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7/12/2017 2:54 pm  #1

First trip newbie questions


First of all, I would like to say---this site is an awesome source of knowledge. I learned more reading for an hour or two  last night vs everything I have researched in other places for the last week.

So I am planning my very first trip to Algonquin with my 2 teenage sons for August 9th, 3 days 2 nights. Starting off at access point #6 and travelling to Bonnechere. Staying both nights at Bonnechere.

Just want to make sure I understand the whole reservation thing, as I am used to conservation park camping.

So my permit only reserves a "site" on Bonnechere at one of the 6 locations?

Each of the six locations is "1 site", not multiple sites at each location?

It is up to us to find one that is not already in use?
Is it common to find all sites occupied even though I have reserved spot?

Sorry for the newbie questions. 



7/12/2017 3:17 pm  #2

Re: First trip newbie questions

Hey Mikey, welcome to the forums!

You're booking "a" site on the lake, yes. When you get there, you scout out the available sites and take your pick. And by 'available' I mean not already in use by another group. 

Yes, it's up to you to find a site not already in use
It's rare to find all sites taken. The booking system already has a bit of flex built into it in that they won't allow as many bookings as there are campsites. Bonnechere, for example, has 6 sites in total, but a maximum of 4 bookings can be made for that lake for any given day. This is because people aren't always where they're supposed to be, whether due to weather, illness, or other circumstances beyond their control (and sometimes when they could and should be where they're supposed to but aren't). I wouldn't lose too much sleep about getting there and finding nothing available but if you do, there's no harm in asking the groups if any of them are moving on that day. 



7/12/2017 4:46 pm  #3

Re: First trip newbie questions

Also it's good to know how many other people are camping on the lake. As mentioned, Bonnechere only reserves 4 of the 6 sites. You should check the online reservation system before you leave and see if all 4 are booked. When you get to the permit office, I would also ask how many people are checking in that day for Bonnechere, and if they've already checked in yet.

Having this extra bit of info can make the decision easier when asking yourself "should we paddle to the other side of the lake and see if those sites are available, or should we stay here?" and can save some unnecessary back-paddling.

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7/12/2017 7:14 pm  #4

Re: First trip newbie questions

Thank you for that info and suggestions. I will check the online reservations before leaving. 

I am positive it will be an incredible few days. Been looking forward to this for a long time and hoping to make it a yearly trip.

     Thread Starter

7/13/2017 6:23 am  #5

Re: First trip newbie questions

Hi Mikey,

Welcome aboard and glad to hear you're having a good experience here - I couldn't agree more about the site as a resource for quality information - it has helped me become a better tripper over the years.

The link below to this sites PCI index shows Bonnechere Lake and the various sites.  Some of them have been recorded to show you what you may be in store for.  I can tell you that site #2 on the below link is one of the nicest sites on the lake - beautiful layout, nice swimming, good rocks for viewing the meteor shower (unfortunately you'll have a full or near full moon so you won't get to see much at all as far as stars and meteors go, bummer).

I've stayed on sites #1 and #2 and both are good but 2 is really nice.


7/13/2017 8:47 am  #6

Re: First trip newbie questions

PaPaddler wrote:

...unfortunately you'll have a full or near full moon so you won't get to see much at all as far as stars and meteors go, bummer

On the positive side, the moonrise is going to be around 9:40pm the first night and 10:10pm the second night. It's going to be "Astronomical Twilight" by then (aka pretty dark), so might get treated to a nice moonrise. Key your eyes open

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