Explorers experience Haliburton while filming adventure show
By Angelica Ingram
June 21, 2016
Twelve men are vying for the title of Canada’s Greatest Explorer and are doing it in Haliburton County.
During the month of May, contestants for the show Woods Canada’s Greatest Explorer were filming at the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, where they were challenged against the backdrop of Ontario’s wilderness.
Representing the province of Ontario, 28-year-old Josh Henry is from Fort Frances and has never been to the Highlands before.
“We got to experience a lot of the lakes and the trails within Haliburton Forest,” he said. “It was a really good time out there.”
With a family cottage in the Parry Sound area, Henry is no stranger to Ontario’s wilderness and has spent years working as a professional guide leading outdoor adventures in western Canada.
Henry and the 11 other contestants in the show arrived at the Haliburton Forest on the May long-weekend, and were treated to hot and sunny weather for the duration of their 10 day stay, he said.
“The bugs, they were getting to be bad,” he said.
Woods Canada’s Greatest Explorer pits 12 contestants from across the country against each other for the chance to win $25,000.
Apart from the money, the contestants also claim the title of being Canada’s Greatest Explorer, after completing a number of wilderness challenges.
Although Henry can’t get into too much detail about what happens on the show, he already knows what he would do with the prize money if he was the winner.
The first priority would be to fix up the sauna at his family’s cottage, he said.
“It’s in need of an update.”
Henry also runs a charity overseas and would like to spend some of the prize money, if he won, on that, as well as travel with his mom.
The charity, which is crowd-funded, blends travel with giving back to a community abroad.
When applying for the show, Henry made a video of himself doing some typical Canadian adventures and then went through a voting process before making it to the top 12.
An avid traveller who has visited more than 50 countries, Henry loves to explore.
“It seemed like something that would suit me,” he said of the show. “It’s been unbelievable … I’m loving it. I’m loving seeing new areas.”
Henry has nothing but praise for his fellow contestants, which are all men whom he describes as lovers of the outdoors. The biggest challenge is not being able to prepare for what’s coming next, he said.
“We did some very cool things in the Haliburton Forest,” he said. “We had to use both physical and mental aspects.”
Henry said he would not only recommend the experience of being a part of the competition but the Haliburton area as well.
“It’s got all the beauty that you want in Ontario ... there’s an outdoor mecca there for sure,” he said. “I really enjoyed being there.”
Episodes of Woods Canada’s Greatest Explorer will begin airing on June 10 and can be watched online at WoodsExplorer.ca.