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Trip Planning » How are sites booked more than 5 months+ from today? » 2/20/2023 6:10 pm

I was scoping out individual campsite bookings at other parks for August 3rd of this year. I noticed quite a few sites are already booked up and unavailable; how are people gaming the site to be able to do this? When I click on the sites it tells me they won't be available to book until March 3rd.

It's less noticeable when looking at a map of Algonquin since individual lakes don't book up as quickly as individual campsites. Still, prize solo lakes like Little Eagle are already gone for the weekend after the Labour Day long weekend. How is this possible?

Trip Planning » Weird experience on Pen Lake this past weekend » 8/09/2022 3:20 pm

GordK wrote:

  I think just completely inexperienced campers paddling to what they thought was their spot based on the reservation map.  If you aren't used to the Parks booking map it does look like you are maybe getting site 125 halfway down the lake - only one green triangle on the lake, sweet!  Couple that with lack of interest in reading and voila.  bunch of uncertainties

Thank you, I took a look at the map and the green arrow makes a lot more sense as to why they were so confident. They also could have slept on the unmarked beach because they were trying to avoid taking somebody else's site.

If they were genuinely confused I feel bad for them - it must be a terrible feeling to think your site is illegally occupied. I'm thinking they may have gone to the other side of the lake where there was service, realized their mistake, and pushed off to find an actual site elsewhere on the lake (and potentially away from us to avoid any embarrassment). 


Trip Planning » Weird experience on Pen Lake this past weekend » 8/08/2022 9:39 pm

I had a strange experience camping on Pen Lake this past Friday night I would like to relate to the community here at A&A.

Allow me to me set the scene. My extended friend group had gathered on Pen for our annual camping trip. We ended up at Site 8, about halfway down the lake. It's a beautiful site dominated by a pine-studded rise divides the main cooking/tent pad area in the interior from the massive sand beach that juts into the lake. I set up my new backpacking tent on the pad on top of the hill to take advantage of the lake view, while the rest of my friends set theirs up down in the interior near the cooking area.

We were up late around the fire. I had fallen asleep in my chair while the last couple of our friends chatted by the dying embers. Most of the others had already retired to their tents. I woke up, saw that it was 3:00, said goodnight to the last of my buddies and trudged up the hill. I was just getting about to get into my tent when I heard the distinctive sound of a canoe grinding on the sand below. 

I could see headlamps down there on the beach, through the trees. What? I was confused (a little fireside brandy didn't help) and at first I thought it might have been a couple of the guys from my group, but that obviously didn't make any sense.

"Hey," I spoke softly, but with a touch of urgency, to my friends still around the fire. "I think there are people here."

I assumed it must have been some late night travellers who had lost their way or were having trouble finding an open site, and had intended to use our beach as an emergency overnighter. Their location on the beach suggested they had arrived from the south, either from Welcome or Clydegale - maybe further, if they were out this late. The site marker was on the other side of the peninsula, so it was conceivable that they didn't even know there was a site here, or, if they did, that it was occupied. If this had been the case they would have been welcome to stay for the night and/or we woul

Trip Planning » Campsite tokens, signs, etc., - community opinions? » 7/04/2022 11:08 pm

I would like to get the AA community's opinion on the homemade signs, monuments, tokens, etc., that one occasionally finds on campsites.

The example that stands out in my mind is one campsite that had a little wooden sign on a tree commemorating Gord Downie. Can't recall where exactly, though I know I've seen it discussed here in passing.

So, what do we think? Are these sort of things cool? Unnecessary? Pollutants? Something not to be encouraged? Does it depend on the context? Materials?

Thanks in advance, curious to hear what people think.

Trip Planning » Sunday Lake - can you access from logging road? » 7/20/2021 6:11 pm

Hey friends, I hope this link works but there was a recent thread discussing this in detail:

I'm heading up to Sunday Lake myself in the next little while. To be honest, I'm still not exactly clear whether we'll be able to park up by the portage or not. I'm going to call the park tomorrow and see what they say, I'll report back. 

Trip Planning » How many sites per lake? Thanks, Ontario Parks » 3/05/2021 8:06 pm

Hey guys, did we ever figure out a work around to know how many bookings are available at each lake? 

I'm looking for info on Sunday Lake specifically (group outing). 

I really miss the days when it would show you on the reservations page. Let me take this opportunity to once again thank Ontario Parks for removing an extremely useful function from their website to the inconvenience of millions of campers. 

Thanks in advance, AA!

Trip Planning » Occupied Sites » 8/03/2020 8:21 pm

Yet another reason why you should just be able to book a site like at Kawartha Highlands and other parks. How amazing would it be to head up to Algonquin on a Friday evening without being worried that you won't find a decent spot?

Trip Planning » June 1 opening » 5/30/2020 1:54 pm

So excited, had to just come here to share with people who would understand. I was unaware that this was even a possibility until I saw the news on Reddit this morning. 

Things are booking up quick so I snagged a spot on Canisbay for a birthday/introductory canoe trip for my wife in late June, Pen Lake for another trip in early August, and Tim Lake on the second weekend of September. I chose spots close to access points because I want the wife to be able to come along, but it'll just be nice to be outdoors and in the beauty of Algonquin.

Trip Planning » new reservation system » 2/19/2020 9:44 pm

I sent a complaint about not being able to see the number of sites per lake to Ontario Parks. The good news is that they replied almost immediately, and indicated that they're aware of the issue, if not already addressing it.  Who knows what that means?

I had a cart issue that caused me to lose a Kawartha site a couple of weeks ago, which was a bummer.

I also hate how you HAVE to choose the access point before being able to look at the map. I liked being able to look at all of Algonquin, all of a region, or even the whole province depending on what I was looking for. 

Trip Planning » Parking/Unloading/Launching at Sunday Creek (Access Point #10) » 8/05/2019 6:36 pm

Stainless wrote:

Stop your car on the south side of HWY 60 just east of the bridge over Sunday Creek and unload your gear.  The road is wider there due to the right turn lane for the Visitor's Centre.  You'll be launching onto the creek from the south side of the culvert, east of the bridge. You can carry it down to the put in at the creek right away if you want.  Then you have to drive your car back and park it at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot.  And then walk back along the highway to the put in.  Have a good trip!

Thanks, Stainless, this is the kind of information I was looking for. Much obliged!

Trip Planning » Parking/Unloading/Launching at Sunday Creek (Access Point #10) » 8/05/2019 6:32 pm

trippythings wrote:

I don't have any helpful info for you unfortunately, but would you be able to take some pics of the campsites during your trip? I've found a few online but they weren't the most descriptive and seemed to be dated. It was a lake I was eyeing last season but never ended up visiting. I'm also curious if you would able to hear any highway traffic from the lake, or if you're far enough that wouldn't be an issue.

Absolutely, trippythings, I'll take lots of photos and submit an updated site report for the PCI Project. 

Trip Planning » Parking/Unloading/Launching at Sunday Creek (Access Point #10) » 8/05/2019 5:40 pm

Howdy campers,

The boys and I are heading into the near-backcountry soon for a three nighter on Fork Lake. I'm looking for some clear information about parking, loading and launching at Access Point #10, svp.

As far as I can tell, we park at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, then carry our stuff down the path to Sunday Creek. My questions are as follows:

1. As of August 2019, should we plan on launching north, or south, of the highway culvert?
2. Is there anywhere to unload gear from the car a little closer to the boat launch?

Any other advice is obviously welcome. Thanks in advance, fellow Algonquinites!

Equipment » Securing vehicle keys » 3/25/2019 10:42 pm

I put a floating keychain on my keys while camping, as I'm more worried about having them fall out of something and sink to the bottom of the lake more than anything else.  I then put them in a little waterproof sac and it goes to the bottom of the bag.

If my keys aren't secure in a place where I know they won't be going anywhere, I won't be fully enjoying myself in the wilderness. I think I'll follow the advice of others here and stash an extra key in my bag from now on. 

Trip Planning » Spring Trips? » 3/25/2019 10:36 pm

I'm looking at an easy access paddle-in trip to kick the year off. The only buddy I can get to go camping is still finding his feet in the bush, and a little intimidated about going out in the colder weather. Last year we ended up car camping, but this year I'll take him out to Canisbay, Sunday Lake, Norway or Fork so we can do a little fishing and work on our camping skills. 


Trip Reports » New Algonquin camping series - Mark in the Park » 3/25/2019 10:30 pm

Mark's website has been a great source when trip planning.  These videos are exactly the thing to get us through this time of year when the summer backcountry season is so close, and yet so far away. Hope to see more.

Trip Reports » PCI Submission for Delano Lake's solitary campsite ... » 3/05/2019 7:56 am

Hey Barry,

Thanks for getting the description up so fast. Cool to see your photos, I'm glad it brought back some great memories!

Trip Planning » Total Fire Ban for Backcountry effective July 10, 2018 » 7/11/2018 7:59 am

ATVenture wrote:

Other than that my vote goes for extra mind alrtering substances.

ATVenture, you nailed it right there. 

Board footera

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