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Seeking information on Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

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  • Seeking information on Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

    My husband and I are planning a summer trip of a week or two. We're interested in returning to Canada now that the border is open, and doing an outdoor trip to one or more Ontario parks. (We covered much of Quebec Province and its parks a few years ago.)

    The backpacking trails in Algonquin look straightforward, and I think we can plan our options from the maps we purchased. We have decades of backpacking experience.

    The canoe routes, however, are not. Most of the park does not appear to have roads or even hiking trails, just canoe routes, canoe campground, and portage trails. While we have plenty of canoeing experience, I have never been canoe camping and my husband has only done it once.

    Our Saranc 146 canoe is very robust and paddles well, but weighs about 80 pounds. Just getting it on and off the roof of the SUV is a challenge. Long portages would be impossible. Anything over 600 ft would be too difficult to consider.

    (Renting a lightweight canoe might be an option. We haven't looked into availability yet.)

    Looking at the canoeing map of the park, it's not obvious what would be a good route with few or no portages, or only short portages. Most of the reasonably long routes have at least portage over 1000 meters, almost 2/3 of a mile(!) No roads go deep in the park, so short trips would be restricted to the park edges, and those are probably the most popular and hardest sites to get camping permits.

    What routes would you suggest? Is Algonquin just the wrong park for us? Are there other Ontario parks you would recommend for backpacking and canoe camping?

  • #2
    Algonquin is an awesome place. I highly recommend renting a lightweight canoe locally, longer portages are unavoidable. It's been many years since I've been to Algonquin, but I've used the Portage Store previously and they were always very helpful with rentals and tripping advice. They used to have a water shuttle which would take you and your boat across the larger lakes to get you a jump start on your first day.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the information. We are also looking at Killarney Provincial Park as another option. Ontario is huge! :-)

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