Two young people are poised to paddle more than 600 kilometres toward Churchill this August.

Eco-tourism students Jennifer Ford and Juan Pablo Quinonez will set out from Norway House, on northern Lake Winnipeg, to York Factory on Hudson Bay, for a total of 25 days and 610 km, in August.

The trip is inspired by Ford's father who passed away in 2011. He first completed the same journey 40 years ago.

Hayes River

Jennifer Ford (pictured) and Juan Pablo Quinonez want to raise awareness for the pressing need for more protection of the environment.

Ford said it was at the family cottage in the Whiteshell, east of Manitoba, where she formed her close connection with the water.

"It's my favourite place in the entire world; it's where my dad taught me about appreciating life and the beautiful places," said Ford. "We definitely spent a lot of time in the boat and doing trips ... really special memories."

Ford said she is dedicating the trip to her father, but is also taking to the waters as a personal challenge.

“To prove it to myself that I can conquer this huge feat, and just test myself physically and be in nature for a month straight," she said.

Canoe map

Eco-tourism students Jennifer Ford and Juan Pablo Quinonez will set out from Norway House, on northern Lake Winnipeg, to York Factory on Hudson Bay, for a total of 25 days and 610 km, in August. (Rhythm of the Hayes: Canoe Expedition)

The pair will be following the same historic path as the fur-traders, starting in Norway House at the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg and making their way up the Hayes.

The 22-year-old Quinonez said they are anticipating having some close encounters with white water or wildlife along the way.

"Stuff like that will be hard for us to deal with," he said.

The couple is training on the Assiniboine River for the gruelling canoe trip. They want to raise awareness about the connection people share with the remote wilderness and the pressing need for more protection of the environment.

They also need funds for the trip and are taking online donations at kickstarter.com.