Fondest memory: The trip had begun auspiciously enough in Algonquin Provincial Park on the heels of Hurricane Isabel that somehow had managed to work its way up to Ontario, a Province nowhere near an ocean the last time I had checked. It was the wind rather than the rain that worried Doreen and as I steered our little Kevlar Ultralight straight into it, I had to admit I thought I had bit off more than perhaps D could chew. But she surprised me; despite the white caps we made our way across Smoke Lake, the biggest one we would have to traverse on the whole trip. We were surprisingly happy to face our first portage mostly because we could get out of the canoe and be on dry land, where the wind did not present as many problems. Still, it was hard work moving the canoe and all our gear through the woods to the next lake. Inexperienced, we made two trips with me doubling back to get the canoe while D watched over our gear. (continued below in Fondest Memory)
Though one can see a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery from the parks corridor road, to truly appreciate all that Algonquin has to offer, one must get out in a canoe and spend a few days camping on the islands.
Fondest memory: Basking in the early glow of the rising sun, it was hard for her to fathom that just thirty-six hours earlier she had stood in the pouring rain, soaked and chilled to the bone, greedily munching on a mixture of peanuts and pretzels that forged her meager supper. At the time, she thought herself mad for succumbing to going on a five-day canoe trip when she had never even set foot in one. It was just to please her nature crazy boyfriend who had expounded relentlessly the rewards of using one’s body to explore the planet in a way more in tune with the wonders it can present. (continued below in Fondest Memory)
Not sure whether to call this a fond memory or not. When I was 13 I was sent to the Taylor Statton Camp Wapameo, on Canoe Lake. Frankly, I was not very happy there - I think the food was ok, but my cabin mates and counsellor and I weren't all compatible. I didn't quite fit into this mix of private school girls.
What I did love was the island, and the history ... the fact that this was where the artist Tom Thomson had painted, and then met his untimely death (murder?) back in 1917 (?). We also had a naturalist come one night and taught us bird calls - almost 35 years later I can still recognise the sound of a white throated sparrow. *smile* Falling asleep with a loon crying somewhere on the lake was magical.
One of my friends, who eventually became my sister-in-law, went to the camp too, but was in another cabin. Lisa hated it worse than I did and wanted to escape. When you're on an island, and the canoes are all put away at night, and the sailboats locked up... you can't easily get off. There was, however, a tour boat that went around the lake getting the story of Tom Thomson and I'm sure the camp. So, we would stand on the shore of the island and try to flag down the boat! I imagine that the people were shown a couple of those friendly campers waving hi! *sigh*
The best thing about the park is that it offers something for everyone. Ethan (my business partners son) came with us on a trip last year. It's never too soon to teach the small fry the importance of the things we're so good a destroying and so poor at preserving. Start em' while they're young, they'll love you for it!
Fondest memory: Passing on the knowledge and respect that everyone should possess and share regarding nature.
When I tried to see the colours, my first instinct was to go to Algonquin Provincial Park. But when I arrived there, I quickly concluded I was too late and I had to go further south. Most of the leaves had fallen already, but these few trees were still having the spectacular fall colours. A little taste of how fantastic the park can look when you're here in the peak of the fall colours.
But as most of the colours were gone, I drove a bit to the south, to the area around Dorset. And I saw some spectacular fall colours there! You can see more of these fall photos on my Dorset page :
Algonquin Park is a provincial park, and for all parks in Ontario you have to pay an entrance fee. The fees for 2002-2003 are :
Day Use Fees:
Includes entrance to the Park, access to all trails, museums, beaches, picnic grounds, and facilities (except the Algonquin Gallery which has an additional charge)
Daily Vehicle Permit
$12/vehicle/day* - Parkway Corridor
$10.50/vehicle/day* - East Side (Lake Traver Rd. Brent and Kiosk)
Bus Permit $80/bus/day
Ont. Seniors Bus Permit $60/bus/day
Ont. School Group Bus Permit $40/bus/day
Bus Permit for Ontario Persons with Disabilities $40/bus/day
(* Ontario Seniors discount by 20% and Ontario persons with disabilities discount by 50%)
Seasonal Vehicle Permits:
Seasonal Vehicle Permits (Provide entry into and available at all Provincial Parks in Ontario)
Summer Vehicle Permit
(April 1 - Nov. 30, 2002) $65
Winter Vehicle Permit
(Dec. 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003) $45
Annual Vehicle Permit
(April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003) $100
Portage P295 is a 3 or 4 minute walk , with a difference in elevation of maybe 2 meters , and has a clean and even walking path.
This is a very nice portgage .
Hiking can be an enjoyable way to explore the park.
The trails are usually of easy to moderate difficulty and are well marked and maintained.