Wapusk National Park is a large park at the heart of an immense wilderness area along the shores of Hudson Bay. This area, nicknamed the Polar Bear capital of the world, is one of the premier destinations in North America for viewing the magnificent snow-white bears and other Sub-Arctic wildlife. Although ecotourism is growing here, it is still a low-profile and largely pristine wildlife destination for the time being.
The area around Churchill at the extreme northern end of Manitoba has been only minimally inhabited, and only in recent times. Throughout the colonial era a military installation was maintained here and little else. This has left the region’s wildlife essentially undisturbed except for scientific research. Wapusk National Park was established in 1996 to protect the area before it could be encroached upon.
Northern Manitoba is at the confluence of several major Sub-Arctic ecosystems supporting a diverse array of wildlife. The Wapusk area is almost exclusively about the Polar Bear. The area around Cape Churchill, located within the park, is one of the most important Polar Bear mating areas in the world. During the summer months, the park’s other great denizen, the Beluga Whale, can be seen cavorting off shore in Hudson Bay.
Wapusk National Park covers over 11,000 square km about thirty miles outside of Churchill. The closest major city, Winnipeg, is over 500 miles to the south. Between the distance and the weather conditions, Wapusk is extremely inaccessible and visitors are relatively rare. The park is open year round but access can be extremely limited. There is no cost of admission. Web: www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/mb/wapusk (official website).