View topic - 3-days in Ontario - route and outfitters

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 1:28 pm 
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We have 5 days in Toronto last week in June 2020.

We are family of 4, I'm canoe coach and all of us are good paddlers used to Scottish loch and white water trips.

Could you recommend a trip that ideally (and this may be too long a list...)
- uses public transport to arrive from Toronto (save car hire while we are paddling and not using the car)
- outfitters on the lake or river that can rent us everything - paddling and camping gear, maybe even food...
- a trip that is a real chunk of Canadian paddling that feels like wilderness / away from the crowds

If you could also arrange warm dry weather and no bugs that would be great (although we do survive the Scottish midge regularly).

Thanks in advance

Matt


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 1:50 pm 
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I am sure that someone who lives closer to Toronto will have better ideas, but the only thing that occurs to me is using one of the outfitters on Hwy 60 and going into Algonquin Park. You can get there by bus and they will rent you everything, including packing your food for you. You are going to burn up most of a day going in and another coming out, so with the remaining 3 days you aren't going to get anywhere remote and isolated. End of June -- there will be bugs, lots of black flys and mosquitoes.


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 1:57 pm 
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Peter K. wrote:
I am sure that someone who lives closer to Toronto will have better ideas, but the only thing that occurs to me is using one of the outfitters on Hwy 60 and going into Algonquin Park. You can get there by bus and they will rent you everything, including packing your food for you.

That sounds good. I'll look a few up.

Peter K. wrote:
You are going to burn up most of a day going in and another coming out, so with the remaining 3 days you aren't going to get anywhere remote and isolated.

Fair point! I think the feeling of that is more important than the reality. We have a few Scottish lochs where it's hard to camp or paddle without the sound of a busy main road or houses in view - and others that after a couple of kilometres you feel pretty remote...


Peter K. wrote:
End of June -- there will be bugs, lots of black flys and mosquitoes.

Oh eh. Don't tell mrs_outandabout!


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 2:23 pm 
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OK, try Algonquin Outfitters and Opeongo Outfitters. They offer similar services and both have been reliable in the past.

After one portage in you will leave the mechanized world more or less behind, but there will be other paddlers.


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 2:28 pm 
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Hey Matt

A few thoughts.. I have never used it but you may want to look into the Park Bus.. Runs from Toronto to Algonquin Park. Stops at 2 Outfitters by the look of it. On Opeongo Lake and Canoe lake.

https://www.parkbus.ca/algonquin

If it were me I would go to Opeongo. Rent all your gear and book a Water Taxi to get you all the way up that lake and away from the crowds.

3 night loop I would:

Drop off at Happy Isle Portage
Night 1 Big Trout.
Night 2 La Muir (Coming in from Red Pine Bay)
Night 3 Big Crow ( walk the trail to the fire tower look out)

Out at the Proulx Portage - water taxi pick up.

There are some longer portages in there and it WILL be buggy at the end of June.. no way around that..

Lots of options with that plan though.. maybe a there and back to Burntroot lake .

Not sure how long you want your days to be..

Shawn


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 6:28 pm 
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I'd take a giant pass on the Park Bus, you could rent a car for less than a family of 4 could use the bus and you would not be so restricted as you will be with the bus schedule.

Algonquin is one of the few places "close" to Toronto where you could do a full outfitting rental on site (boat and gear). In late June the crowds will not be too bad especially during the week (July 1st weekend will be very busy) and if you pick a route that has a couple of portages you will be able to get something resembling solitude.

Another advantage to renting a vehicle is that it would give you a few more options since you could rent gear here in the city and go to a place where a boat might be easily rented but gear (tents, sleeping bag/pads etc) not so much.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2019, 8:13 pm 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
i'd rent a car and run to Rain Lake and have arrangements made with these folk

http://algonquinbasecamp.ca/canoe-and-kayak-rentals/

They are on your route. You will be away from the highway and while the lakes are not large and you have portages they add to the experience. I have no experience with these folk but they do offer complete outfitting


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2019, 12:06 pm 
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Definitely go with the car rental -- so many more options, and the cost won't be terrible.

For wilderness feel, definitely Algonquin, parts of Kawartha Highlands PP will also give you more solace then you're probably used to.

I would definitely look into some bug shirts or something similar, because that time of year can be super buggy.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2019, 12:32 pm 
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There is also Halliburton Highlands, the Frost center canoe area as well as Poker Lakes. They are an hour closer to Toronto and will still provide that back country feel same as Algonquin. There are a few outfitters in the vicinity that can provide gear. During the week it will be fairly empty in June, but as mentioned, bugs will be awful so get a big net shelter, bug jackets, or bug spray otherwise the bugs will be unbearable at that time of year.

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2019, 1:17 pm 
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I'll bring the bug nets and a dose of 'get on with it'....!


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2019, 4:53 pm 
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ShawnD wrote:
Hey Matt

A few thoughts.. I have never used it but you may want to look into the Park Bus.. Runs from Toronto to Algonquin Park. Stops at 2 Outfitters by the look of it. On Opeongo Lake and Canoe lake.

https://www.parkbus.ca/algonquin

If it were me I would go to Opeongo. Rent all your gear and book a Water Taxi to get you all the way up that lake and away from the crowds.

3 night loop I would:

Drop off at Happy Isle Portage
Night 1 Big Trout.
Night 2 La Muir (Coming in from Red Pine Bay)
Night 3 Big Crow ( walk the trail to the fire tower look out)

Out at the Proulx Portage - water taxi pick up.

There are some longer portages in there and it WILL be buggy at the end of June.. no way around that..

Lots of options with that plan though.. maybe a there and back to Burntroot lake .

Not sure how long you want your days to be..

Shawn



That has merit but it may be a little more enjoyable and still remote if they took the watertaxi to Proulx portage and went in as far as Big Crow. It would only be one portage (1450 M) in and one out, they would have some lake paddling, some meandering swamp and the could camp on one of the beaches on Big Crow, see some old growth pine, climb the hill where the fire tower is (was) etc. On a short time frame I find a single camp with adventures a bit more relaxing...……..
Ken


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2019, 6:10 pm 
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Last week of June you'll see some people, but definitely be away from crowds, even in Algonquin. Bug nets are in order, but shirts are even better (something like Original Bug Shirt is even better). Bug shelter will go a long way to make evening meals comfortable. Algonquin portages are very easy, but tend to be longish, especially doing it in double-carry, which triples the distance, especially if one is not accustomed to them portages.


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PostPosted: November 13th, 2019, 6:40 am 
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Location: SW Quebec
Has anyone mentioned bugs yet :D ?


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PostPosted: November 13th, 2019, 7:10 am 
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scratchypants wrote:
Has anyone mentioned bugs yet :D ?


Are bugs a problem in June? :)

I like the Big Crow base camping idea now that I think about it. Definitely, if u only have 2 nights.

Lots to do there as mentioned. Could do a day trip down the river as well. Good chance to see Moose.

Big Crow is usually pretty full but it won’t be in June.


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PostPosted: November 13th, 2019, 7:58 am 
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Location: Toronto Beach(es)
Base camp on Boundary Lake in Killarney PP. (book early) Nice lake with relatively easy access and only one campsite for solitude. Good access to the Silver Peak trail, though there will be people there.

Rent a car. Rent your gear from Killlarney Kanoes on Bell Lake. Buy DEET.


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