"Fun, Fitness and Friendship"
2020 Convention and AGM
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here is a list of questions that people have been asking. If you have a question please direct it to the Committee member whom you think may be the best person to answer it. If he/she thinks it's of more general interest then we'll add it to this list.
My husband and I are planning to drive to Yellowknife and to camp on the way there and back. Is there a campground in Yellowknife near the Convention Hotel? Do you know of campgrounds on the way to and from Yellowknife?
Answer from Nancy Makepeace:
We have wonderful campgrounds in the NWT. The website is www.NWTparks.ca or just google NWT campgrounds. All booking must be done online so it is best to book in advance as you may not have WiFi on the road. In Hay River the only place a traveler can get WiFi is at the public library.
Twin Gorge is a lovely campground in Enterprise near the waterfalls walk we will be doing. There are toilets and showers. It is about 30 km from Hay River.
The Hay River Territorial campground is a beautiful spot on the edge of Great Slave Lake. Enjoying the nearly 24 hours of daylight on the beach is spectacular. The campground has treed lots with a spotless restroom and shower and is just 5 km from downtown.
Fred Henne campground in Yellowknife is on the edge of Long Lake which has a lovely beach. It has a restroom and showers and is situated on the edge of the Canadian Shield about 3 km from the Chateau Nova.
If you have time, you should visit Fort Smith which has a lovely campground. Ft Smith is the HQ of Wood Buffalo park, a UNESCO world heritage site. It is on the edge of the Slave River overlooking the Rapids of the Drowned. It was the first capital of the NWT and there’s lots of history there.
If you want to make a loop rather than backtrack to Alberta you can go to Fort Simpson , where the Mackenzie and the Liard Rivers meet. Simpson is the jumping off point for Nahanni National Park, which is accessible only by plane or canoe. There is a territorial campground there near the Papal site, where the Pope said mass in 1986.
From Simpson you could travel the Liard highway that ends in Fort Nelson BC.
Can you clarify what people who are confirmed on a bus tour need to do regarding registering for the Convention since it is included in our tour? Do we ignore it and choose our walks when we arrive? Are we included in the convention dinner? Do we go onto the website and register as well?
Answer from David Hall:
The bus tour fee includes convention registration, the dinner, all the walks and the Meet and Greet. All inclusive! One stop shopping. Everything made simple. So if you are confirmed on a bus tour no need to do anything else. Everything is taken care of!
The bus tour fee also includes 7 nights hotel - 3 on the road and 4 in Yellowknife. So, no hotel rooms to book in Yellowknife unless you plan to extend your stay.
I am on the bus tour. Do I need to book a hotel in St. Albert?
Answer from David Hall;
Yes, the people going northbound, will have to be into St Albert the night before and will need to book a room at the St Albert Inn. Special rates have been blocked off there for us. Phone 1-800-450-8612 and ask for the Volkssport rate.
People going southbound i.e. from Yellowknife to St Albert would be advised to book a room in St. Albert on the evening of the day you return since we cannot guarantee what time we would arrive in St. Albert. Then you can fly out at your leisure the next day.
Of course, there are over 20 PTs in the greater Edmonton area so you may want to spend a few days in St Albert before or after the bus tour to enjoy some of those walks.
I’m not on a bus tour but would like to be. Should I try to get on the waiting list or register for the Convention?
Answer from David Cattrall
I suggest that you do both. First send an email to Gerry Vercammen (email@example.com ) to ask if your name can be put on the waiting list for a bus tour in case of cancellations. Second, register for the Convention (go to the Registration page to download a registration form). Then whatever happens you are guaranteed a place at the Convention. If you do get on a bus tour the registration fee which you will already have paid will be deducted from the bus tour fee. You may also consider reserving a room at one of the hotels in Yellowknife. You can always cancel it if you get on a bus tour.
If I drive to and from Yellowknife, will I be able to do any walks along the way?
Yes. In addition to the existing PTs in British Columbia and Alberta we will be sanctioning 8 walks for people on the bus tours. The walk directions and maps will be available on this website once they are fully designed so that you can do the walks as you drive to or from Yellowknife. You can pay for the walks and get stamps at the Convention. See also the next question._________________________________________________________________________________________________
I will be driving to and from Yellowknife. Can you suggest places that I might visit on the way?
Answer from Nancy Makepeace
It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter any traffic jams while driving in this area, but roaming herds of wild bison are another story. They’re just part of the majestic natural wonders you’ll find driving the section of the territory situated south of Great Slave Lake and north of the Alberta border - pristine waterfalls, crunchy salt flats and driftwood-strewn beaches are all in your path.
From Enterprise, it’s just a 30-minute drive to Hay River, on the shores of Great Slave Lake. This is the territory’s second-biggest town, with a population of 3,500, and it hosts an active commercial fishery. If you’re here on a Saturday in the summer, be sure to check out the Fisherman’s Wharf, which operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On offer: “to die for” fish and chips, as well as local arts and crafts, and market-garden produce. We have a 5/12 km Volkssport PT that starts at the public library.
Back west of Enterprise are two more South Slave communities that will be on your route to Yellowknife. Kakisa, on Kakisa Lake, between Enterprise and Fort Providence, is a tiny Dene community that’s home to less than 50 people. It’s also the location of Lady Evelyn Falls, a 17-metre-high phenomenon where the Kakisa River cascades over an ancient coral reef. The Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Park has 23 powered campsites, showers, potable water and an interpretive centre.
If you haven’t seen a bison yet, you’re almost guaranteed to do so near Fort Providence, the historic Dene community at the headwaters of the Mackenzie River, just west of Great Slave Lake. The one-tonne beauties are known to roam freely in town and munch on residents’ lawns here because Fort Providence is the western tip of the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary. Be respectful and patient with these giant creatures that have lived in these parts long before we did. Just remember: Your road trip wouldn’t be complete without at least one bison jam.
We have a 5/10 km Volkssport walk in Fort Providence starting at the Snowshoe Inn. After leaving Fort Providence you have about a 4 hour drive to Yellowknife.
After the Convention on your way back south, you might want to consider a side trip to Fort Resolution, Wood Buffalo National Park , and/or Fort Smith. However you will then need to return to Enterprise to continue your south-bound journey.
About 160 km due east of Enterprise, where the Slave River flows into Great Slave Lake, lies Fort Resolution, the oldest continuously occupied town in the territory. On your way here you’ll pass Pine Point, an abandoned mining town that’s been stopped in time, and Little Buffalo River Crossing Territorial Park, a great place to camp for the night.
There’s no museum in Fort Resolution but someone at the local band office is usually willing to share some lore with interested visitors. Just past town, check out Mission Island, a peninsula with historic log cabins and other structures, where the community often holds festivals and events.
Bid farewell to Great Slave Lake and backtrack about 100 kilometres to Highway 5, which leads southeast into Wood Buffalo National Park and onwards to Fort Smith. Aside from spotting bison, bears, lynx and wolves, the Salt Plains in this park are a huge draw. They’re the result of saline minerals surfacing from an ancient seabed, and they act as a great, shimmering salt lick for the park’s wildlife.
Carry on to Fort Smith, home to about 2,500 Métis, First Nations and non-Native people. The town is known for its world-class white-water paddling along the Slave River and offers excellent hiking and cycling on the riverfront Thebacha Trail. It was also the birthplace of Mark Carney, once Governor of the Bank of Canada, now Governor of the Bank of England.
The Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre holds one of Canada’s best collections of northern Native and early non-Native settlement material, with more than 17,000 artifacts on hand. A birch-bark canoe, furs, beadwork, and a reconstructed trapper’s cabin and trading post are just some of the highlights.
We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Northwest Territories
Last updated 15th May 2019