Canoe Camping in Algonquin Provincial Park
This blog was written by guest blogger Andrew Corbett.
Algonquin Provincial Park is located in central Ontario and is a crown jewel in the impressive Ontario Parks system. It is a very popular destination for canoe camping – and nature buffs in general.
Established in 1893, it is the oldest provincial park in Canada. It covers an impressive 7,653 square kilometres – about a quarter the size of Belgium – and contains an amazing 2,400 lakes. It also contains about 1,200 kilometers of rivers and streams.
The park is in a transition zone between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario, and has geographic features from both of these areas. For example, it has an amazing mix of both coniferous trees (more common in Northern Ontario) and deciduous trees (more commonly found in Southern Ontario).
Moose, bear, deer, wolves, and loons are just some of the wildlife that can be found in the park. Moose are commonly sighted in the Spring by the side of the road. They venture to the ditches alongside highway 60 (that runs through the Southern part of the park) to lick the salt run-off from winter road maintenance, to restore sodium levels that get depleted from a long winter hibernation.
Over the last few years I have been on several canoe camping trips into the Algonquin Park backcountry. My canoe camping trips have been either solo trips, or group trips with my local backcountry outdoors group.
These backcountry trips offer a glimpse into a less traveled Algonquin interior, which is much quieter than the busy campgrounds, trails, and rest areas along Highway 60. Wildlife sightings are quite common on backcountry trips, and I believe the true essence of Algonquin Park reveals itself in the more remote areas. You truly get a sense of the peace and solitude that can be found in a totally immersive natural setting – well away from the sounds and features of civilization.