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La Verendrye Reserve and (vs?) Algonquin Provincial Park

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  • La Verendrye Reserve and (vs?) Algonquin Provincial Park

    I'm sitting here stewing in aggravation and frustration that my plans to go back out to Banff / Jasper for a backpacking trip this coming week didn't work out, again due to nobody to go with. The few people I would normally ask couldn't go.

    I'm reluctantly / grudgingly thinking about alternate ideas for the week. My wife and I could throw the canoe on the car and drive as far into Canada as we wanted to do some canoe camping. It just feels like distant second plans and I don't know if mentally I'd appreciate it as much as I would if I had planned to do that in the first place.

    Anyhow, any of you been to Alqonquin Provincial Park and / or La Verendrye Reserve? How do they differ? Which one is more beautiful? Which one is "wilder"?

    On a map it looks like there are a few roads that penetrate the interior of La Verendrye - are they good enough to drive a Honda Civic on them?

  • #2
    Never been to either, but from the little I do know, La Ver is far, far larger, more remote and less popular. Algonquin is like a summer camp with lakes packed to capacity throughout the summer.

    If I had a week to myself to do a canoe trip, I'd stay in the Adirondacks and go Oswegatchie/Lows traverse or 9 and 7 carries in St Regis CA. Maybe LTL to Lila.

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    • #3
      I used to go every year to LV for pike and walleye. Motors are allowed. I never saw paddlers while there and while fishing different lakes we never saw other boats at all. I stayed at Deer Horn Lodge on Cabonga Reservoir and the ten mile dirt/ gravel road to the lodge was ok.

      Very remote.

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      • #4
        I've done extensive canoe trips in both. Algonquin has a rep for being used. You can avoid a lot of that by entering the park from one of the lesser used entrances. Try the northern one and you'll have a lot more remote time. A big plus is the undisturbed wildlife.

        La Verendrye is a multiple use area. You'll find logging roads in places and motorboats in others. That said, once you get a couple of days out you are unlikely to see anyone. You'll see little in the way of wildlife because anything bigger than a rabbit gets hunted.
        Oscar Wilde:Work is the curse of the drinking class

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vtflyfish View Post
          La Verendrye is a multiple use area. You'll find logging roads in places and motorboats in others. That said, once you get a couple of days out you are unlikely to see anyone. You'll see little in the way of wildlife because anything bigger than a rabbit gets hunted.
          So it's basically northern Maine.

          Motor boats, logging and wildlife blasting YAY!

          I won't drive 6 hours beyond the Adirondacks for that. I was hoping for less human activity not more.

          And if I won't see moose or hear wolves (are they hunted too?) then what's the point?

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          • #6
            La Verendrye Reserve

            Originally posted by forest dweller View Post
            I'm sitting here stewing in aggravation and frustration that my plans to go back out to Banff / Jasper for a backpacking trip this coming week didn't work out, again due to nobody to go with. The few people I would normally ask couldn't go.

            I'm reluctantly / grudgingly thinking about alternate ideas for the week. My wife and I could throw the canoe on the car and drive as far into Canada as we wanted to do some canoe camping. It just feels like distant second plans and I don't know if mentally I'd appreciate it as much as I would if I had planned to do that in the first place.

            Anyhow, any of you been to Alqonquin Provincial Park and / or La Verendrye Reserve? How do they differ? Which one is more beautiful? Which one is "wilder"?

            On a map it looks like there are a few roads that penetrate the interior of La Verendrye - are they good enough to drive a Honda Civic on them?
            In 1988, as part of a summer long canoeing sojourn that started in La Verendrye Reserve, went through Maine (Allagash River), Nova Scotia (Kejimkujik National Park) and Newfoundland (Gros Morne). I had to forego Labrador because of bad weather. I spent 8 days on a loop through La Verendrye Reserve and had a great time with a nice mix of river/lakes and reasonable carries. The fishing was also good. I hardly saw anyone the whole time. I have no idea what it is like there now, but if it was anything like it was back then, it could be a good choice. There were fees, but my recollection was that they were reasonable.
            "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing."
            - Henry David Thoreau

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            • #7
              Yep there are fees at LV I paddled there about 14 years ago on a short trip did not see that many people I seem to recall

              http://www.canot-camping.ca/2-days.html
              Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

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              • #8
                Never paddled LV, but have tripped extensively throughout Algonquin. The rep it has for being crowded is true for access points along Highway 60, such as Canoe and Smoke Lake, If you avoid these you can have a wilderness experience.

                Once you have tired of Algonquin, Kilarney PP further north while busy is still worth the effort to explore. Less campsites available so it tends to limit the number of people you see. Again if you avoid the access points along the highway you reduce the number of people you will encounter. For example Nellie Lake has 3 campsites , Ishmael only 2.

                Further north is Temagami much of which is either Crown Land, First Nation Territory or nonoperational PP. A life time of paddling options there. I've done three or four extended trips and have only seen a fraction of the area.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WBB View Post
                  Never paddled LV, but have tripped extensively throughout Algonquin. The rep it has for being crowded is true for access points along Highway 60, such as Canoe and Smoke Lake, If you avoid these you can have a wilderness experience.

                  Once you have tired of Algonquin, Kilarney PP further north while busy is still worth the effort to explore. Less campsites available so it tends to limit the number of people you see. Again if you avoid the access points along the highway you reduce the number of people you will encounter. For example Nellie Lake has 3 campsites , Ishmael only 2.

                  Further north is Temagami much of which is either Crown Land, First Nation Territory or nonoperational PP. A life time of paddling options there. I've done three or four extended trips and have only seen a fraction of the area.
                  How are the portages in Temagami? I read that many are poorly marked and overgrown.
                  "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing."
                  - Henry David Thoreau

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jblaser View Post
                    How are the portages in Temagami? I read that many are poorly marked and overgrown.
                    They can be, it really depends on where you go. The more popular routes are better, but even the best of them are not even close to what you will find in Algonquin. Even the low maintenance portages in Algonquin are better then most in Temagami The North and South Channel of the Lady Evelyn River had some of the most rugged portages I have ever done, but so rewarding.

                    It is well worth the drive. We always started in the middle of the night, and were across the border and past TO before the traffic got bad.

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