Linked to the Hudson Bay, James Bay straddles the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in a region five hours northwest of Toronto. The surrounding area, called the James Bay Frontier, spreads across nearly half of Ontario and is loaded with bear, moose, beavers, herons and other wild critters. Many rivers branch off from the bay, with plenty of typical outdoorsy activities like hiking, canoeing, kayaking and fishing, plus museums, shopping and tours.
This is a popular vacation region, so lodging is abundant and well-priced. Accommodations range from chain hotels and B&Bs to remote cabins. Kenogaming Lake Lodge (705-894-2022 in summer, 705-894-2206 in winter) is in a fishing and hunting area called Gogama. Costs start at $145 (U.S.) per person for a three-night stay over a weekend and includes lodging, meals, use of a motorboat and bait. You also could rent a houseboat on the bay through Abitibi River Houseboat Expeditions (705-272-5155, www.abitibihouseboats.com; from $950 for three nights mid-week) of Cochrane, Ontario. In Timmins, there's a Travelodge (800-578-7878, www.travelodge.com) with rooms for $65.
For the car trip , you're looking at around 1,100 miles each way from Washington. If you head north into Pennsylvania and New York, Niagara Falls is approximately the midway point.
Info: James Bay Frontier Travel Association, 800-461-3766, www.jamesbayfrontier.com.
Could you recommend some travel companies that do active outdoor tours with inn-to-inn accommodations?
When paddling down a river or plodding along a trail for a week, sleeping in a tent can seem painfully unappealing. Inn-to-inn travel allows you to travel from Point A to Point B and have a comfortable place to sleep.
Many outlets provide such trips. A few include Sierra Club Outings (415-977-5522, www.sierraclub.org/outings), which arranges more than 350 trips annually. Among those are dozens that specify lodge or B&B stays, such as a four-night cycling trip through California wine country in September ($995 per person double) or hiking and rafting in Washington's North Cascades for six nights in August ($1,185 per person double). Both include meals and lodging.
Another company is Backroads (800-462-2848, www.backroads.com), whose trips include a six-night, multi-sport jaunt through Utah's Bryce and Zion national parks and the Grand Canyon. Cost starts at $1,998 per person double and includes most meals. Also consider World Outdoors (800-488-8483, www.theworldoutdoors.com), with inn-to-inn-style trips in the United States and abroad. Stay at a rainforest cottage, in a lagoon-side cabin and at a jungle lodge during an eight-night hiking/horseback riding/kayaking/snorkeling trip to Costa Rica in December. From $2,595 per person double, including lodging, meals, activities and ground transportation.
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