Fun Day Hiking on the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami — Trek Report

Ever since we went hiking up Rib Mountain on the Ottawa-Temiskaming Highland Trail a few years ago, we’d been dying to go see more of Temagami‘s backcountry. So last spring, we decided it was time to explore the White Bear Forest Trails. Based at Finlayson Point Provincial Park for the weekend, it was easy to combine a fishing trip with some day hiking to see stands of old growth pine trees.

A broken boardwalk across a beaver pond seen while hiking the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami.

Our first night at the campground, we were treated to a fantastic sunset over Lake Temagami. Afterwards, we spent a relaxing evening enjoying the fresh air by the campfire.

Sunset over Lake Temagami.

The next day was a fishing day for Marc, and I meant to do a bit of hiking by myself. The Ontario Parks website lists several trails available at Finlayson Point Park, but it turns out these are actually the White Bear Forest Trails, to which there is access across the road from the park entrance.

A marsh in the White Bear Forest.

Nevertheless, we still found time to stretch our legs. Since it was the end of May and the park was relatively empty, we donned our inline skates and navigated our way through the park roads.

A log cabin by a beaver pond in Temagami's White Bear Forest.

What excited us most, though, were the White Bear Forest Trails located nearby. With approximately 25 kilometres of looping trails, there was more than enough to keep us happily hiking for a day.

Following one of the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami.

Plus, since I’m a bit of a history buff and a committed greeniac, it was deeply thrilling to walk in the world’s sixth largest remaining stand of old-growth white pine forest. 1 Since Temagami is well-known for opposing logging projects that threaten old growth trees and ancient forests, it’s worth learning more by reading Ontario's Old Growth Forests by Michael Henry and Peter Quinby.

Lady slipper seen on the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami.

It was the perfect time of year to spot early wild flowers, and of course, the old growth pine trees we saw along the White Bear Forest Trails were hugely impressive.

A tall pine tree reaching for the sky along the White Bear Forest Trails.

Our plan was to follow a series of trails to the end of the stacked loops, coming out on Cassels Lake. We began at John’s Trail, but unless things have changed since last year, we wouldn’t recommend the same to anyone else. The trail was so overgrown, we spent about 45 minutes battling branches and brush.

Update: A member of Temagami’s Old Growth Trails Partnership has reached out to let me know that maintenance was performed on John’s Trail after we hiked it. It’s all clear now!

White Bear Forest Trails - Temagami - P1050575

When we emerged on a road at the Red Fox Trail junction, we realized that we could have driven to this point and began our hike from a scenic beaver pond.

View from a cabin that stands next to a beaver pond along the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami.

We learned something while we were there. A man involved with the maintenance of the White Bear Forest Trails informed us that blue plastic is placed at the base of trees with nests in them, so otters can’t raid them and eat the eggs.

Blue plastic covers the base of some trees in a marsh.

Red Fox Trail was easy to follow, and we soon gained the Link and Cross Trail.

Along the Red Fox Trail in Temagami.

We connected onto the Beaver Trail, which had several scenic lookout spots.

Scenic view from a lookout point along one of Temagami's White Bear Forest Trails.

Then we turned onto the Peregrine Trail finally to reach the lakeshore.

Waterside scenery seen while hiking Temagami's White Bear Forest Trails.

We’d arranged to be picked up by boat, since we still had to drive back home that day and wouldn’t otherwise have time to hike back. That’s ok, since it means there are plenty of White Bear Forest Trails left to hike the next time we’re in Temagami (smiley face).

View from the lakeshore seen along the White Bear Forest Trails.

More Info on Hiking the White Bear Forest Trails

  1. Ancient Forest Exploration and Research
  2. Nastawgan Trails
  3. Finlayson Point Provincial Park
  4. Temagami Information


2 Thoughts on “Fun Day Hiking on the White Bear Forest Trails in Temagami

  1. Hi Julie! Thanks for the tip on John’s Trail. The White Bear Forest Trails and the Temagami Island Trails are maintained by Temagami’s Old Growth Trails Partnership. The group includes representatives from a number of community, municipal, and First Nation organizations. I represent the Friends of Temagami in the partnership. We have a trail maintenance day coming up this weekend (June 4, 2016). Hopefully we will get a chance to fix up John’s Trail.

    Ancient Forest Exploration & Research and Friends of Temagami recently completed a similar maintenance trip to the Blueberry Lake Eco-Trails (off Cassels Lake east of the town of Temagami).

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for reading! What a great organization to be involved with — don’t work too hard on your trail maintenance day (winky face). The Blueberry Lake Eco-Trails look like a lot of fun, too. We’ll have to check those out next time we’re in the area!