It’s that time of year where the Voyageur Quest office receives phone calls every day asking our recommendation for an appropriate Algonquin park canoe route. My answer always starts with who are you travelling with and what kind of experience are you looking for. Algonquin Park has over 1400 of km of canoe routes with 29 possible starting points and the choices can be overwhelming.
There is no right answer. My personal favourite are canoe routes that travel deep into Algonquin Park’s interior and includes lakes like Burnt Root, Catfish, Hogan and Lavieille. It is important to ask yourself and group a few questions:
1. How long do we want to paddle every day?
Some groups hit the water every day and love to move through as much of Algonquin Park’s lake and river system as possible. Some love a challenge. Some fishing, some just to relax… what kind of distance do you want to travel?
2. What time of year?
Algonquin Park changes dramatically month to month especially water levels. Some of Algonquin’s canoe routes are possible in spring only when water levels are high. Some canoe routes travel in busy areas where getting a permit may be difficult.
3. What is your demographic?
Travelling with kids? Do you have experience with long portages? Can you paddle against strong winds? All really important when factoring your Algonquin park canoe route.
As mentioned above, there is no right answer. If I have to generalize, here are 3 recommendations.
1. Get off the highway.
I love the highway 60 corridor – especially in the winter. But in terms of summer and fall, the Algonquin park canoe routes starting from the highway can get quite busy. Try out one of the other 24 other access points that are on the other 3 sides of Algonquin. Voyageur Quest operates out of Algonquin park access # 1 at the north west corner. 28 km from any highway, access one feels more wild and a great place to start a trip into the north west corner.
2. Take a trip in late June/ early July
Early summer is fantastic for seeing wildlife and fishing. The days are hot and the water perfect for swimming. Bug season is the first 15 – 20 days of June. Try a trip right after and you will be rewarded.
3. Enjoy the journey
Your Algonquin park canoe trip does not have to be tough or challenging. Take your time and enjoy the pristine beauty of of Algonquin’s lakes and rivers. Plan your Algonquin park canoe route with time to slow down and get in natures’ rhythm.