Missinaibi: Journey to the Northern Sky


134 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55046-436-1
DDC 797.1'22'09713142





Reviewed by Peter Harmathy

Peter Harmathy teaches fine arts in Victoria, B.C.


Hap Wilson has been a wilderness guide and canoeist for more than years.
He is also a photographer, an artist, and the author of several books,
including Temagami Canoe Routes and Canoeing and Hiking Wild Muskoka.
His articles, maps, illustrations, and photographs have appeared in
numerous U.S. and Canadian magazines.

These four canoe-trip guides follow a general format: Section 1 covers
the history of the region and describes the landscape. Section 2 focuses
on “things you should know” before embarking on your trip (e.g.,
safety, equipment, technique). Section 3 provides detailed river
descriptions and detailed maps, with enlargements of the areas where
there are rapids. Wilson also describes hiking trails and the best
viewpoints, and includes countless trip anecdotes for information and
pleasure. Section 4 contains afternotes.

Every canoeist planning a trip to Temagami (a pristine 4000-square-mile
wilderness area in central Ontario), the Missinaibi River (which runs
from Lake Superior to the arctic waters of James Bay), the Ottawa River
and its tributaries (notable for their whitewater rapids), or northern
Manitoba (Canadian Shield country containing more than 100,000 lakes and
rivers) would be wise to pack the appropriate Hap Wilson guide. Not only
does it provide invaluable maps and notes, but its engaging text
(supported by Wilson’s superb pen-and-ink drawings) makes for
enjoyable reading. Countless photographs by Wilson and his companions
add to the books’ aesthetic and descriptive quality. Whether you are
an experienced or beginner paddler, seriously planning or just dreaming,
these books are for you.


Wilson, Hap., “Missinaibi: Journey to the Northern Sky,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14704.