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7/05/2022 9:56 pm  #1

So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

A friend and I have talked about a trip together for several years, and we've finally aligned the stars to make that happen.  It will be a late September, four day trip from a Thursday to a Sunday.  He is an experienced camper, very comfortable in the woods, but primarily a backpacker, so I'll be in the stern doing my best imitation of Horatio Hornblower.

He hasn't been to Algonquin, so I'm kind of the tour coordinator.  I was looking at routes that will 1) give a fair idea of what the park has to offer, 2) is ideally a loop, to keep as much of what is in front of us "new", 3) not kill anybody through brutality of portage, but require enough work to make it memorable, 4) provide some opportunity for the feeling of remote seclusion.  

I've looked at four routes, but would like some input, or possibly different routes to suggest.  Need to stay west or along 60.

Option 1: Magnetawan-Queer, Queer-Little Misty, Little Misty-Daisy, Daisy-out.   This is my leading candidate.  Puts us on a big lake (Ralph Bice), most likely with wind behind us.  I like ending up on Little Misty because it is a one-site lake (remoteness), and its a really pretty little lake.  (Maybe we could daytrip to Misty.)  Heading toward Daisy gives a nice taste of river travel.  Not gonna lie, this is the one I'm leaning toward.

Option 2: Farm-Booth, Booth-Godda, Godda-Booth, Booth-out.  Godda would be the remote spot, with two sites.  The travel days aren't too demanding, although it is logs galore near Mole on McCarthy Creek.  This also offers some river travel, but it is a pretty broad river there.  The area is pretty, but there's a lot of "back-the-way-we-came" on this loop, and my memory is that you can hear the dam on the eastern end of Booth for quite a distance, and....I dunno, I just don't like hearing that all night.

These next two are areas I have not been to before, but keep meaning to visit.

Option 3: Rock-Pen, Pen-Harry, Harry-Louisa, Louisa-out.  The chief downside I can see here is that it is a walking tour of Algonquin Park.  There are....memory....three(?) portages of 2K+.

Option 4: Rock-Clydesgale, Clydesgale-Aubrey or Echo Bay (Echo Bay = remoteness), Aubrey or Echo-Rock, then Rock-out.  This is the least challenging of the routes, and I'm not sure either of us would be all that enthused about that.

Would appreciate any thoughts on these or other routes that might fit the bill.  Thanks!


7/06/2022 9:17 am  #2

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

I would vote for #3 but stay at Welcome for one of the nights. There's a bit more portaging length overall but none of them are too brutal and I like the variety that the overall trip offers. I like the campsites better on those lakes as well; Welcome you're almost guaranteed a beach campsite, then Louisa you're almost guaranteed a big rocky shoreline campsite. Pen Falls is always nice for a lunch break. And if you still have energy by the end of it all, you can take the shortcut hike up to Booth Rock Trail before going back to your car.

I'd personally do Welcome for one night, then Louisa for 2 nights. That way you tackle one long portage each day but give your group a rest day to enjoy your surroundings. I always think a rest day is good for first-timers in the park to have time to stop and smell the roses.

Even though it's a popular area of the park and a popular route, in late September it won't be very busy at all. It's always nice doing popular routes in non-popular times.

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7/06/2022 12:02 pm  #3

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

This was 10 years ago

10 years later this is still my answer to the best short route in Algonquin. Cedar, Catfish, Burntroot, Nip offers the quintessential Algonquin experience. Other than reasons of convenience I pretty much avoid any route starting from 60.

Last edited by MartinG (7/06/2022 2:11 pm)


7/06/2022 12:49 pm  #4

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

Thanks for the responses -

Trippy -  I'll have to look at the map a little later and see what that looks like.

Martin - Cedar is a really long drive for me coming from Buffalo. 

     Thread Starter

7/06/2022 2:15 pm  #5

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

Yeah it's a drive. For me 5 hours to Brent vs 3 1/2 hours to Rock. Still worth it in my mind.


7/06/2022 2:23 pm  #6

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

6 hours 45 minutes for me, but that's non-stop and doesn't include border and stop for gas, etc.   Started a trip at Kiosk one time, that was about 7.5 hours, Brent's got to be another hour.  I'll probably do it one day because I'd like to see Cedar, but I'm thinking not this particular trip. 

     Thread Starter

7/06/2022 7:45 pm  #7

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

If you had an extra night I'd nominate the big trout loop out of canoe lake hands down. Grassy Bay, otterslide creek, and the trout lakes in the middle really give a bit of everything.

Welcome is definitely an ideal stop over Harry imo. Better sites, better views. Two nights on Louisa is a good call... So many nice sites to call home there. You can search for the pictographs on Rock Lake, as well.


7/09/2022 12:54 pm  #8

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

I'd go #1 as well. Like Martin I avoid the 60 corridor, too much traffic for my liking. Magnetawan entrance should be much quieter. 


7/11/2022 12:24 pm  #9

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

Well, I spoke with my friend, and ended up making a reservation for (basically) #1, except we'll stay on Misty instead of Little Misty. 

I'm going to save (modified #3) for a solo trip, maybe Spring 2023, which would be Rock-Welcome, Welcome-Louisa, Stay on Louisa, then Louisa-out.  Thanks very much for the suggestions and help, particularly with the info about Welcome and Louisa.  I've never been in that area, but it is on my list for sure.

     Thread Starter

7/11/2022 5:43 pm  #10

Re: So I'm taking a buddy on a trip and I'm figuring out a route

Hope you have an awesome trip MooseWhizzer Dave!

Option #1 is a really nice route in my humble opinion. In June 2021 the campsite on Little Misty was covered in goose poo along with turds from many other animals. Never seen so much scat in one area in my entire life and I'm an old man! The Little Misty site also had 4 of those Ontario Provincial Park firepit grates... the really heavy grates/grill with legs. Still not sure how that single site acquired four of those grills/grates? Can't imagine anyone transporting those grates in a canoe and portaging with them.. those grates/grills are heavy.

Anyways, if I were to do that loop again I'd stay on Misty instead of Little Misty. There are a few really nice campsites on Misty Lake. Last August I stayed on the Misty Lake campsite that Trippythings reviewed and camped on... great campsite in August! Usually I like having the only campsite on the lake but Little Misty I wouldn't do again. Think you've made a good decision to stay on Misty.

Have fun!

Last edited by Dwight (7/11/2022 6:30 pm)


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