Plan Your Trip

Your Route to a Remote Wilderness Adventure

Welcome to Ontario

We are easily accessible by major airlines and located close to major centers, so you’ll have no problems getting here. You can fly Delta into International Falls, MN or major airlines into Winnipeg, MB. We will provide floatplane or arrange for ground transportation (at an additional cost) to Wilderness Air Escapes from the airport.

By Private Plane

By private plane, fly straight north from International Falls, MN to Dryden, Ontario (not Vermilion Bay). Dryden airport (YHD) is 45 minutes from Vermilion Bay.

For airport pick-up, simply call us at 1 807.227.5473, before leaving International Falls.

Call us Air Freq. 130.7 When you make your reservation we will ensure that you have all the information you need to find us easily.

By Road

From the Minnesota/Ontario border at International Falls, turn east on Hwy. 11 and then north on Hwy. 502 to Dryden. Turn west on Hwy. 17 to Vermilion Bay, then turn north on Hwy. 647 and, 3/4 of a mile up the road, you will find Wilderness Air Escapes . An alternate route would be to take Hwy. 71 north and then Hwy. 17 east to Vermilion Bay.

Road Mileages to Vermilion Bay
Fort Frances: 160 mi – 2.5 hrs
Duluth, MN: 320 mi – 5 hrs
Minneapolis, MN: 470 mi – 8 hrs
Milwaukee, WI: 710 mi – 12 hrs
Chicago, IL: 800 mi – 13 hrs
Des Moines, IA: 720 mi – 12 hrs

You can fly Delta into International Falls, MN or major airlines into Winnipeg, MB.

What to Pack

Nothing’s worse than looking forward to a great trip and realizing you’ve forgotten something last minute. Be sure to read through our packing lists to ensure you make the most of your adventure. Our float plane limits are below. Try to keep your rod length under six feet and group your rods into one or two rod tubes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us Toll-Free at 1 807.227.5473


Wilderness Air Escapes will make your trip as effortless and enjoyable as possible. Let us make your local taxi arrangements and/or local motel reservations, or arrange satellite phone rentals. If you are flying in commercially, we can purchase your groceries and have them ready and waiting for you. We are a full-service, customer-oriented outfitter!

We Supply:

  • Round trip air transportation to your cabin from our airbase in Vermilion Bay, ON
  • Fully equipped kitchen with all utensils and pans
  • Propane fridge, stove, solar lights, BBQ’s, fish cooker
  • Beds, mattresses, sleeping bags
  • Linens, dish towels, pillows
  • Mosquito coils
  • 14 ft. boats, 8 h.p./9.9 hp motors, fuel, boat seats
  • Cushions, paddles, minnow buckets (where applicable)
  • Pre-cut firewood
  • Check flights, satellite phones (where applicable) & lake map
  • Some Toilet paper, paper toweling
  • Life jackets, anchors, landing nets
  • Drinking water in 5 gal jugs (bring your own re-usable water bottle)

You Supply:

  • Clothing – rain gear
  • Food, beverages
  • Fishing, hunting gear
  • Fishing, hunting licenses
  • Cooler
  • Personal items
  • Bath towels
  • Do not forget your medications

Wilderness Air Escapes Packing Checklist Click to print pdf

Personal Gear

  • Medicine, aspirin
  • Cough drops
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Comb, brush
  • Wash cloth
  • Bath Towel
  • Hand/Shower Soap
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Razor, shave cream
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses, hat
  • Camera, film
  • Binoculars
  • Batteries
  • Passport, Photo id, birth certificate (for border crossing)
  • Airline ticket (if applicable)
  • Credit card, travelers checks, cash
  • Extra set car keys

Fishing Gear

  • Fishing license
  • Rain gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Fishing rods
  • Extra reels
  • Rod tubes
  • Fillet knife
  • Knife sharpener
  • Hand held GPS (optional)
  • Fish finder (optional)
  • Angler’s journal, pen
  • Tackle Box
  • Lures
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Jaw spreader
  • Spare spools
  • Fishing gloves
  • Nets

Hunting Gear

  • Hunting license from home state
  • Orange jacket or vest
  • Export Permit
  • Waterproof boots
  • Warm & waterproof clothing including gloves
  • Life jacket – float coat
  • 1 to 2 pairs of hip boots per group
  • Come-a-long
  • Rope 100 feet
  • Meat saw & hunting knife
  • Chain Saw
  • Cheese cloth (for covering meat)
  • Guns & ammo (30-06 or 3-0-8 recommended)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera & film
  • Coolers (optional) for transporting meat
  • Food and beverages for your whole trip.

*Don’t forget to include the guide when packing your food.

Visitor Faq

If the answer to your question isn’t here, just drop us a line and we’ll do everything we can to get an answer for you!

Click each question to see the answer, or download a printable PDF version of the entire FAQ.

Customs Questions

What documents/identification do I need to cross the border into Canada?

U.S. visitors – Citizens of the United States are required to provide proof of citizenship upon entry into Canada: You’ll need a valid Passport or Picture ID (usually a Driver’s License), along with proof of citizenship, such as a Birth Certificate. Visitors from the U.S. who were not born in the United States should carry their Certificate of Naturalization; permanent residents of the U.S. must also bring their “Green Card”.

Temporary residents must carry a passport and may require a visa depending on their country of citizenship. These must be original documents. Canada Customs is under no obligation to accept photocopies, or any other pieces of documentation not specifically mentioned. What sort of identification do my kids need?

U.S. visitors – Identification for each child establishing citizenship is required such as an original birth certificate or a certified copy of proof of birth location from a town hall plus one photo ID card. A passport is not required but is ideal identification. A letter of permission is required from the parents of any children accompanying travelers who do not have legal custody of the children.

Helpful links:
How to apply for a US passport
U.S. passport application (PDF)

Others – Please contact your nearest Canadian consulate or embassy to learn what documents are required. Contact information for Canadian embassies around the world can be found at the Citizen and Immigration Canada website.

How long is it going to take me to get across the border?

Wait times vary, but you can check this link that is updated every ten minutes that shows the estimated waiting time for border crossings across Canada, including the one close to us, the Fort Frances Bridge.

What amount of alcohol and cigarettes can I bring with me into Canada?

U.S. visitors – Alcohol – Those meeting the age requirements of the province or territory of entry (19 in most provinces; 18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Québec) may bring either 40 oz. of liquor or wine or 24, 12 oz. containers of beer or ale.

U.S. visitors – Tobacco – Visitors meeting the age requirements of the province or territory of entry may bring in 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 7 oz. loose tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks.

More information is listed on the Canada Border Services Agency web site.

I’m taking prescription drugs, is this a problem at the border?

If you are importing prescription drugs, make sure they are clearly identified. The drugs should be in the original packaging, with a label that specifies what they are and that they are being used under prescription. If this is not possible, carry a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor.

Can I bring my dog/cat with me?

U.S. visitors – Pets – All pets must be accompanied by their owners when entering Canada. Dogs and cats may enter Canada if accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, which clearly identifies the dogs and shows that they are currently vaccinated against rabies. This certificate should identify the animal, as in breed, color, weight, etc., plus indicate the name of the licensed rabies vaccine used (trade name), serial number and duration of validity (up to 3 years). Please note that if a validity date does not appear on the certificate, then it will be considered a one-year vaccine.

Can I bring my own fruit and vegetables with me?

Fruits and vegetables either are prohibited or require an import permit to bring into Canada. Please contact one of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Import Service Centers to determine the requirements:

Eastern ISC (Montreal) 1 800-246-3889
Central ISC (Toronto) 1 800-835-4486
Western ISC (Vancouver) 1 888-732-6222

Visiting Canada Questions

What’s the weather like in Vermilion Bay?

The Weather Network has short and long-term forecasts for Vermilion Bay. See the weather in the Vermilion Bay area today!

Is my U.S. driver’s license valid in Canada?


What is the speed limit in Canada?

Speed limits are usually posted in metric in Canada, and highway speed is generally 90 km/h or 55 miles per hour. In cities and towns, it is often 50 km/h or 30 miles per hour. Seat belts are mandatory in Canada.

What’s the metric system?

Canada uses the metric system of weights and measures. Here are some common conversions:

25 km/h 15 mph
40 km/h 25 mph
50 km/h 30 mph
60 km/h 37 mph
80 km/h 50 mph
100 km/h 60 mph
1 lb. 0.45 kilograms
1 kilogram 2.2 lbs
1 oz. 28 grams
1 gram 0.035 oz.
1 Imperial gallon 4.5 liters 1.2 USA gallon
1 liter   0.22 gallon
1 mile 1.6 kilometers
1 kilometer 0.62 miles
1 inch 2.54 centimeters
1 centimeter 0.39 inches

I have a previous impaired driving charge, can I still get into Canada?

Because of a previous impaired driving charge, you may be considered “inadmissible” – or prohibited from entering Canada. However, there are exceptions. To get the complete information, check out the Criminal Inadmissibility section of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Web site for information.

Helpful links:

I have a criminal conviction, am I allowed into Canada?
What can I do to be allowed into Canada if I have a previous criminal conviction?

Fishing Questions

I’ve booked one of your deluxe outpost cabins for a fishing trip, what do I need to bring?

We supply so much that really all you need to bring is your clothes and personal effects, fishing or hunting gear, fishing or hunting license, cooler and bath towels. We supply landing nets, anchors, garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper, bed linens, dish towels/rags, cleaning supplies, and all of your kitchen pot/pan/utensil needs. You can bring your own food and beverages, or arrange for us to purchase your groceries for you and have them ready and waiting for your arrival. Don’t forget your camera!

Download our complete food and outdoor gear packing list. (PDF)

What is the fishing season for conservation lakes?

Northern Pike (Limit 2) No Closed Season
Bass (Limit 2) No Closed Season
Trout (Limit 1) Jan. 1 to Sept. 30
Walleye (Limit 2) 3rd Sat. May – April 15
Muskie (Limit 0) 3rd Sat. June – Nov. 30

What is the difference between “conservation limit” and “catch and release” lakes?

On a conservation limit lake, you can take home the limit as listed above and fish with live bait such as minnows, leeches or worms. On catch and release lakes, you can keep enough to eat for a shorelunch (same limit as above) but cannot take any fish home with you and you are fishing with artificial bait such as twister tails.

Do I need a fishing license?

Any non-resident of Ontario over the age of 18 must have a fishing license. Anglers under the age of 18 may fish when accompanied by a licensed adult, however, any fish caught become part of the catch and possession limit of the adult. To prevent this, anglers under the age of 18 may also purchase a license.

What is the price of a fishing license?

A 7-day Ontario fishing license for non-residents is $36.00 (Canadian), and a license for the season is $56.50. Conservation licenses are slightly less, with a 7-day fishing license costing $21.50 and a season license being $34.00. Carry your licenses with you whenever you are fishing.

What kinds of hooks can I use to abide by catch and release regulations?

Use single barbless hooks only. Tackle tests determined that single barbless hooks significantly reduced the number of fish dying following release. Anglers will be permitted to use only single barbless hooks. This applies to all species and the waters of the specified lakes. Hooks can be easily converted to barbless by squeezing or filing the barb. The tackle most commonly used in all of our lakes are Jigs, Mr. Twisters, Spinners and Spoons. These lures can be modified to single barbless hooks for the Catch and Release Lakes.

Can I bring live bait onto a catch and release lake?

No, the possession and use of live bait-fish is prohibited in this area.

What happens if I land a trophy fish on a catch and release lake?

All trophy fish should be released back to the water. A replica of your trophy is recommended. This will ensure quality sport fishing opportunities for the future. Measure the length and girth and then take a picture. Return the fish back to the water as soon as possible. Let that trophy fish be a thrill for the next sportsman or for you on a later trip!

How do I release a fish?

Time is essential. Quickly play and release fish. A fish played for too long will be too exhausted to recover. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible. Remove the hook as quickly as possible. Single barbless hooks can often be removed while the fish is still in the water. Gentle handling is essential. Avoid squeezing or putting your fingers in the gills or eye sockets.

What happens if my fish is unconscious?

To revive an unconscious fish hold it upright in the water. Move the fish forward and backward so that water runs through the gills. This may take a few minutes. When it begins to struggle release it.

What should I do when photographing my fish?

When photographing a fish, hold it horizontally and do not squeeze the fish. Do not put your hands in its gills or hold it vertical by its gills. Oh – and don’t forget to smile!

Why is it necessary to release my fish?

It is the opinion of Ministry of Natural Resources fishery biologists that the voluntary adherence to these guidelines will enhance the opportunities for catching big fish while concurrently preserving the brood stock and fish numbers. The Ministry, as well as Wilderness Air Escapes, believes this strategy will ensure quality sport trophy fishing opportunities for the future.

Wilderness Air Escapes Questions

What does Wilderness Air Escapes supply?

Your flight from Vermilion Bay and return, fully equipped/furnished cabin, boat/motor/gas, bedding, adult life jackets, landing nets, pre-cut firewood, minnow buckets (where applicable), cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towell, dish rags/towels (no bath towels), propane bbq/grill and propane fish cookers.

Where do I get detailed information about fishing regulations for my fly-in fishing trip?

Be sure to read our informative Fly-In Fishing FAQ. You’ll get all the answers to your fishing-related questions.

What kind of outdoor gear, food and clothing should I bring on my fishing or hunting trip?

We’ve compiled an extensive packing checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your trip – download it here (PDF).

This is my first fly-in vacation, and I’m a little concerned about being in the middle of the bush. What does Wilderness Air Escapes do to assure my safety?

Wilderness Air Escapes takes the safety of our passengers and outpost guests very seriously – it’s priority #1 for us!

First of all, we make sure all of our aircraft are maintained to above industry standards. We have our own maintenance facilities so that we can personally oversee all the work done on any one of our fleet of aircraft.

Next we have “check flights” on a routine basis whenever guests stay at any one of our 10 outpost cabins. This means that when we are in the area and/or at a previously decided time we will fly over your outpost and make sure everything looks fine. Lastly, for the convenience of our guests, we can arrange for a satellite telephone rental, just in case of emergencies.

That said, we want to assure you that in all the years we’ve been offering fly-in fishing trips, as long as you use common sense, these trips are perfectly safe. We pay careful attention to every detail and have over 25 years of experience and dedication to YOUR safety.

I need to buy groceries for my trip, where can I go in Vermilion Bay?

In Vermilion Bay, we’d recommend the Vermilion Bay Co-Op, located at 86 Spruce St.

Check out our mini-guide and map of Vermilion Bay-area amenities. (PDF)

Where can I stay in Vermilion Bay and how do I get to Wilderness Air Escapes?

We’ve put together a map of the Vermilion Bay area, showing available accommodations, transportation, restaurants, grocery stores and tackle shops. Download the guide here.

Here are some of the hotels, motels and cabins in our region:

Vermilion Bay
Northside Motel 807-227-5339
Pine Grove (cabin/motel) 807-227-2031
Pine Acres (cabin) 807-227-2073

Dryden (1/2 hour east of Vermilion Bay)
Comfort Inn 807-228-5150
Best Western 800-538-1234
Holiday Inn Express 807-223-3000

What sort of clothes should I bring with me

In the summer, be sure to bring your bathing suit, but also pack t-shirts, shorts, a good sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen, bug spray, walking shoes and sandals, and a raincoat. As the temperatures have been known to sometimes get a little cooler at night, bring along a sweater and some pants just to be safe.

If you are arriving in the spring or fall, there is more of a variance in temperature, and we would recommend you bring sweaters and pants, long sleeved shirts, a t-shirt or two, warm socks, a warm hat, a waterproof jacket and pants (if you have them) as well as hiking boots and comfortable shoes.

Download our complete packing list. (PDF)

If I am flying commercially into International Falls or Winnipeg, what time should I book my return flight for?

We recommend not booking any flights before 2:00 pm on your day of departure.

Hunting Questions

Can I bring my hunting rifle into Canada?

Visitors to Canada can bring non-restricted firearms, such as a hunting rifle or shotgun into Canada, but it must be declared. Any undeclared firearms will be confiscated. The Firearms Act requires every firearm owner in Canada to have a license or valid Firearms Acquisition Certificate. Visitors who do not have a Canadian Firearms Acquisition Certificate will need to report their firearms to customs at the border, complete a non-resident firearms declaration form in triplicate, have it confirmed by a customs officer and pay a $50 (Canadian) fee.

Copies of the non-resident Firearms Declaration Form are available by calling 1-800-731-4000, or at the border, or at the Canada Firearms Centre site in the Visitors/Non-Residents section.

Can I bring my handgun into Canada?

The short answer is no. Although, with every rule there are exceptions. Visitors can import a restricted firearm only to attend an approved shooting competition. Examples of restricted firearms are target pistols and short-barreled, centre-fire, semi-automatic rifles or shotguns.

To be able to import a restricted firearm, you must obtain in advance an ATT (Authorization To Transport) from the chief firearms officer (CFO) of the province or territory where you will be entering Canada and show a paper copy to the customs officer when you arrive.

ATTs are granted at the discretion of the CFO for an approved purpose, such as to take part in an organized target-shooting event or gun show.

How much are hunting permits?

Hunting Licenses (Canadian Funds – Prices Subject to Change)

Black Bear Hunting Licenses, Non-Resident $170.00
Moose Hunt ing Licenses, Non-Resident $340.00
Small Game, Including Ducks $85.00
Export Permits $35.00
Trophy Fees (U.S. Funds)

Flying out game to base:

Per adult moose $175.00
Per calf moose or bear $95.00

What do I need to get my game back to the US?

A Canadian Export Permit must accompany all big game. We will help you make the arrangements. The department in charge of this is CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).