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9/11/2019 12:38 pm  #1


Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

It's around now that people start planning their fall trips, so I thought it might be a good idea to have a general thread for fall tripping. There's always lots of questions about the colder nights, shorter daylight hours, colder water temps, stronger winds, etc. and I know there's a lot of people that lurk these forums that might benefit from any tips/advice, route suggestions, etc.

How do you plan differently for fall trips? Do you bring different gear? Build more buffer time into your routes? Favourite areas to view fall colours? Any trips planned yet?

Also a reminder that Algonquin has their annual Fall Colour Report which I believe just got updated for the first time today: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/fall-colour-report.php

And there's also the general Ontario Parks Fall Colours Report: https://www.ontarioparks.com/fallcolour

The average date of peak fall colours historically has been September 27th. 
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/images/graph_fall_colour_history.jpg


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9/11/2019 6:23 pm  #2


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

I do plan a bit differently.  With cooler temperatures I switch to my “shoulder season” list.  Toque, gloves, and in general warmer clothes.  Spring/fall sleeping bag.  Usually my fall trips I plan to be off the water earlier.  Usually dark 7:30 to 8:00 pm when I go so arriving late at a campsite isn’t an option for me, especially as my fall trips are solo trips.

Already booked for a 7 day trip at the end of the month.  I usually hit pretty close to the peak colours time then.  Maybe a little fishing this time around as well.

 

9/11/2019 7:41 pm  #3


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

I'll be heading out for 6 days solo in mid Oct. so fall tripping has been on my mind.  Area unknown yet but probably something simple and relaxing off of 60. 
My best advice for anyone is to invest in proper thermals.  I like Dakota T max from Marks for budgetary reasons but the T1,T2, T3 MEC stuff is pretty amazing if you've got the dough.  A good down vest does more than you think and I always pack an  extra Tuque in case I have to wear one in the rain.  I usually have a pair of paddling gloves and a pair of deer skin gloves for camp.  Always bring good waterproof rain gear and layers on layers on layers when it comes to clothing.  

I usually plan shorter distances per day and try to take the pace a little slower.  As far as scenery I like to travel/camp on lakes with high ridges/hillsides, makes the colours even more spectacular.  The fall season is a great time to find a spot to post up for a few days and just explore a good lake.  

I try to take my food game a little more seriously in the colder weather.  Usually making a hot lunch most days vs. granola/trail mix/snacks.  And always making sure to get fire wood, bear line, camp chores done asap as the sun is down by 630.  

Lastly, watch the weather forecast and be prepared for snow.  It's pretty exciting to wake up some mornings with a light dusting and be comfortable to sit outside. 

 

 

9/12/2019 2:23 am  #4


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

What they said.

Also, I'm of the school of thought that you should always have a separate change of clothes for sleeping. 
Clothing worn during the day will, even though they seem to be dry, retain moisture that will chill you on those nights
that dip down into the single digits.

Last edited by Algonquintripper (9/12/2019 9:52 am)


Dave
 

9/12/2019 7:30 am  #5


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

Good point Dave.  Separate sleeping clothes in the cooler weather makes a huge difference. 

 

9/12/2019 8:47 am  #6


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

Anyone have any experience with traffic during peak colours? I like to trip on Thanksgiving wknd and find this a good time to use Access points that I typically avoid in the summer due to crowds (Canoe, Smoke). We did Canoe lake access a few thanksgivings ago and saw barely anyone after the first portage. 

But last year I heard there were 2 hr+ wait times on HWY 60 because of the traffic that weekend and now I'm second guessing this choice. 

I know it won't be busy past a portage or two but I don't want to sit in stressful traffic before or after the trip. Any insight?

 

9/12/2019 8:48 am  #7


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

Also, if anyone is tripping over Thanksgiving and they want my Turkey Pot Pie recipe, let me know! 

Requires a dehydrator. 

 

9/12/2019 9:24 am  #8


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

captainchaos2000 wrote:

...Already booked for a 7 day trip at the end of the month. I usually hit pretty close to the peak colours time then. Maybe a little fishing this time around as well.

What does your route look like? I have a feeling fall colours will peak earlier this year than the last few years. I'm guessing end of September instead of early October.



TripperMike wrote:

I'll be heading out for 6 days solo in mid Oct. so fall tripping has been on my mind.  Area unknown yet but probably something simple and relaxing off of 60. 
My best advice for anyone is to invest in proper thermals.  I like Dakota T max from Marks for budgetary reasons but the T1,T2, T3 MEC stuff is pretty amazing if you've got the dough.  A good down vest does more than you think and I always pack an  extra Tuque in case I have to wear one in the rain.  I usually have a pair of paddling gloves and a pair of deer skin gloves for camp.  Always bring good waterproof rain gear and layers on layers on layers when it comes to clothing.  

I usually plan shorter distances per day and try to take the pace a little slower.  As far as scenery I like to travel/camp on lakes with high ridges/hillsides, makes the colours even more spectacular.  The fall season is a great time to find a spot to post up for a few days and just explore a good lake.  

I try to take my food game a little more seriously in the colder weather.  Usually making a hot lunch most days vs. granola/trail mix/snacks.  And always making sure to get fire wood, bear line, camp chores done asap as the sun is down by 630.  

Lastly, watch the weather forecast and be prepared for snow.  It's pretty exciting to wake up some mornings with a light dusting and be comfortable to sit outside. 

 

I definitely agree with most of those comments, except I still choose lazy foods even in fall. Banana bread, trail mix, protein bars, and of course whiskey... my staples no matter what season




Algonquintripper wrote:

...Also, I'm of the school of thought that you should always have a seperate change of clothes for sleeping. Clothing worn during the day will, even though they seem to be dry, retain moisture that will chill you on those nights that dip down into the single digits.

I keep separate sleeping clothes for every trip to be honest. I basically just do day clothes vs. night clothes. I don't like bringing my day clothes into the tent since they often smell like dinner, I spill food on them, wipe my hands while cooking, etc. And of course the wet vs. dry reasons you mention as well


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     Thread Starter
 

9/12/2019 9:33 am  #9


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

CanoeClaire wrote:

Anyone have any experience with traffic during peak colours? I like to trip on Thanksgiving wknd and find this a good time to use Access points that I typically avoid in the summer due to crowds (Canoe, Smoke). We did Canoe lake access a few thanksgivings ago and saw barely anyone after the first portage. 

But last year I heard there were 2 hr+ wait times on HWY 60 because of the traffic that weekend and now I'm second guessing this choice. 

I know it won't be busy past a portage or two but I don't want to sit in stressful traffic before or after the trip. Any insight?

Interior camping will be very quiet, but yes the highways and hikes will be jam packed. Cars lined up for kilometres on Hwy 60, tour busses everywhere, and you won't go 50m without seeing someone on a trail off Hwy 60 (Lookout, Booth's Rock, etc.)

I went to Harness a few years ago during Thanksgiving and I paddled through an empty Head, and had one other group on Harness. So for easily accessible lakes like those, it was pretty quiet. I drove up first thing in the morning ie. left before sunrise and arrived just after sunrise, and there was no traffic or any cars lined up. But on my way back at around 6pm it was crazy busy... but more so cars on the side of the road, not actual traffic.

My advice would be to do a trip, the interior will be super quiet. Just plan your driving to avoid the busy hours.

Something very important to consider though is that peak fall colours and Thanksgiving might not line up this year since we have a late Thanksgiving. And a late Thanksgiving means more chance of cold/wind/rain which will deter some tourists as well, especially if colours are past peak.

Last edited by trippythings (9/12/2019 9:34 am)


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9/12/2019 12:03 pm  #10


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

CanoeClaire wrote:

Also, if anyone is tripping over Thanksgiving and they want my Turkey Pot Pie recipe, let me know! 

Requires a dehydrator. 

Claire I'd love your Turkey pot pit recipe if you don't mind. 

As for traffic etc, my plan is to go in mid week before Thanksgiving and out on the Tuesday.  Like Cody mentioned - getting up and driving dark and early avoids the crowds and with the late long weekend it may be more quiet than usual. 

 

9/12/2019 1:38 pm  #11


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

I'd also be very interested in that turkey pot pie recipe

 

9/13/2019 11:33 am  #12


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

CanoeClaire wrote:

Anyone have any experience with traffic during peak colours? I like to trip on Thanksgiving wknd and find this a good time to use Access points that I typically avoid in the summer due to crowds (Canoe, Smoke). We did Canoe lake access a few thanksgivings ago and saw barely anyone after the first portage. 

But last year I heard there were 2 hr+ wait times on HWY 60 because of the traffic that weekend and now I'm second guessing this choice. 

I know it won't be busy past a portage or two but I don't want to sit in stressful traffic before or after the trip. Any insight?

I have been up twice this year both on long weekends. However I drive up on the Monday and leave on the Friday.  I laugh at the traffic on Hwy 11.  I was going to do my Highland Park trip (3 days, 2 nights) over Thanksgiving but decided to go early and am doing it Sept 29-Oct 2 instead, just because of the traffic issues.
 

 

9/13/2019 12:58 pm  #13


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

trippythings wrote:

captainchaos2000 wrote:

...Already booked for a 7 day trip at the end of the month. I usually hit pretty close to the peak colours time then. Maybe a little fishing this time around as well.

What does your route look like? I have a feeling fall colours will peak earlier this year than the last few years. I'm guessing end of September instead of early October.

For myself, this will be more about relaxation than miles covered.  Last falls solo trip was a 10 Day with lots of miles to cover.

One of my favourite areas in the park is the North End.  Access Point 29, the route is simply Kiosk, Manitou, Three Mile, Biggar, North Tea, Manitou and then Kiosk.  I’ve done the route before but out of Access Point 1. 

While I’ve gone early-mid October my seniority at work held end of September which is even better.  I leave Sunday the 22nd..alone!

TripperMike wrote:

I'll be heading out for 6 days solo in mid Oct. so fall tripping has been on my mind.  Area unknown yet but probably something simple and relaxing off of 60. 
My best advice for anyone is to invest in proper thermals.  I like Dakota T max from Marks for budgetary reasons but the T1,T2, T3 MEC stuff is pretty amazing if you've got the dough.  A good down vest does more than you think and I always pack an  extra Tuque in case I have to wear one in the rain.  I usually have a pair of paddling gloves and a pair of deer skin gloves for camp.  Always bring good waterproof rain gear and layers on layers on layers when it comes to clothing.  

I usually plan shorter distances per day and try to take the pace a little slower.  As far as scenery I like to travel/camp on lakes with high ridges/hillsides, makes the colours even more spectacular.  The fall season is a great time to find a spot to post up for a few days and just explore a good lake.  

I try to take my food game a little more seriously in the colder weather.  Usually making a hot lunch most days vs. granola/trail mix/snacks.  And always making sure to get fire wood, bear line, camp chores done asap as the sun is down by 630.  

Lastly, watch the weather forecast and be prepared for snow.  It's pretty exciting to wake up some mornings with a light dusting and be comfortable to sit outside. 

 

I definitely agree with most of those comments, except I still choose lazy foods even in fall. Banana bread, trail mix, protein bars, and of course whiskey... my staples no matter what season




Algonquintripper wrote:

...Also, I'm of the school of thought that you should always have a seperate change of clothes for sleeping. Clothing worn during the day will, even though they seem to be dry, retain moisture that will chill you on those nights that dip down into the single digits.

I keep separate sleeping clothes for every trip to be honest. I basically just do day clothes vs. night clothes. I don't like bringing my day clothes into the tent since they often smell like dinner, I spill food on them, wipe my hands while cooking, etc. And of course the wet vs. dry reasons you mention as well

 

 

9/13/2019 1:01 pm  #14


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

scampb wrote:

CanoeClaire wrote:

Anyone have any experience with traffic during peak colours? I like to trip on Thanksgiving wknd and find this a good time to use Access points that I typically avoid in the summer due to crowds (Canoe, Smoke). We did Canoe lake access a few thanksgivings ago and saw barely anyone after the first portage. 

But last year I heard there were 2 hr+ wait times on HWY 60 because of the traffic that weekend and now I'm second guessing this choice. 

I know it won't be busy past a portage or two but I don't want to sit in stressful traffic before or after the trip. Any insight?

I have been up twice this year both on long weekends. However I drive up on the Monday and leave on the Friday.  I laugh at the traffic on Hwy 11.  I was going to do my Highland Park trip (3 days, 2 nights) over Thanksgiving but decided to go early and am doing it Sept 29-Oct 2 instead, just because of the traffic issues.
 

 
I was staying at a resort in Whitney first week of October Last year.  The highway 60 drive was crazy with people walking across the highway and stuff.  Can’t say I’d want to put in on a highway 60 access point that week.  But who knows maybe the crowds thin out once your on the water.

 

9/13/2019 1:37 pm  #15


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

As requested, I posted my Turkey Pot Pie Recipe in the Camp Cooking Subthread.

https://algonquinadventures.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?pid=21768#p21768

 

 

9/13/2019 1:58 pm  #16


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

Thank you Claire!

Speaking of traffic, I just checked the Algonquin advisories page... Hardwood hiking trail will be closed on weekends to improve traffic flow and visitors exiting via the West Gate will not be allowed to turn in to use the facilities for the same reason.  Really shines a light on how bad it can get over weekends. 

 

9/14/2019 6:45 am  #17


Re: Fall Tripping / Fall Colours - General Planning

Traffic can be absolutely bananas on highway 60 if you’re mixing a weekend with peak colours. We went up a few years ago on thanksgiving weekend (Friday afternoon) at what turned out to be peak colours (and great weather too), not thinking about this factor at all. At Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls PP (Wolf Den Hostel/Cabins) traffic stopped dead. Google maps estimated it would take something crazy like 1.5-2 hrs to get to the west gate. We were able to make alternative plans for that night, and go into the park the next day. It still took ages to get to the gate. Cars were parked continuously along the sides of the road anywhere near a hiking trail. Didn’t see anyone on the water though!

I would be very careful about travelling in either direction on 60 over thanksgiving if the colours line up with that weekend. Stay away from weekend days!

 

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