Algonquin instills in the wilderness lover a craving akin to that of crack to the crack addict. Just one try and you will crave it for the rest of your life. Algonquin has provided me, my family and my friends with years of memories and in 2011 it became the first big trip we ran with TIOA. Now Evan has the addiction and plans to spread the disease. The combination of wilderness, nature, self reliance, paddling, and portaging creates a certain kind of magic that makes every trip special. Some of my favorite memories are of the moose sightings, the nights listening to the howling of wolves, mornings waking up to the magical sound of the Loons echoing off the lake, the unforgettable crystal clear echos that travel across the horizon, paddling out on the lake after dark and floating as the moon and stars shimmer on the surface of the lake, and the feeling of contentment you have sitting around the fire at the end of the day.
If you are looking for an easy relaxing trip on the lake this is not your trip. If you are looking for a rewarding, unique trip into the Canadian back country then this is the trip for you. We will have to work for every inch of ground we cover. We will paddle several miles and portage our kayaks and gear over land, scour for firewood, set up and break down camp everyday, but all of this is what makes this trip the magical journey that it is. We will work as a team to accomplish our daily goals. At the end of the day, when we are sitting around the fire, sharing stories and discussing the adventures of the day, there will be a peacefulness that we miss in the hustle and bustle of every day life. You will experience a contentment that will last long after you leave Algonquin. At the end of the trip you will be ready for home, but at the same time you won’t want to leave. When you arrive home you’ll be thankful for your bed, but you will still long to be back in Algonquin. Algonquin will beckon for your return the remainder of your life.
This trip is a true wilderness trip. Once we shove off we will be completely on our own. There are no hospitals, phones, cell service, running water, help, or the option to quit. The only way out is the way in. In several places we will have to portage our boats and gear overland to get from one lake to another lake. Every day we will break camp and paddle & portage to a new campsite. Due to the nature of this trip I will impose a restriction on the weight of everyone’s gear. We will work as a team at the portages to get the gear and boats across, but you should pack as if you needed to portage your gear and your kayak by yourself in two trips (we have a system to help with this). Scroll all the way down for a rough itinerary.
– Transportation from TIOA to Algonquin and back
– Lightweight solo Canoe Rental w/ paddle & PFD
– Hotel rooms for the ride there and back
– Trip planning and guides
– Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) while we are out in the wilderness
– Group Camping Gear (cookware, stoves, water purification, axe, etc)
– Walkie talkies to use while in the wilderness
– A session at TIOA on packing techniques
Requirements & Restrictions
– Everyone will paddle a solo canoe (lightweight solo canoe rental included in the price)
– We recommend using a kayak paddle to make things easier and faster
– Must be able to paddle and carry your gear
– There will be a weight limit for how much gear you can bring along
– All gear must fit into a 70 Liter Dry Pack
– Flashlight or headlight
– Sleeping bag
– Tent (we have rentals available)
– Snack food – only meals will be supplied
– Cup/bowl & utensil
– NO ELECTRONICS (phones, radios, video games, iPods)
7:00am Meet at TIOA to pack gear into boats, load the boats and hit the road by 12:00pm. We will drive half way, or a little more, and stay at a hotel. People will be sharing rooms. Everyone is on their own for dinner.
4:00am Get up and back on the road. Drive to Algonquin Provincial Park where we will obtain the proper permits and unload the boat and gear. Our goal is to be on the water by 12:00pm. Hit the water and paddle for about 5ish hours to our first campsite. We will have 1 small portage the first day.
Day 3 – 6
Everyday we will wake up, load the boats and paddle & portage to our next camping area. The total trip is roughly 60 Miles. Portages are a love hate relationship. While I’m doing them I sometimes ask “why do I call this a vacation”. But then I get back into my boat with satisfaction. It’s the portages that make the trip interesting and challenging. It’s the portages that make the food taste better, the evenings around the campfire that much more enjoyable, and the feeling of self-reliance that makes you content at the end of a day. It’s the portages that make these trips unique and truly satisfying.
Get up and enjoy breakfast and break down camp. We have a long day ahead of us so we will want to get up and out a little quicker than the previous days. Paddle 5 – 6 miles out with one ¼ mile portage. When we get back to our starting point we will enjoy running water once again and freshen up in the restroom (they have showers here) before climbing into the van. There is also a restaurant at the take out so we can grab a cooked meal before heading out. Drive 5 – 6 hours to our Hotel. Near our Hotel is a great place on Lake Ontario with a good selection of craft brews and good food. Civilization will taste so good.
Drive 5 hours home. We should be home by mid afternoon on Saturday.
**All distances are not exact and this itinerary is subject to change. As with any trip into the wilderness, everyone must be flexible and open to change. There are many variables (heavy winds, rains, downed trees blocking the portages, health of the group, etc) that could make us alter our plans.