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8/28/2017 7:22 pm  #1


Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

I know, I know. Am I an idiot, you're thinking? Usually I've planned this back in April, but c'est la vie. Now I'm stuck trying to find where to go in 4 days.

I'm not familiar with Algonquin at all. In fact, I've only been to backcountry Killarney (a thousand times).

We're a group of guys and gals in our late 20s/early 30s looking for some camping over the weekend. The plan was for some backcountry canoeing and camping, but all the sites I know are already reserved. If you can recommend us something that you think/know is available, that would be very appreciated (I swear I'll buy you drinks if I ever come to your city!).

What we wanted to avoid was a drive-in camping, or camping somewhere where at 11am we see 65 canoes in the lake in front of us, half of them full of drunk teenagers. But if everything is booked, those will do as well.

Ideally, next to a lake or even better, a nice river. But now we're flexible. Anything fun would do. But no more than a 4-hour drive from Toronto, and no trip that requires more portaging than canoeing or difficult portages (most of us are novices). A 5-6 hour canoe trip with 3-4 portages, 30% portaging, 70% canoeing, that would've been ideal.

We're OK with a hiking trip as well. 

Remember, drinks on me! Haha.

 

8/28/2017 8:15 pm  #2


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

You'll end up getting better suggestions that what I'm about to toss out there, but to me access points 3 and 4 would fit your bill pretty well.  (although those are heavily traveled areas).  That's Magnetawan and Rain Lake, and look east on either one to see what you can find in terms of available lakes.  (and south/north for that matter).  For Magnetawan, you might find David or Mubwayaka open.  Those both have two campsites, but the park only allows one reservation so chances aren't awesome.  Daisy is a lake I like that is well within reach of Magnetawan.  If Ralph Bice isn't booked solid you can work some nice loops from that area.  From Rain lake, there are lots of options heading east.  I think if you make a list of lakes within reasonable distance for you, you can then look at the online reservation availability and maybe work something out.  If you take a look at "Jeff's Maps", you'll see a good layout of the park online, can get an idea of distance and time, and that will help you determine what lakes would be within reach of what access point, create your list, and start pounding the online reservations to see what is available.   

 

8/29/2017 12:53 am  #3


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

dontgroandaddy wrote:

You'll end up getting better suggestions that what I'm about to toss out there, but to me access points 3 and 4 would fit your bill pretty well.  (although those are heavily traveled areas).  That's Magnetawan and Rain Lake, and look east on either one to see what you can find in terms of available lakes.  (and south/north for that matter).  For Magnetawan, you might find David or Mubwayaka open.  Those both have two campsites, but the park only allows one reservation so chances aren't awesome.  Daisy is a lake I like that is well within reach of Magnetawan.  If Ralph Bice isn't booked solid you can work some nice loops from that area.  From Rain lake, there are lots of options heading east.  I think if you make a list of lakes within reasonable distance for you, you can then look at the online reservation availability and maybe work something out.  If you take a look at "Jeff's Maps", you'll see a good layout of the park online, can get an idea of distance and time, and that will help you determine what lakes would be within reach of what access point, create your list, and start pounding the online reservations to see what is available.   

Thanks. Everything around Magnetawan and Rain Lake are booked solid.
The group doesn't want to do loops, and after finally having some frank discussion with them, they'd rather put up with the crowds than do long portages. So I suppose the ideal place is somewhere that even if crowded, has some good camp sites and decent scenery... and maybe not *too* crowded. I really don't want to hear the neighbour's baby--already have one where I live

The northern part seems to ahve a lot of availability, so I'm looking at that. This is being discussed here: http://algonquinadventures.boardhost.com/post.php?tid=1375&qid=12278

     Thread Starter
 

8/30/2017 12:58 pm  #4


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

Hopefully you've got reservations somewhere by now. In case you're going to k -mog then North tea. Read my trip report (check under trip report trip was aug 9-16), will give you some idea of what youre facing. Northern Wilderness outfitters at K-mog allows camping the night before at $15.00 per tent.  
But the saturday may be very busy, and you may have to paddle a long way into north tea to find an empty site on the long weekend.

 

8/30/2017 1:07 pm  #5


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

Nope, couldn't book anything. It's either of these situations:
* No canoes left for sat, sun, returning monday
* Campsite availability for sat but not the sunday. Or sunday and not the saturday.
* Too many portages. Or too long a portage
* Leachy lake/lake not nice enough/etc.

Lesson learned. Next year, as usual, I'll just do my own thing.

Right now the only option I can figure out is North Tea. Yes, it'll be busy for the saturday. Maybe, just maybe we can leave toronto at 12pm on sat, and hopefully be in our canoes by 5pm. North Tea east still has some 4 or 5 campsites left. But one outfitter (voyager Quest) is not picking up at all even though I've been calling them every 30 mins! And the other only has canoes for sunday and monday.

I'm really, really, really angry and sad

     Thread Starter
 

8/31/2017 7:36 am  #6


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

Have you contacted Algonquin North Wilderness Outfitters about canoe availability? They're the outfitter that serves Kiosk, and there's lots of campsite availability in that area. You could go camp on Mantiou Lake if you like big lakes, or Lauder if you like small lakes, or loop Whitebirch-Club-Mink if you like loops.

One thing is I think the system only takes reservations that are at least 3 days before the trip starts, and we're probably past that point now. So if you did secure a canoe from those guys you'd have to just show up at the Kiosk permit office on Saturday morning and take what you can get, without reservations. But it seems there's still plenty of availability, so it's not really a risk.

 

8/31/2017 8:10 am  #7


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

Northern WIlderness *finally* called back. It's hard getting a hold of these guys. And they had canoes, but only their heaviest canoes (70lbs!). Help us, lord!

No, but it' alright, because we're only going to North Tea East. We've decided to leave very early on Saturday morning, hopefully pick up the permit at 8am, the canoes at 8h15, and in the water and paddling by 9. It's a 12.2 to 15.9 km paddle (including 2 short portages 320m), and apart from me no one's been in a canoe more than 3 or 4 times. So I'm guessing it'll take us about 6 hours to get there, around 3pm, by which time I'm sure the campsites have filled up from the current day and those who came on Friday. But it's better than nothing.

I'm going to search and see which campsites at North Tea are the best, and start another thread if it hasn't already been asked.

And we come back on the Monday.

And that's it!

Thank you for all your help. I wouldn't have looked North or NW of Algonquin if it hadn't been for you.

     Thread Starter
 

8/31/2017 12:29 pm  #8


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

read some of the trip reports on this forum under trip planning. There are several, including my own, which took place from august 9-16.
Be prepared, North Tea lake waters can behave differently then you think. There are many nice sites on the west arm, but they also fill up fast. Most of all, have fun!  You can camp at NWO for 15 dollars a night, in case youre leaving friday afternoon.

 

8/31/2017 4:02 pm  #9


Re: Site/route recommendations for this upcoming long weekend

Another place to look is on the PCI project on the main page of Algonquinadventures.  There you can find reports about various campsites on a lot of lakes.  But I wouldn't spend any time mentally debating how good a campsite you'll find though.  Otherwise it will become an anxiety in the back of your mind from now until you arrive at a site.  There are definitely some duds out there, but chances are you'll end up at a place that will feel like home because the company will be good.  As long as you've got a pretty lake in front of you, a thunderboox, a place to put a tent or two, and a couple of loons nearby to talk to you at night, all is well.

 

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