Quetico Provincial Park


Quetico Provincial Park is yet another park I have always wanted to go to.  This Park is a back country/paddlers heaven.  There is a campground but only about 100 sites.  However, for back country people there are over 2000 sites and over 2200 lakes.  Not bad eh?  Here is Trum sitting with an Inukshuk we made; he and I like to make Inukshuks wherever we go.


I believe Quetico is the fourth largest Ontario Provincial Park.  It’s big I know that much.  We had yet another great site, #8.  It was a tiered site so our trailer, campfire was on one level and then you walked down a hill to the small beach area.  This is where we would sit after a long day of hiking or paddling and enjoy the scenery.  We paddled one day on French Lake, which is where were camped, and on down the Pickerel river to Pickerel Lake.  Pickerel Lake has campsites on it and it is a very nice lake with a sandy beach; which is where we sat and had our lunch.

One thing at this park we noticed and I have never seen at a park before; as we walked around the campground, we noticed a campground with a zero on the post !  I thought they always started at site 1 and up but maybe they decided to add a spot.  Kinda funny.


We also paddled down the Little Pickerel River until we ran out of water.  We did see two beavers swim by our site one night and saw lots of signs of them on the rivers.    Met up with a group of mergansers, I think we counted 27 in the group.  They are one of our favourites.  I used to call them Punk Ducks until I knew their proper name; what am I saying?  I still call them Punk Ducks with their little sticking up brown hair.  We walked the French River trail to see French Falls but it was hard to get a good viewing spot.  We ended up crossing the highway and picking up a trail on the other side.  There was an artist by the name of  Paul Kane who came to Canada in 1819.  He did a painting that I really liked.  His work was in the Royal Ontario Museum but was on loan here at the Quetico Visitor Centre.  I love the painting so when we crossed the highway to continue the trail along the French River, we tried to find the spot.  Hard to do as things have changed since 1836 which is when he did the painting. We didn’t see any other people at all on these trails.

We did a canoe rescue on French Lake.  We were sitting on our little beach enjoying something to drink (wink wink) and noticed two canoes across from us paddling towards an island.  We noticed them because it was extremely windy and lots of whitecaps and our motto is; if you don’t need to go out in that stuff, don’t go.  Not worth it, even for experienced canoeists.  So long story short, one canoe tipped and the two people in that canoe managed to hang onto the second canoe as the second canoe paddled to the island.  Then the two people in the 2nd canoe dragged the overturned canoe back to shore.  We asked them if they needed help and yes, would it be possible for us to paddle to the island and get the other two people?  Welp what d’ya say to that?  So we went out and got the other two people and brought them back to shore.  They told us it was their first time ever in a canoe, for all four people.  So you know I have thoughts on that but what can you do?  They are all adults and the Parks all rent canoes to whoever has money, sooo……..but okay so here is my thoughts, don’t go out in a canoe when its super windy/whitecaps/dark unless you absolutely have to.  Practice paddling a canoe in a shallow nice spot by the shore.  Oh yeah the reason they tipped?  They were sitting on the thwarts, you know the bars going from side to side?  Anyways, lesson learned, I hope.


One day we drove into Atikokan to Souris River Canoes.   We have had many canoes over the years but this one we purchased about 5-6 years ago is the best. It’s an Ultra Light Kevlar, easy to carry, easy to paddle and even when we had our small poodle, she could walk around that canoe and no worries!   We do a lot of canoeing and it’s great for back country camping/portaging as well.  However, we did notice one of the rivets coming loose so we had called the guy and he said stop in when you are on your holidays up here.  Great guy; fixed our canoe and had a long interesting chat with him!  The canoe is good as new now.


We belong to a couple of photo clubs and at one of the clubs, one evening, a fellow came and did a talk and showed his pictures.  He had a wonderful picture of a hummingbird moth.  I had never seen or heard of one before.  They are quite something.  So anyways, one evening when we were sitting on our beach, guess what flew in and started eating some white flowers alongside our chairs?  A hummingbird moth !  We didn’t have our cameras with us; my husband only had his little point and shoot so we did get some photos with that camera.  I went back up to our site to get my camera and when I came back down, I was just about to take a photo and he took off.  So being the persistent photographers that we are, every evening after we sat down at our beach at 6 pm waiting for him to come back ! hahaha  He never did but I was sure thrilled to see him that one time.  Lesson Learned – always take your camera/gear or have it with you at all times !

Clint’s Photos 


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