The Story of Voyageur Quest

Voyageur Quest came from an idea I had during a long arduous canoe trip in Northern Ontario. I was working for another company at the time that specialized in taking people out of their comfort zones for 23-day canoe trips. The days were long and the food limited. The scenery however was spectacular. Waterfalls, jack pine forests with sphagnum moss, caribou swimming across lakes, pike and walleye on every second cast. It was so unfortunate that we had to rush through it on another day paddling and portaging from sunrise to sundown. Why couldn’t we come back here and stay for a week! Have nowhere to go! Explore, swim, fish, – and bring lots of good food! Why not come back with friends and have a comfortable time in the wilderness!

history The idea of a comfortable wilderness vacation was born and Voyageur Quest took out its first comfortable adventure to Algonquin Park the next fall. It was 1991. Over the last 15 years, Voyageur Quest has built all of our trips on the idea that a trip in nature can be a vacation- something fun and enjoyable. Choosing Algonquin Park, and more specifically the northwest corner of Algonquin Park, to be our home was less arbitrary. The Algonquin area has deep roots in my family.

My mother Marion Langford (nee Barker) was Head Counselor of a summer girl’s camp, Camp Inawendawin on St. Mary’s lake near Dorset, Ontario in the 1950’s. Her days were spent tripping through Lake of Bays on sailboats or into Algonquin in canoes. Prior to working at Inawendawin, my mother spent all of her summers on Lake Nipissing and Powasson. In the 1920’s to 40’s, my mother’s grandfather (my great grandfather), Thornton Reid lived and worked in Powasson and had a cottage at Lighthouse Bay on Lake Nipissing.

history2He was an expert fisherman and loved to eat fresh pickerel for breakfast every morning. The picture to the right is of my Grandmother and great grandfather sitting on the shores of Lake Nipissing. The picture below is of my grandfather, Elzwood Barker, fishing for speckled trout on the South River in the 1920s.

Powasson and this part of the South River are just a short drive away north from our present day lodge and canoe trip outpost locations on Surprise and Kawawaymog Lake.

logo_langford On the other side of my family, Ken Langford, a cousin of my father’s great grandfather, started one of Canada’s oldest canoe companies Langford canoes, located in Dorset, Ontario. My love for the Algonquin area, canoes, and a sense of adventure come from these family roots.

Since taking out our first trip in the summer of 1991, Voyageur Quest has evolved from a one-person operation to one of Canada’s most recognized adventure travel companies. Our journey has been immensely satisfying. Growth has been slow and steady- one customer at a time. Our customers are what have made this journey feel so special. Our business is small and unique, not exactly the type of place you find in mainstream travel agencies. Our customers have had to search to find us and when they did find us, it was like a reunion of old friends. Kindred spirits who love to be off to be off the beaten track. We have been so incredibly lucky to work in a business that attracts such interesting and well-traveled guests.

Our adventure vacations today are considered “best in class”. In 1998, the Canadian Tourism Commission selected our 3-day Algonquin Park winter adventure, Footsteps of the Pioneer as the Best Winter trip in Canada in the learning and culture category. In 1999 and again in 2000, Voyageur Quest was again selected by the CTC as one Canada’s top 50 Ecotourism and soft adventure companies. We are proud of our past but continue to work very hard to find new ways to improve our trips and offer excellent value to our guests. In 2011, Voyageur Quest’s Algonquin canoe and log cabin adventure was selected by the Canadian Tourism Commission as of of Canada’s “signature experiences”.

Our Algonquin Log Cabin, built in the fall of 1997, was created as a way for our guests to enjoy a wilderness trip but avoid sleeping outside. Our Algonquin Cottage Outpost purchased in 2000 and renovated in 2003, offers deluxe solar -powered comfort for those couples and families looking for a private adventure.

Voyageur Quest today is a small team of hard working individuals who are determined to provide the best possible adventure experience to our clientele. Collectively, our mission continues to be to introduce people to the outdoors in a fun and comfortable way.
John Langford Director & Owner

John Langford
Director and Owner

Voyageur Quest and Voyageur Outfitting

Meet our Team

Seppe Maes
Heather Gough
Martin Lachance
Hannah Armitage

Hannah has a Bachelor’s degree in Canadian history from St. Francis Xavier University. She grew up in the Ottawa valley on the Ottawa river. She has worked and lived in Patagonia. She enjoys skiing, snowboarding, and all water sports.

Marc-André Gosselin

Nothing brings me more pleasure than canoeing the lakes and rivers of Ontario and Quebec.  The smell of pine in the forest; the feel of sphagnum moss under foot; the excitement of spotting an American Bittern; these are the forces that draw me continually to the outdoors.  My appreciation of natural phenomena is rooted firmly in science.  To understand ecology, biology, and geography is to understand the landscape that surrounds us.  Cultural history is equally important when exercising natural interpretation.  What are the values of the First Nations peoples who use this land?  What were the attitudes of early European explorerers?  How are modern day economic forces affecting the region?  Reflecting on these questions reveals meanings and relationships of our natural and cultural heritage. I wish to spend the rest of my life in this conversation and to share and learn with others through outdoor adventure.

Nikoline Calcaterra

Nikoline Calcaterra is a wellness chef, specializing in the healing and energetic powers of whole food.  She has trained in the macrobiotic tradition at the Kushi Institute; with the “Mammas” in Tuscany; and held the intuitive farm-to-table kitchen at Newbold House Retreat Centre in northern Scotland.  When she’s not cooking for you at Voyageur Quest in Canada’s famous Algonquin Park, this global wanderer, cooking instructor and cookbook author spends her time traveling the world, circling with friends, new and old, and fueling and sharing her passion for the earth’s sacred gift of whole food.

Eva Langford

Eva Langford joined the Voyageur Quest team officially in 2007, but has really been a big part of Voyageur Quest from the start! Eva has a Biology and Psychology degree from Queen’s University and over 15 years of sales and event planning from the pharmaceutical industry. Eva also holds a Human Services Diploma, a Masters Degree in Education – Psychological Counselling from the University of Toronto and coaching certifications from Adler Institute. She has interests in coaching for both executive and personal development, team and wilderness therapeutic applications. Eva’s facilitation often centres on team effectiveness, culture and leadership. Eva was a facilitator on our first group in 1991, has guided numerous canoe and kayak trips in the mid nineties and presently directs our Human Resources.

John Langford
Director & Owner

I love being outside on a wilderness adventure.   I also love to share my passion for adventure  with others. Voyageur Quest has been the perfect vehicle for  combining these passions. Algonquin’s north west  provides the bounty with   world class canoeing,  trout fishing, dogsledding and my favourite back country skiing.  Hope to see you on the trail!


Often out of sight, our support teams do all the little things before, during and after your adventure to make sure your experience is seamless. As drivers, shoppers, cook, and cleaning staff – they are the backbone of any trip. A New York City Fireman, Dan Girard was recently at our Log Cabin and described our team in these words, “Having been a New York City fireman for the last 20 years, your staff put on an amazing demonstration of what effective teamwork is.”


Algonquin Park guiding is what defines Voyageur Quest. At the Algonquin Log Cabin, adventure naturalists lead unique excursions to the forests, lakes and rivers around Surprise Lake. Our canoe and sea kayak guides lead trip into the interior of Algonquin park and out into the 30, 000 islands of Georgian Bay. Voyageur Quest guides are skilled outdoorsmen and women who are there to ensure your canoe trip is an adventure of a lifetime. On top of being well versed in the natural and cultural history of Algonquin and northern Ontario, our guides are selected for their love of the people and the land. All Voyageur Quest guides are qualified professionals and trained in wilderness first aid. Our guides and naturalists are warm and friendly and make your experience memorable.


Working full or part time with Voyageur Quest is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, learn new skills and have some fun. Voyageur Quest operates two small lodges and a canoe trip outpost at the northwest corner of Algonquin Park.

Voyageur Quest is hiring for Summer and Fall Special Events guides. Please telephone our office or submit a resume to

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