This summer we packed up the family and headed north to Algonquin Park for a five-day canoe trip. In future years, when the kids are a bit older, we’ll be venturing deep into the park, to the lakes that take days of travel to reach. But while we’re still introducing the young ones to this sort of experience, we stay mainly on Rain Lake, on the west side of the park.
Late summer is of course the best time for this sort of trip. No blackflies, fewer mosquitoes, and the lakes are as warm as they’re going to get. We’re big fans of open-water swimming, and although these lakes are certainly a lot cooler than the sea in the tropics, they are by no means frigid. The water is refreshing and clear, and the loons are always close by. There’s also the chance you’ll run into a turtle or a family of otter while swimming off the rocks.
Anyone familiar with canoe trips knows that it is a vastly superior experience to car camping. But for those who have never paddled away from the car for a few days, it can be a daunting idea. If you’re inexperienced, make sure you go with someone who’s done this before, or hire a guide.
For this trip, we rented a canoe at Algonquin Outfitters, not far from the park. It’s easy and convenient if you don’t already own a canoe. They even show you how to safely mount the boat on your car.
With the summer of 2013 now behind us, we’re left with great memories of a fine trip, and dreams of the ones we’ll take next year.