Katannilik Territorial Park is a surprisingly fertile arctic oasis tucked in the middle of the ancient Meta Incognita Peninsula on southern Baffin Island. The Park stretches north from the top of Pleasant Inlet near the village of Kimmirut toward the south shore of Frobisher Bay, across from the City of Iqaluit. The Park follows the Soper Valley and the Itijjagiaq Trail - a 120 kilometre traditional overland trail from Iqaluit to Kimmirut. The park's boundaries follow a series of rivers, lakes and hills on the plateau above the river valley.
The Soper River and its 1,200 square-kilometres meandering wilderness is central to the park. Known locally as Kuujjuaq ("big river") the Soper River was designated a Canadian Heritage River in 1992 for its cultural significance in the lives of Inuit, its natural beauty and its countless opportunities for recreation. Along the river itself, on its many tributaries, in the streams and rivulets flowing down the sides of the valley, countless cascades echo the recurring theme of the park, and the reason it is named Katannilik - "the place of waterfalls".
More information about this Park...
Katannilik is one of the most accessible parks in Nunavut. There are three ways to get there from Iqaluit. The simplest is to take a scheduled flight with First Air or Kenn Borek to Kimmirut, which both fly four days per week much of the year; but confirm these flight schedules before arrival. Those travelling in larger groups may want to consider chartering a plane to Kimmirut.
The park is only minutes from Kimmirut, although it is a good three hours hike into the Soper Valley around Soper Lake. Boats can also be hired in Kimmirut to cross Soper Lake to Soper Falls at the south end of the valley. Contact the Katannilik Park Visitor Centre in Kimmirut to co-ordinate these services.
The most popular method of getting into Katannilik is by air charter to one of two designated landing strips in the Soper
Valley. Hikers should charter to the strip at Mount Joy. Water based charters can land at Mount Joy, or the strip at the
Livingstone, which is on the west side of the river. The cost varies from year to year but should be around $1,000.
Contact the Katannilik Park Visitor Centre in Kimmirut or the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre in Iqaluit to find out about charters to these
Outfitted trips from Iqaluit offer package tours of Katannilik Park that fly visitors into the park, by boat across Frobisher Bay from Iqaluit to the Itijjagiaq trailhead for hiking southwest to the Soper River Valley and eventually Kimmirut, or transport them by dogsled in winter and spring. Outfitted trips should be booked well in advance - it's often not possible to book outfitters by the day. Contact the Katannilik Park Visitor Centre in Kimmirut or the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre in Iqaluit to find out what might be available.
If you're planning a trip to Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve, start by contacting Nunavut Tourism staff
at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre in Iqaluit or Nunavut Parks staff at the Katannilik Park Visitors Centre in Kimmirut.