This sprawling nickel-mining town is practically the end of the road in Manitoba—only the tiny village of Gillam and Churchill lie farther north. For those seeking genuine wilderness fishing, hunting, camping or paddling, Thompson makes a natural starting point. Manitoba's Department of Conservation (phone 204-945-6784, can provide water-route maps, but your best bet for wilderness exploration is to hire one of the province's outfitters or guides.

Hunters and anglers can choose from a number of wilderness camps and lodges. Some, such as South Indian Lake's Big Sand Lake Lodge, are run by aboriginal bands, who know intimately the area's tangle of lakes and rivers. Before starting on your outdoor adventure, visit the Heritage North Museum to see its exhibits on mining and trapping, including a handmade birch-bark canoe. 440 mi/708 km north of Winnipeg.

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