Jan Lake

Posted Northern Saskatchewan • Fishing • Canoeing • Camping • Lakes • Andrew's 2017 Adventure

Back in August I experienced one of the highlights of my year as Saskatchewanderer. 

It was a five day trip to Jan Lake that had it all: canoeing, swimming, hiking, fishing, boating, cliff jumping, stargazing, reading, a little bit of work and a lot of ice cream.

For the trip, I convinced three of my buddies—one of whom came all the way from Vancouver—to take time off work and join me on a northern adventure.

Here’s what went down:

Upon arriving to Jan Lake, we loaded up our canoes (provided by Jed, from Jed’s Campground) and set out for James Island—a camping spot about 10 km from town that was recommended by Ryan from Three Lakes Camp (thanks Ryan). We had two days’ worth of supplies and zero obligations—apart from capturing a bit of footage of course. 

The paddle across Jan Lake was stunning. On the way there, the water was dead calm and after a quick two hours of zigzagging for photo ops, we arrived at our destination. Camp was then established, supper was cooked, and like all great camping trips, plenty of laughs were shared around the fire.

The next morning it was a little too windy for an enjoyable canoe ride so we decided to spend the entire day on the island. We swam, cleaned up camp, whittled cutlery, read books and drank a ton of instant coffee. With no cell service we had to focus 100 per cent of our attention on making fun of each other. Highlight of the day: watching one of my pals scream in terror after discovering the world’s smallest leech on his foot.

After a few nights in the wild we were getting a little smelly, so we decided to pack up camp and head back towards civilization. Unfortunately for us, that day the wind decided it wasn’t going to do us any favours. Long story short, the whitecaps we were paddling against made Jan Lake feel like a giant canoe treadmill. 

Over four hours of element battling, non-stop paddling later, we finally arrived back at the community. To celebrate the fact that neither of our canoes capsized, we ate our weight in ice cream at Jed’s on Jan—the convenience store owned and operated by our host, Jed.

Jed has been running his campground and convenience store for 10 years now. Our trip wouldn’t have been the same without him and I was beyond relieved when I received word that he and the rest of the Jan Lake community were allowed back after the recent fire evacuations.

For our final day at the lake, we ditched the canoes and hopped on Jed’s pontoon boat for a real sweet afternoon of cliff jumping and fishing.

Whether you're seeking an out of the norm island adventure or your next fishing destination, the Jan Lake canoe treadmill is guaranteed to steal your heart.  

Thanks for reading.