While spending time abroad and experiencing new and different things each day, It was easy to find excitement and interest in all the sights and sounds this world has to offer. It becomes increasingly difficult to view your own country through that same set of eyes. Being away for so long really left me with a desire to see my homeland especially when I come from a country so large and full of natural beauty that I have barely scratched the surface of. I decided I would start with somewhere close to home, Algonquin Park.
My good friend Fraser has long talked about making a trip deep into Algonquin Provincial Park interior for we had both been on short weekend long trips but never ventured too far into the back country. This might sound like a suicide trip with two novice outdoors men venturing into the wilderness but a little pre trip reading, some maps purchased and of course some essential skills like starting a fire, pitching tarps and tents and your well on your way. Despite being a massive expanse of swamps, lakes and rivers, Algonquin has a network of marked portages and canoe routes and should you get lost, its as simple as finding the nearest campsite on your map and getting a bearing.
We chose to go in May for experiencing some of the parks pristine trout fishing was high on the list of priorities although black flies and mosquitoes were quite a concern at this time of year. Thankfully the fish were biting and the bugs were not as bad as expected. We also chose to enter through the North gate at the town of Brent, 5 hours from Toronto in hopes of avoiding any sort of crowding which can sometimes happen on popular routes. We chose our route wisely and only saw the signs of one other group in our full 6 days in the park.
With fear of giving up some now top secret fishing spots I will not recite our daily itinerary but our route was to paddle up the Petawawa river via Catfish lake and Burntroot before caneoing down the Nippissing River. The travel days were sometimes long with some strenous portages in the rain but some things are just not meant to be easy.
In the end, the trip was a major success with plenty of great fish caught and some great wildlife seen including 6 moose, bald eagles and beavers. Now that my sore muscles have heeled and my bug bites are no longer swollen, I am already planning my next foray through this amazing land in central Ontario. I hope you enjoy the photos.