Hiking in White Lake Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

White Lake Provincial Park is situated on White Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the region. It is reputed to be great for swimming and fishing for walleye and northern pike. It also features three hiking trails that weave through wetlands and the surrounding boreal forest.

After spending the morning in Pukaskwa National Park, we arrived at White Lake in the early afternoon. The park was surprisingly pretty quiet and there weren’t too many people in the campground. We drove to the day-use area at the main beach to eat a late lunch.

We then went to hike along the Deer Lake Trail (2.5km, rated easy), which winds through the boreal forest, along the shore of Deer Lake and circles a beaver marsh.

Near the trailhead there’s a scenic lookout and viewing platform overlooking Deer Lake, but there was another couple there so we figured we could hit this up afterwards since the trail forms a loop.

The trail consists of two interconnecting loops, a small loop (1.5km) that leads to a viewing platform overlooking the beaver marsh, and a longer loop (2.5km) that encompasses the small loop and weaves around the marsh. We opted for the longer loop.

The trail is well-signed with a combination of 13 numbered posts and signs with a hiker symbol with an arrow to point you in the right direction. There are a few boardwalk sections and a lot of rolling hills through the forest.

Along the way there are lots of great viewpoints of Dear Lake and the beaver marsh. There are also a few benches to enjoy the views and catch your breath.

Towards the end of the trail, we walked by the amphitheatre. We never did return to the scenic lookout at the start of the trail as we figured we had pretty decent views of the lake from the trail anyway. While there are a couple of other trails in the park, we headed out as we still had quite a bit of driving to get to Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Along the drive, we stopped at the Winnie the Pooh Memorial in White River, which is just north of White Lake. Winnie, the black bear that inspired the iconic children’s stories Winnie-the-Pooh, was born in White River, Ontario. In fact, if you see a black bear in the region, there’s a good chance that it’s genetically related to Winnie.

When Winnie was a cub, she was purchased by Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. He named her Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. When Colebourn learned he would be shipped to France, he decided to settle Winnie into the London Zoo. It was here that A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin encountered Winnie. Christopher Robin ended up naming his teddy bear after Winnie, which became the inspiration for Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

We then hopped back in the car and continued our drive along Lake Superior.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

70 thoughts on “Hiking in White Lake Provincial Park

  1. Thattamma C.G Menon says:

    So great travels 🌷👌🙏 so wonderful park paradise 👍🏻😍the lake water around grasses , sky,
    Walking two side’s also trees and Children’s favourite Vinnie the Pooh marvellous photo with
    Story ,so inspiring view 😍👍🏻♥️ thank you for sharing this wonderful photography with story 🌷🙏🌷

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. White Lake was a lovely spot to stop for a couple of hours to eat some lunch and stretch our legs. It was neat to learn more about Winnie the Pooh and its connection with White River, Ontario. Thanks for reading. Linda

  2. wetanddustyroads says:

    Great, it seems this trail has a bit of everything … boardwalks, gravel pathways, a beach and lookout views! Ah, I’m glad you showed us Winnie’s Memorial – my favourite bedtime story when I was a child (and I still like to page through my old books from time to time) 😊. Thank you for reminding me of the history of how Winnie became popular!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For a short trail, it sure contains a lot of nice viewpoints and winds through a variety of different habitats. Even the forest looked enchanting with all the moss growing along the path. It was neat to learn more about Winnie and her connection with this area. Maybe the bear we saw at Pukaskwa National Park was a relative!?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh and had no idea that the real Winnie was born right here in White River, Ontario until a couple of years ago. The memorial was a great way to learn more about Winnie’s early days and connection with the area. It’s crazy to think someone could just buy a bear back then!

  3. kagould17 says:

    Looks like a pretty place to hike. So nice to see such clear lakes as opposed to our prairie pothole lakes here. I love the marshy areas. You always hope you will see a moose in places like that. Good to know a bit more about Winnie as well. Have a great week. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We seem to have no shortage of crystal clear lakes in Ontario. It’s also nice that we have a lot of sandy beaches, which is always great for swimming. Marshy areas are among some of my favourite spots to hike, except in the spring when the bugs have taken over. That was one of the huge benefits of visiting Northern Ontario in the fall was that we didn’t have to deal with any of those pesky mosquitoes or flies. We have actually seen a moose once while on the trail, and of course it happened to be in a marshy area. Take care. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I love how some of the parks have a unique design for their park entrance sign. The one for White Lake was very cute with the big fish. It was neat to learn about how this area was the birthplace of Winnie and the history of his early days. It was wild how someone could just buy a black bear back then as a pet.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The first time we visited Northern Ontario we completely missed the Winnie the Pooh memorial, even though it’s located right along the highway. I’m glad we returned to check it out. I actually had no idea that Winnie was born right here in White River, Ontario. It was neat to learn more about his connection with the area.

  4. John says:

    Winnie! My kids loved him when they were babies! Those huge fish might grab you and pull you down when swimming in that huge lake, gaaah! 😂 There is a White Lake and Deer Lake where I grew up in Michigan. Cool! 🇨🇦❤️

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh, but never actually knew that the real Winnie’s birthplace was right here in White River, Ontario. That is one of my biggest fears while swimming, that something will grab me and pull me under, so thanks for that!! Haha. It’s funny how there’s many places and lakes that have common names. Now I’m curious as to what White Lake and Deer Lake in Michigan are like!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The first time we drove along Lake Superior we missed the Winnie the Pooh Memorial completely, even though it’s located right beside the highway. I’m glad we returned as it was neat to read more the history of the real Winnie and his connection with the area.

  5. Ab says:

    That beach looks so lovely right now. We are one day closer to this kind of weather again.

    Pikes are quite massive and I’ve seen my cousin catch one before. It’s quite the thrill to catch them I imagine!

    Loved seeing that Winnie the Pooh sign at White River. We stopped there for lunch two summers ago on our way back from Thunder Bay. T had a great time playing in that playground for a bit before we headed back onto the road.

    Can’t wait to see your Lake Superior park recap.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve never really understood the thrill of fishing, probably because I’ve never tried it before, but also the thought of touching a fish as it’s slithering around just doesn’t seem appealing!

      The Winnie the Pooh memorial is super adorable. It’s also nice that many of these roadside attractions and viewpoints along the drive have picnic facilities. Lake Superior Provincial Park is up next. It’s such a great park. All the parks in Northern Ontario are awesome!

      • Ab says:

        I’m not much of a fisher as well but it’s an activity my cousins family enjoy whenever we have outings so I’ve absorbed it over the years. I’ve never caught anything bigger than a sunfish. 😊😆

        Look forward to your next post!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        It sounds like fishing is a good activity to bring your family together and at least it’s a good excuse to be out on the water in the summer. It sounds much more appealing than ice fishing!

  6. Bama says:

    The reflection of the clouds and the blue skies is just so beautiful. I also love how the sun reaches the forest undergrowth making the colors right above the ground pop. I had no idea that Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a real bear cub called Winnie that was named after Winnipeg! That is an interesting background story of this famous cartoon character loved by people around the world.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a lovely day to be out on the trail. It’s amazing how the sun can make such a big difference in terms of how the lake appears and how it can really bring out the colours of the landscape. I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh and it was neat to learn more about the backstory of the real Winnie. It’s crazy to think how someone could just buy a black bear.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We had fabulous weather for being out on the trail and just enjoying the typical Northern Ontario landscape. Spending time in nature is always a peaceful experience. Enjoy the rest of your day. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to make a few detours during a road trip, especially to take advantage of the nice weather. White Lake was a lovely spot to hike and explore. The Winnie the Pooh memorial was super cute and a fun way to learn more about the real Winnie’s connection to the area.

  7. thehungrytravellers.blog says:

    Another great walk….Milne lived in an area of south east England known as the Ashdown Forest, and all of the Winnie The Pooh stories are based on actual places around the village of Hartfield. You can relive the stories by walking around that beautiful area – I used to live nearby and it’s beautiful. A must for any Winnie The Pooh fan!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve seen some of Christopher Robin’s stuffed animals that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stores on display in the New York Public Library. That would be neat to see the places in Hartfield that are mentioned in stories too. Sounds like it would be a fun scavenger hunt!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Right!?! It seems like such a niche market and also, what do you even do with a pet bear?! It was neat to learn more about Winnie’s backstory though and how he was born right here in Ontario.

  8. Cool Esse says:

    That’s so cool, never would have guessed Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a Canadian Black Bear lol. I love learning about people’s inspiration for things 🙂 Awesome photos as usual 📸 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Even though I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh, I had no idea that the real Winnie was Canadian either and that he was born right here in Ontario. It was neat to learn more about the history of where the real Winnie came from.

  9. leightontravels says:

    The shot of the clouds in the water is a real keeper, and how clear that water is! Absolutely love the Winnie the Pooh story, which I hadn’t been familiar with. I’d only down about The London Zoo part.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s pretty amazing how we have such an abundance of crystal clear lakes here in Ontario. It makes for some great opportunities for swimming, canoeing, and hiking. The Winnie the Pooh memorial was a great place to learn more about the real Winnie’s early days before he ended up in the London Zoo. It’s also neat to think about how the black bears in this area could be relatives of the famous Winnie.

  10. Lookoom says:

    Haha, it’s always fun to come across the story of Winnie the Pooh, it’s so amazing that it’s based on a true story, plus so connected to the history of its time.

  11. BrittnyLee says:

    I never knew that about Winnie the Pooh ! That’s so cool 😎. Great post. Also the photo with the clouds reflecting in the marsh water is beautiful ❤️ great photos

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh but had no idea that the real bear that inspired the stories was born right here in Ontario. It was neat to learn more about the early days of Winnie and his connection to the area.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Yeah that’s exciting. I used to read them too when I was little. Aw Christopher Robin and Winnie’s friendship is one I’ll always cherish. I travel with a little teddy bear named Bearbee. He’s a teddy bear given to me from a close friend. He is adorned with a bee suit, wings and all. He’s the cutest little bear. He’s the teddy bear in my icon photo. I take him everywhere with me 🤣😆 and I’m 31 haha

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s very sweet. I still have one of my first stuffies from when I was a kid. I just couldn’t bear the thought of ever giving it away or donating it. It’s funny how much of an attachment we can make with a stuffed animal from our childhood. I love that it’s still a part of your life now.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Haha thank you so much. 🥺🙂 I never know how people will react when I tell them my age and my love for Bearbee haha. I’m so glad you understand and still have yours from your childhood. It is interesting how we feel so connected to something from our childhoods, isn’t it ? I think, for me at least, Bearbee is a beacon, almost like a safe lifeline in this crazy world. Things are changing so fast for everyone all the time. Bearbee stays as does my Billow boo, another bud of mine. I love that you still have your stuffy. Awww!! I love when people call them stuffies. I don’t know why but I think the name is so cute haha 🤣 . It’s probably because I’m American and our names for things are incredibly boring . It’s ok, you can agree 👍💯 haha. I hope you’re having a great week so far . Keep inspiring. I really am enjoying your site 🙂

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Agreed, it’s nice to have a constant in our lives with everything changing. Whenever I see my stuffie from my childhood, which is named Squeaky (it’s a stuffed bunny), it brings back memories of when I was younger. It’s funny to think how our problems as people changes so drastically as we get older. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your week as well. Take care.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Aw Squeaky !!! Stop ! That’s too precious 💕💕💕 . It is nice to have a constant. Adults need security just like children do. I often find that working with the children I work with, I’ve learned so much about myself and what works for me and what doesn’t. I have an old soul but a young brain so much of what brought me comfort as a kid, I can use now as an adult. Aka ( my teddy bear ) haha. I think adults, myself included overthink what is “ok” to use as a coping device haha. I really am enjoying our back and forths. I’m so glad I came across your blog. You take care as well my friend . May I ask your name ? If you’re not comfortable that is ok.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        It is pretty amazing how much we can learn about ourselves from interacting with children. I also know how much of an influence we can have on them, especially at a young age, and that’s always something to be mindful of. I’m not surprised that you’re an old soul, especially given your love for writing and poetry. I’m glad our paths have crossed. Take care. Linda

      • BrittnyLee says:

        It’s very true. My clients always make me learn important lessons in how to speak and approach difficult situations. They really make me a better person. 🙂 Thank you so much Linda . I am glad we met, too 🙂

Leave a Reply