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7/07/2020 12:27 pm  #1


Best Access Point

Apologies if this has been previously addressed -- looking for input on the best access point.  We will be renting gear (Outfitter TBD) for a few days paddling.  As I'll have a little one with me, I don't want to do too much in the way of portaging.  But would love an island site on a quieter lake.  Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go and which access point to start from?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by papabear (7/07/2020 12:27 pm)

 

7/07/2020 12:49 pm  #2


Re: Best Access Point

Best is pretty subjective, and it's hard to get quiet without going deeper in the park (portaging), but your best bet would be driving to the north which is quieter than anything along Highway 60. There are a couple islands on Cedar and Kiosk Lake you can try for.

Or you can go to Tims Lake in the west, you can do quite a bit of exploring through the Tim River into Rosebary and even a bit further with very minimal portaging. Not sure if you want to do river travel if you've got a young one with you though.

Wanting quiet and island campsites without portaging is a pretty difficult set of criteria. Are you willing to portage at all? If so how many and what lengths? Even tackling a few portages will open up your options. 


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7/07/2020 1:53 pm  #3


Re: Best Access Point

David Lake.  Magnetawan Access point, short paddle to a 135 meter very easy portage to Hambone, short paddle to very easy 295 meter portage to Ralph Bice, a bit more of a paddle to a 620M portage that is a little up and down but not bad, to David Lake and its two campsites, but the system only allows one to be reserved, and the  Island campsite is a nice one on a pretty lake (good swimming access, good rocky outcropping for lounging around).  From there, you can visit Mubwayaka Lake and David Creek for a little day trip. For me, solo, it took me 3.5 hours to get to David Lake, 3 hours on the way back (because I wasn't taking pictures and map-checking).

Ralph Bice has an island campsite on the way to the David Lake Portage by the way, it is pretty large....I don't remember if there are one or two campsites there.

From that same access point, Daisy Lake has a nice big island with two sites on it, both are pretty nice campsites. I would guess this at 2.5 hours from pushoff.   A day trip from there would be to go check out the Petawawa River and the rapids/falls that are there.

 

7/07/2020 4:05 pm  #4


Re: Best Access Point

Couple island sites on Rain (Rain lake access) if your fortunate enough to get them otherwise Rain is a nice relatively quite lake with many nice sites. Does have motor access though.  Jubilee is a beautiful lake as well only a couple short portages over. No island sites though. If using Magnetawan or Rain access I recommend Algonquin Basecamp as an outfitter.


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7/07/2020 6:30 pm  #5


Re: Best Access Point

Rain Lake. 2 relatively easy portages through Hot and in to islet. The island is great. Relatively quiet lake. Good bass fishing. The first take to the Hot Lake portage is intimidating with its steep climb to the portage but after that nice and easy.

 

7/07/2020 10:47 pm  #6


Re: Best Access Point

If the little one is reeallllllly little it might not be so enjoyable getting the little one up the hill on the Rain-Hot portage. 

 

7/11/2020 8:20 am  #7


Re: Best Access Point

Thanks everyone for the helpful info.  Many of the suggestions are booked through to September but I'm keeping them on my radar for future travels.  Not much left but I'll let you know what we find.  Thanks again!

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7/11/2020 8:47 am  #8


Re: Best Access Point

Sorry forgot to ask -- does anyone know much about Rock --- > Louisa ---->  Pondweed?  How is the Rock/Louisa portage? 

Rock/Pen portage look easier but assume it gets busy.

Also, when you're at a site but want to move on and see other lakes/sites, how do you know if there are any sites available where you want to go?  Assume there is little to no cell service so I suppose you check that just before leaving? Thanks!

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7/11/2020 8:59 am  #9


Re: Best Access Point

When we get to a lake we usually paddle to all the sites and pick the best one to our liking.  You can’t reserve specific sites but it’s first come first served on your arrival day.  Keep in mind people have until 2 pm to vacate their site.

 

7/11/2020 9:06 am  #10


Re: Best Access Point

Thanks Steve E.  That's an interesting point about the vacate time.  A lot of the sites I've visited advise to get up early to get the best sites.  But if people are potentially there until 2 you could either have to take a site that you don't like or keep yourself occupied. 

I guess you could take another paddle out just before 2 to see if anyone has gone...

Last edited by papabear (7/11/2020 9:07 am)

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7/11/2020 9:12 am  #11


Re: Best Access Point

Ya that's always the risk when you go at busier times to popular lakes.  At the end of the day, even the less appealing sites in the park are still ok and the way I look at it is any time spent in the park (regardless of the site) is amazing.  But it is nice to score that perfect site

 

7/11/2020 9:33 am  #12


Re: Best Access Point

The Rock - Louisa portage is about as tame as a 3 km portage gets. Flat and good footing throughout, you can cross it surprisingly fast. 

 

7/11/2020 11:43 am  #13


Re: Best Access Point

Thank you -- could we do Rock - Louisa including portage in a morning?

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7/11/2020 12:54 pm  #14


Re: Best Access Point

papabear wrote:

Also, when you're at a site but want to move on and see other lakes/sites, how do you know if there are any sites available where you want to go?  Assume there is little to no cell service so I suppose you check that just before leaving? Thanks!

You need to get your permits before you start your trip, you're not supposed to spontaneously decide where you are camping. So everything Steve said is true about first come first serve, arriving early to find a good site, etc., but you know that there will be a site available for you because you have a permit. You can't just decide mid trip you want to move on and camp on other lakes (unless you have a permit).

So you can either plan a route, for example:

Rock (start) > Pen (permit) > Welcome (permit) > Louisa (permit) > Rock (leave)

...or you can basecamp and day trip to other lakes without actually camping on them, for example:

Rock (start) > Louisa (permit x3 nights) > Rock (leave), while day tripping to check out surrounding lakes but always coming back to Louisa where you have your permits.


edit: just to add about the 2pm conversation, it's really uncommon that people stay at the site that long. Usually either i) up and out early because they are moving to another lake or finishing their trip, or ii) staying another night and not leaving at all. It's possible that sites get vacated close to 2pm but it's a lot more common for people to leave between 9am-11am.

Last edited by trippythings (7/11/2020 12:57 pm)


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7/11/2020 2:01 pm  #15


Re: Best Access Point

Thanks Trippythings -- it just seems strange to me that you can't reserve the actual campsite. On some lakes it would save a lot of paddling time.  If you get out early and the lake is full the night before you could potentially be paddling around for hours waiting until the one spot that's available from 2 pm onwards that day vacates.  

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7/11/2020 2:36 pm  #16


Re: Best Access Point

Yeah it's a common discussion "should Algonquin let you reserve specific sites or not", there are good arguments on both sides.

But that's why I added that extra bit of info about 2pm, it's really unlikely to be in that situation. By the time it takes for you to travel to the lake, odds are groups will already have vacated their sites. Of course there are exceptions, but it's really rare that you'll need to paddle around waiting for a spot to open.

Also, most lakes have 'buffer sites', for example Louisa has 23 campsites but only reserves 17 (if I remember correctly). This helps ensure that there's something available for you. Not every lake has these 'buffer sites' but large lakes like Louisa pretty much always will.

As far as I know the park has never explicitly explained their logic with these buffer sites, but here are a few scenarios I can think of:
- In an emergency situation where you're supposed to camp on Lake A but you're forced to camp on Lake B, buffer sites help make sure that it doesn't affect another groups reservation.
- Sometimes people just don't follow the rules and will camp off permit, so this is a bit of insurance against that
- If you arrive at a lake late in the evening, and it's a large lake with lots of campsites, you might not have time to scout 20 sites to find the 1 vacant waiting for you, so buffer sites helps in those situations as well


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7/11/2020 3:41 pm  #17


Re: Best Access Point

Good points Trippy.  The buffer makes sense. I normally wouldn't stress over it but with a little one ...

Any thoughts on the Rock - Louisa portage and whether it can be done in one go vs multiple trips?  Again, not stressed if it was just me but carrying a canoe/pack/gear while entertaining a little one can be trying...  I'd like to prepare myself mentally for it ahead of time.   

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