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We were driving towards Opeongo Lake (3 kms north of Km 46.3 mark) when the rain started falling. Before we know it, it turned into a massive down pour with visibility becoming almost zero. We saw some kayakers drastically pedaling to get back to the launching deck. When we reached the launching deck of Opeongo Portage Store (6.2 kms north of 46.3 km mark), the rain had sent everybody packing (picture # 1). Our plan to rent out canoes at the Store were thus thwarted. However, a powered boat and its passengers were still enjoying it out on the lake (picture # 2).
Thunderstorms and rain are a frequent problem in summer season, but I suggest that the travelers should wait them out. They come and go within no time.
For example, in this case, although our canoeing plan failed, we were able to hike on a trail later in the day.
Updated Sep 3, 2012
I've been going there for 25 years. Number one problem is noisy people. They RUIN it for everyone. This is not a wilderness park as often described. It is a daycare for teenagers and five year olds. Crank up the volume big time. Going into the interior by foot or canoe for miles on end results in MORE noise from idiots not less. The organized campgrounds are patrolled and noise is little problem. But go into the interior away from most people and you will find people canoeing with infants. Yes, infants. Or five and under usually. Or drunken teenagers. I mean in the middle of this so called "vast" wilderness. Its bull. Mostly logging trucks and punks. The nature itself is spectacular, but you can rarely get to enjoy it in the context of where you are because of endless racket from people. Way too many people with little kids. I like kids, just not all the time screaming 50 meters from my campsite over open water. Really kills the experience.
Written Aug 21, 2012
Even though Algonquin is a provincial park, it doesn't mean that all of its land is protected. In fact, only about 20% of the land is saved from the chainsaw.
If you are only travelling around Hwy 60, you will likely even not know about this fact, as most of the logging activities occur deep in the interior of the park. I was aware of this when driving on the road to Lake Opeongo, I noticed that a sign by a dirt road warning ppl that this is a private road and watch for logging trucks.
Another disturbing fact is that there are over 2000km of logging roads in the park's interior! It can serve as an easy access to the interior by poachers.
For more info about logging within the park's boundary, read the document below.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
I went to the park July 1st. While hiking the mosquitoes where so bad that it felt like i was walking through high grass hitting my hands, but it was realy mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are abundant, beginning in mid to late-May and usually last longer than blackflies. Mosquitoes are most often a problem in cooler, shady parts of the forest, as well as in the evening, and into the first couple of hours of darkness. They usually become less of a problem through the night (although they do not disappear entirely).
Here are some tips to help yourself.
1) Wear long-sleeve shirts with cuffs and collars that can be buttoned tight, as well as long pants with elastic cuffs (or tuck your pants into your socks).
2) Mosquitoes and Blackflies are attracted to dark colours. Wear white, tan, khaki, etc.
3) Use insect repellent on areas that are exposed — something with DEET works best. Be careful with DEET and plastics or rubber (camera housing, the rubber rim around binoculars, etc.) because it melts the plastic/rubber. Be very careful with DEET around your eyes, lips and nose (it stings!)
4) Try some sort of netting (a bug hat, or bug jacket).
With all of this you will be ok!!
IF YOU LIKE MY POST PLEASE GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK, THANKS.
Written Jul 8, 2008
Although I've spent a lot of time in Africa and Asia, I had seen nothing like the bug and mosquito problem in Algonquin park. I wish I had read all the tips on VT before choosing June to come here. Normally the Centennial ridges trail should take around 4 hours, we managed it in less than 3 !! With the swarms of these little buggers nipping at my ears, eyes and even up my nose we were virtually sprinting round. We did have DEET on but to very little effect. By the time we were back at the car my tongue had swollen along with my eyelids. Not funny at all. Fortunately the nice people at the Pharmacy in Huntsville had seen it all before and gave me some anti-histamine tablets to take. For 3 days I had to wear sunglasses even though it rained most of that time. Never again in June.
Written Oct 9, 2007
Though the highway 60 corridor gives visitors great opportunities to see wildlife it can also cause problems. Every year more than two dozen moose are killed in nightly collisions along the Parkway Corridor. Respect the posted speed limits.
Written Oct 16, 2005
How to keep bears way fro your food:
1. Put all food and garbage into sealable, airtight bags, such as Ziploc bags. Divide these bags of food into two piles of equal weight.
2. Put each pile into a separate plastic garbage bag. Tie the bags shut and put each bag into its own stuff sack.
3. Tie a rock to one end of a 100-foot length of rope, then throw the rock and cord over a strong, sturdy tree branch 20 to 30 feet off the ground and 8 to 10 feet away from the tree trunk.
4. Tie one filled stuff sack to one end of the rope using a sturdy knot, and hoist that bag off the ground until it reaches the tree branch.
5. Untie the rock.
6. Tie the taut rope in your hand to the second stuff sack full of food, leaving a loop in the knot. Remember, you're still holding the first bag in the air.
7. Stuff all the excess rope into the stuff sack.
8. Push the lower bag up with your hands. The first bag will come down as you push up the second, since they are counterbalancing each other over the limb.
9. Use a sturdy stick to push up the bottom of the stuff sack even more so it's out of reach of a bear (at least 12 to 15 feet high).
10. Use the loop in the second knot to retrieve the bags. Put a stick in the loop and pull downward.
Written Aug 18, 2005
Bears are spectacular and beautiful wild creatures, and where they have had little contact with humans they tend to avoid us. Unfortunately, humans are encroaching on bear habitat more and more each year. If we are going to coexist peacefully, it's up to we humans to take care not to create bear problems, since, as the saying goes, " There are no problem bears, just problem people."
Nevertheless, there have been tragic consequences to bear/human interaction in Algonquin. Three boys were killed in 1978 and an adult couple, trapped on an island with a bear, was killed in 1991.
Here are some safety tips for travelling the interior:
Be prepared! Learn as much as you can about bears before venturing into bear country. Check with the appropriate authorities before setting out (provincial wildlife officer, park warden, etc.) to see if there has been any reported bear activity along your planned route.
Stay alert! Watch ahead for bears and bear signs. Claw marks on trees, tracks in the dirt, bear droppings, plant root diggings, berries or trampled vegetation are all signs that bears may be in the area. Overturned rocks or broken-up rotted logs often mean a bear has been foraging for insects.
Try not to surprise a bear. If a bear hears you coming, it will usually avoid you. Warn bears of your presence by talking loudly or singing, especially in dense bush where visibility may be limited or around rivers or streams where hearing is limited. Your voice will help identify you as human.
Never feed a bear, either intentionally or unintentionally by being careless with your garbage or food scraps.
Hike during daylight hours in as large a group as possible and stick together. If you smell or see signs of a dead animal (ravens circling) move away from the smell, making a wide detour. Leave the area if possible.
Updated May 27, 2005
In Algonquin, blackflies are usually out by mid-May (depending on the weather in any given year) and are usually around until late June. The worst time of day for blackflies tends to be the last two or three hours of sunlight. Mosquitoes are also abundant, beginning in mid to late-May and usually last longer than blackflies (into July). Mosquitoes are most often a problem in cooler, shady parts of the forest, as well as in the evening, and into the first couple of hours of darkness. They usually become less of a problem through the night (although they do not disappear entirely).
How to Prepare Yourself
If you are concerned about biting insects we suggest preparing yourselves in one or more of the following ways:
Wear long-sleeved shirts (if it is hot, lightweight cotton shirts are good) with cuffs and collars that can be buttoned tight as well as long pants with elastic cuffs (or tuck your pants into your socks). Blackflies crawl and will land on you and then crawl under clothing if they can (i.e., if you have a loose neckline they will crawl down your shirt, or if you have loose pants crawl up your pant legs).
Do not wear dark clothing (black, dark blue, red, etc.) as blackflies are attracted to dark colours. White, tan, khaki, etc. are preferable.
Use insect repellent on the areas that are exposed — something with DEET works the best although you have to be careful about not getting it on any plastics or rubber (camera housing, the rubber rim around binoculars, etc.) because it melts the plastic/rubber. Also be very careful with DEET around your eyes, lips, and nose (it stings!).
If you don't like to use insect repellent, either put up with the blackflies around the areas of open skin, or invest in some sort of netting (a bug hat, or bug jacket) which can be bought at most outdoor stores. Evidence exists that something in garlic acts as a repellent.
Written May 27, 2005
Leaches can also be a problem in Algonquin. Early in the afternoon I took a swim on the other side of the lake across from our camp area. When we returned I quickly dried off, got dressed, started to collect firewood for the night, and started getting dinner ready. These things all take time so once you're fed, the fires going and you've found a place to hang your food for the night, it's pretty dark. Well... about 11:30 at night we finally decided to go to sleep.
Of course the dog is being very pushy by trying to secure a spot inside the tent. I wage a short, but intense battle with her to maintain my authority and rightful place gaurding the entrance to the tent. I assist Maria by holding the flashlight while she takes off her mud-caked boots and she assists me in a similar fashion. I take off my boots to find one sock is soaked in blood. Hmm... I don't feel any pain? Well... let's take a look.
It turns out that a leech - who has been feasting on me for the past 9 hours - is a wee bit gourged with blood and is now stuck between my toes and unable to escape. Once I part my toes he just falls off and it appears he is now about 1.5 inches in length. Interesting. We take some photos, clean up and hit the sack.
Updated Oct 16, 2004
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