Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Canoe Trip to Ontario - Algonquin Provincial Park

Dawn, Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

I had been so busy this summer learning all the finer points to RV'ing with the new Winnebago, that I had neglected some of my other great summertime passions-- T@B camping, canoeing, and an annual trip to Canada. So, when I found some last-minute campsites available at the two prime canoeing parks in Ontario, I quickly reserved them and planned a week-long vacation.

I initially thought I'd leave early Friday evening and stop in Michigan for the night, but the last day of work before a vacation never goes as planned (nor does getting the camper packing finished on-time). So, I got Millie up at 4 a.m. on Saturday and we drove all the way to Algonquin in one lonnngggg day (750 miles in 16 hours). Luckily, I made it to the final town for gas and supplies (Huntsville, Ontario) just before the stores closed, and to my relief, I was not bothering any of the other campers with setting up my camp late at night as a roudy bunch of school kids and their intoxicated parents were making plenty of noise to cover for me (and fortunately, they called it a night about midnight just as I was ready to sleep).

Millie and I stayed at Canisbay campground, one of the many along the "Highway 60 corridor." Algonquin is really 2 different parks in one-- a populated corridor of campgrounds, lodges, cottages, and lakes that are easily accessible from the road; and the interior park of hundreds of additional lakes that are only accessible via multi-day backcountry canoe tripping. I opted for the comforts of the corridor park for this visit.

We had a large electric site at Canisbay so I decided to rig up the rope lights. Millie and I also enjoyed our nightly Firedancer campfire-- what a "must-have" camping item for campers like me who can't ever seem to keep a real campfire lit (and who don't want to mess with hauling/chopping wood around with them). When we later got to our non-electric site at Killarney Park, the Firedancer did double-duty at providing lighting for the inside of the trailer (so my battery power could be used solely on keeping the fridge running).

Our daily routine at Algonquin was to putz around camp in the morning or take a hike, then take Millie for a swim after lunch, and let her sleep and dry off in the car while I would go canoeing for a few hours. (A bit of history-- when Millie was a puppy, I had visions of her growing up into one of those great canoeing dogs that just sits quietly in the front of the canoe and enjoys the ride....but alas, she much preferred being in the water than on it inside some tippy boat).

Since I knew I'd be canoeing a lot of lakes at Killarney, I decided in Algonquin to take advantage of the Madawaska River that connects a number of the corridor lakes to each another. This section connected the very large Lake of Two Rivers to Pog Lake and featured a number of lily plants.

While most of the lakes in Algonquin prohibit motor boats, some of the larger corridor lakes allow them. These are also some of the lakes that still have "grandfathered-in" private lodges and cottages on them as well. As I paddled the connector between Rock and Whitefish lakes, I came across this classic old cottage that had a great dock to sit on-- pretty nice digs!

Pog Lake is a very popular campground and canoeing lake-- but fortunately, for me this day, the campground had just closed for the season, so the lake was completely mine to paddle!

On Tuesday after Labor Day, we left Algonquin for a pretty 4-hour drive over to Killarney Provincial Park along Georgian Bay. Our days in Algonquin had been warm and sunny with virtually no bugs. My only regret was not getting to see a moose (which apparently are all over the place here in the spring and fall). In fact, I didn't see much of any wildlife at this park-- they must all know better to stick to the vast interior sections of the park and leave the corridor to the wild humans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures, Lynne! Nice to see that you got your Canada fix for the year, too.

Elaine & Dane