latter part of the fur trade. The Hudson’s Bay Company started building wooden boats of varying design when they began moving to inland posts, primarily due to competition from the Northwest Company. At the peak of their use, more than 200 York boats were used at once on rivers and lakes across Canada. Indeed, some say that Canada may not have become a country without the York boat. Their use allowed for more efficient transportation of furs and trade goods and helped establish a key settlement at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers (Red River Settlement, now Winnipeg). As few as five of the large York boats (13 metres long) could haul as much freight as a shipping container.

Flow North is coordinating the crew selection process. Apply using this online form, hosted on GeoTourism Canada’s website. Crew members will be selected based on:
– strength and endurance
– mental toughness
– ability to work with a team
– willingness to live as a yorkman for the duration of the trip.

Interested people must complete their application by April 4. Those who are shortlisted will be contacted to perform physical tests. People wanting to participate should have May 24 – June 18 available.

Facts about our York boat length 10.1 m (33′ 3″) width 2.4 m (8′) depth at centre 0.9 m (36″) weight (estimated) 1050 kg (2,300 lbs)

York Boats of the Hudson’s Bay Company by Dennis F. Johnson is an excellent book about York boats.

photo of York plan

Main York Boat Page