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5/16/2016 1:29 pm  #1


Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Hello, I'm taking my 5 year old on an "Algonquin Adventure" in the next couple months. Any recommendations for the best place to camp? We're looking to hike and fish and possibly swim, if it's warm enough. 
We're most likely driving in but we'd love to try back-country for the first time. Are there also any recommendations for beginner back-country sites/loops? 
Thank you!

 

5/16/2016 4:29 pm  #2


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

If you can give a little more info ie. where your driving from and how far your willing to drive. Also, your past experience might be a benefit. What are you fishing for? Lots of well travelled campers on this forum could then give you some good spots although "best" is a personal choice.


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester
 

5/16/2016 5:38 pm  #3


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Yeah I'm not totally sure what you're looking for... you've posted in the campgrounds/frontcountry forum, and said you're "most likely driving in but we'd love to try back-country for the first time". Which are you going to do? It's completely up to you; there are backcountry camping lakes in Algonquin that require very little effort to get to, but it's still backcountry camping. You'll have to make that decision.

When in the next couple of months you're going makes a big difference in terms of fishing... trout is best right about now, whereas bass doesn't legally open until late June.

 

5/16/2016 8:46 pm  #4


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Sorry, I was a bit vague and just realized there's more than 1 entrance to the park http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

I'll be coming from the Toronto area and most likely end of June. We are flexible on driving distance.  
Past experience is mostly camping at local family camp sites. I love the idea of back country but I don't really know what to expect except from what I've read recently and it makes me a little nervous with the lack of knowledge and experience. If there are some Easier sites though I'd like to try. 
We are new to fishing also, it's mostly for my son so not looking to catch anything too big. 
Thanks for the comments!

     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2016 9:08 pm  #5


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

What type of gear do you own? Could you fit everything for a night, or two in one backpack and carry it yourself over a portage or along a backpacking trail? If you don't own lightweight gear, you can beg or borrow some, or worst case rent it but you will need good stuff if you want to enjoy yourself. Your five year old won't be able to carry much, if anything for a long distance. An overnight on a lake near hwy 60 is certainly an option with heavier gear, but great experiences can also be had at the campgrounds along the highway. Don' sell that option short. My kids and I do a mix of car camping at the hwy 60 campgrounds which are really fun (especially for a 5 year old) and some short canoe/backpacking trips.

The small loop of the highland backpacking trail is a great option for you, if you're willing and able to carry the gear.

Or you could camp on the joe lakes north of canoe lake. Easy portage to get there. Canoe rental at the canoe lake docks.

 

5/16/2016 9:15 pm  #6


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Why don't you consider a paddle-in site on a smaller lake. For example Canisbay has sites where you can leave your car at the beach parking lot, load your canoe and head out across the lake to a site that is only accessible by canoe. There are several sites on the lake and no portaging is necessary. If you feel like doing a portage there is one off Canisbay into Polly Lk that you can do as a day trip but it's 2550 m long which would maybe be a lot for the little guy. You can head over to the portage and just walk it to see the lake on the other side. There is another one that is only 590 m at the south end of Canisbay but you have to walk across the Hwy as part of it. You didn't say what your paddling experience was so if your new to that, do your research for safety sake and always where pfd's. Canisbay has trout and bass 🐟 Check out the Algonquin map which will show you where sites are on the lake. The parking lot is right off the Hwy 60 corridor on the north side of the Hwy just past km 24, and is one of the faster ones to get to. It might be a good start.


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester
 

5/16/2016 9:19 pm  #7


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Correction
Just past km 23!


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester
 

5/16/2016 10:07 pm  #8


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Thanks so much for the ideas, I like the sound of the Joe Lakes and the Canisbay paddle-in. I had no idea that was an option but that might be perfect to ease us into things! Our gear probably isn't lightweight, so we will have to invest as we go along.
We normally use an inflatable kayak instead of a canoe so will consider the rental at Joe Lakes in order to keep the gear dry.
Do you have to pre-book for the paddle in sites or is it first come first served?



 

     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2016 10:41 pm  #9


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

With all backcountry sites in Algonquin, you reserve for the lake, not the individual site; once you get there you can take any vacant site on the lake your permit is for.

Personally I wouldn't pick the Joes. They have motorboat traffic, cottages, summer camps and a lodge (which access by a private road), so although it's only one easy portage from Canoe Lake, I still find it a poor portage to "wilderness feel" ratio.

There are plenty of lakes you can backcountry camp on without portaging to get there. In the Highway 60 area this includes Canisbay, Sunday, Norway, Fork, Crotch, Farm, Whitefish, Rock, Opeongo, and Galeairy; but note that the last 4 of those have motorboats, Whitefish and Rock have cottages, Galeairy has a town at one end, and Opeongo has lots of big water that can get rough. The west end of the park is no farther from Toronto than the Hwy 60 corridor, and gives you portage-free access to Tim, Magnetawan and Rain Lakes. Neither is the south end and you can camp on Kingscote (has cottages). Of course if you're up for a short portage or two then the options open way up.

Study Jeff's Map. It makes the options pretty clear. Also shows which major game fishes are in each lake.

FWIW, the first time my parents took me and my brother on a canoe trip we were 7 and 3 years old, and we went to Pen Lake, one short portage from the access at Rock.

 

5/16/2016 10:44 pm  #10


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Yes
You need to book it and if you have your heart set on a certain date don't wait too long. If you do paddle or portage in don't bring too much gear. Get advise. I see lots of people with gear loaded way too high in their canoes which makes them unstable. No cooler! Unnecessary! You can google how to load a canoe - that's how I learned lol. Also make sure you have either a food barrel or you get the right rope and gear to hang a bear bag. That's a must! Lots of great info out there and if you need anything theirs great advise on the forum. A first trip requires lots of planning and thought but if you take the time to do that you and your son will have a safe and fun time.


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester
 

5/16/2016 10:49 pm  #11


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

I'm really excited now, you guys have provided me with lots of options, I will ensure to plan everything.
I'll check out the JeffsMap link for sure and google the packing side of things. 
​So glad I found this forum, Thanks alot for your help! Happy campinghttp://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png


 

     Thread Starter
 

5/17/2016 8:36 am  #12


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Jdbonney wrote:

The small loop of the highland backpacking trail is a great option for you, if you're willing and able to carry the gear.

I'd be shocked and impressed to hear of a 5-yr old who has walked this loop, even with no gear. The hills are too steep for my 5-yr old's little legs.

 

5/17/2016 1:41 pm  #13


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

spicol wrote:

Jdbonney wrote:

The small loop of the highland backpacking trail is a great option for you, if you're willing and able to carry the gear.

I'd be shocked and impressed to hear of a 5-yr old who has walked this loop, even with no gear. The hills are too steep for my 5-yr old's little legs.

My 5 year old hiked it last year. Carrying a small pack most of the way(I carried it about half the time) with books/snacks and water. We hiked to the west side campsites on the first night and finished the entire rest of the route around provoking the next day. Also had my 8 year old who carried his pack with sleeping bag/snacks/books and thermarest. Kids can do amazing things when you set them up to succeed.
 

 

5/18/2016 9:42 am  #14


Re: Recommendations for camping, swimming, fishing

Awesome!

 

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