Breathe in the scent of cedar and pine. Hear the water rushing down the Black River. Kick back in your very own teepee on an island in the middle of the river.
The 180-acre Black River Wilderness Park, 90 minutes north of Toronto, stretches alongside the river and offers scores of different campsites. Stay in a yurt, teepee or cabin or your own tent or RV. And immerse yourself in the culture and history of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
Stop by the fully stocked Trading Post to pick up a sandwich and a pair of moccasins then take a workshop to learn how Indigenous crafts are made. Find out how to build a teepee, learn to drum or create jewelry. Take a medicine walk and learn about the importance of the Eastern white pine.
Visitors can join an interpretative walk along 10 kilometres of trails accessible by three bridges across the river, says Robert Furlonger, a general manager with the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
“People can sit in teaching circles within a large teepee in the main grounds and we’ll talk with them about the Seven Grandfather teachings, about love and respect and all of those truths, and explain the history behind them and the significance of what these teachings means to native culture,” says Furlonger.
“The intent is to bring Rama culture within the park itself, and get back to what we call ‘re-Earthing,’ which is basically getting back to being one with the Earth.”