*2025* The Icebreakers Canoe Hauling Expedition!

$1,000.00$3,700.00 CAD

Dates: Mar 22 – Apr 5, 2025
Prices: $3700
Anticipated Guides: 
Both Kielyn and Dave Marrone

This is an incredibly unique and unforgettable offering.  Hauling canoes on our custom-built canoe sleds during the long and glorious days of late March and early April.  “Bobsledding” those same canoes across thin ice to launch them into open water and paddle through narrow waterways and other open stretches. Using pickaroons to carefully haul the canoes back up onto ice at the other end as it flexes under foot.  Finally, leaving the inland lakes behind and heading out into the North Channel of Lake Huron to experience the wind and waves of the “Big Water” while camping on the islands of the exposed Canadian Shield.

We suspect you won’t find an adventure quite like this one anywhere else!


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We first offered this style of trip in 2024 to accommodate poor winter conditions, and we quickly came to realize that this style of travel is incredible in it’s own right and not just as a “backup” to an early spring. Canoe hauling and transitional season travel has a rich history in Canada, from a time when the First Nations of this land lived and travelled on these waterways all year round.

We first became familiar with this style of travel reading Garrett Conover’s “Beyond the Paddle” and have been curious ever since.  But it wasn’t until Mother Nature forced us to adapt with a very mild winter in 2024 that we finally decided to go for it and build out a fleet of canoe sleds.

The trip itself, in 2024, was originally devised as a “backup” plan to a winter that ended early, but it was such an incredible experience, that we decided to offer it again in 2025!

The Route

We loved our 2024 route so much that we’re using it again this year. Starting on Highway 637, at the SE corner of Killarney Provincial Park, we did a partial circumnavigation of the park that took us along the east, north and west sides of the park.  Once on Charlton Lake, instead of completing the loop of the park, we turned west, down the Whitefish River and out to the North Channel of Lake Huron.  “The Big Water” has a much different feel and vastly different ice conditions from the interior lakes and lends an epic feel to an already epic journey! :)

Once out on the Big Water, we plan to continue to all the way to the town of Spanish on highway 17.

Timing and Weather/ Ice Conditions

This trip is planned as a transitional season, ice-out trip.  The challenge is that “ice-out” is a moving target every year, and can vary by weeks from one year to the next.  However, we feel very confident that during the time period we’ll be travelling the route, we’ll definitely encounter some “end of winter” conditions.  The route has specifically been choosen to try to give us a variety of ice and open water conditions.  There are many narrows where the ice reliably goes out quite early.  There are sections of river travel where the ice goes out early, and the big water of Lake Huron has conditions that are often much different from what the inland lakes experience.  By traveling across this wide variety of conditions we can say with what feels like 99% certainty:
We will absolutely have some ice travel on this trip, and we will absolutely have some open water paddling on this trip.  What we can’t say with certainty is what ratio of each we’ll have.  But we suspect we’ll encounter some very wintery feeling conditions with blustery and snowy days walking across vast frozen lakes, and some very spring-like conditions with sheltered-south facing lunch or camp sites that may be completely clear of snow and perfect for lounging in the long sunny days!


This is a style of travel that not a lot of people are familiar or experienced with, and as is often the case there is an inherent fear of the unknown.  And of course, the thought of pushing a canoe across thin ice towards open water, can be a little disconcerting to a lot of people!  A dry suit will be provided to every participant, and we will mandate their use on the ice the majority of the time*.  For those unfamiliar with dry suits, as the name implies, these keep you completely dry from the neck down, using integrated booties at your feet and waterproof gaskets at your wrists and neck. With appropriate clothing underneath, you can bob comfortably in the water for an extended period of time and come out completely dry.

Outwardly this can look dangerous, but this style of travel, combined with the use of drysuits, feels to me a lot safer than a lot of paddling trips undertaken without dry suits in May when the water temperature may only be a couple degrees above what we’ll experience.

Of course, there are inherent risks with any forms of wilderness travel, this trip included, but given the uniqueness of this trip, many people’s unfamiliarity with transitional season travel, we wanted to take a moment to address it!

(*In 2024 there were a couple of occasions, crossing small waterways with very reliable ice conditions, that we delayed donning drysuits.  We wore them ~ 90% of the time and anticipate similar in 2025.  Of course participants can optionally choose to wear them even when we don’t mandate them!)

Our Personal Opinion:

This thing is awesome!  We both loved this offering in 2024 and knew we had to offer it again so more people could experience it.  The route was fantastic, so we’re bringing it back again.  We think this is perfect for those that have experienced winter travel with us already, and would like to expand their horizons with another form of traditional travel. This is not a deep winter trip though.  For those looking for a more typical Canadian mid-winter camping and traveling experience, then one of our many other offerings would be better suited.

Note: This isn’t exactly our typical traditional winter camping trip, though we will be bringing canvas tents and wood stoves and using much of the same techniques, modified for the conditions of course. If you are unfamiliar with “traditional winter camping” as we practice it, and for more general information about all of our guided trips, head to this page.

Additional information


15 days, including travel time.


~ 100 km


Killarney and the surrounding crown land + the North Channel of Lake Huron!


This is an ambitious hard-travel trip. We will travel a diversity of terrain, including some long and hard portages and potentially tough hauling and/ or tough paddling! We take time to rest and recover, but some days may be long and hard. Good fitness, good preparation and a great attitude are keys to success!


Mar 22 – Apr 5, 2025

See the Video from Last Year's Adventure!


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