Algonquin Park Day Trip – 20 November

We had quite a few days of nice weather so last week we decided we needed a day trip to Algonquin Provincial Park before the weather gets too bad for driving. So last Friday, we got up a o’dark thirty, packed up our lunch, water and coffee and were on the road before 5:30 a.m. It takes 2 1/2 – 3 hours to drive there from where we live.

It was already 7 Celsius when we left and later in the day it rose to 11-12 Celsius with beautiful blue skies. We drove from one end of the Park to the other with stops in between. The Park was pretty quiet, hardly any people at all which was fantastic! We were surprised to see that ice was forming on the smaller bodies of water already and there was lots of ice on some of the rocks along the highway. They must have had some really cold days prior to us going for our trip.

We were hoping to spot some moose but no such luck today, which was disappointing. But we had a great day anyways spotting beavers, otters, grouse, a pine marten, Bufflehead ducks and assorted other ducks and birds. It was a great day to get in some hikes and some photography.

The photos below were both taken on Arrowhon Road (west end); first one taken last Friday and one taken in early October. Quite a difference!

We saw lots of Grouse, everywhere we went. We also spotted some Bufflehead Ducks, from a distance.

We spotted a couple of otters but they were pretty far away and my lens is only a 300 mm so I snapped one photo just to say I saw him ! To be honest, even editing couldn’t help this photo! It would have been nice to have been closer.

We saw the little Pine Marten that we always see, in the same spot. He really liked our truck this visit. They are super cute until they open their mouths and then they look like little vampires!

There are always tons of birds hanging around, Grey Jays, Chickadees, Blue Jays and more.

Some photos taken along one of the trails we walked.

One of my favourite spots along Arrowhon Road. March Hare Lake.

Mew Lake Campground had a few campers, such a different vibe when there is hardly anyone around. The Squirrels were busy getting ready for winter.

The beavers were out in full force, we probably saw 1/2 dozen that day.

Why did the beaver cross the road?

He crossed the road to get his stick, that’s why.

The branches these guys chew down and drag back to their houses are incredible. The photo below is from a distance but I wanted to show the length of the branch he was swimming with. You notice to the left there are some grey branches sticking out of the water and he is on the right of the photo. Quite amazing really. The second photo is a close up and third photo is of a beaver just sitting in the grass, deciding whether to go get another branch or head back to the water. That’s right, I’m a beaver whisperer……

Well that’s that, a nice day but long. I think we got home around 8 p.m. but we always enjoy our time spent in Algonquin Park.

Stay Safe Everyone.

Algonquin Park – June 2016 – REVISITED

I haven’t been out anywhere to be able to put anything of interest on my Blog.  So, I went back to June 2016 and am re-posting this Blog post.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Algonquin Park (Ontario, Canada)  and we spend a few weeks every year there, in all seasons.

This was one my favourite trips there.  Now the old fox in the photo below (he’s on the right) passed away about a month ago.  He was amazing to photograph and he was an amazing Dad.  That is one of his kits on the left.

Anyways Enjoy!   Hope to get back out there one day !

foxes at water

I love Algonquin Park in the spring !   I love seeing all the babies, they are on the trails, on the rivers and in the woods!  And quite often the loons are still sitting on their eggs.  So we finally were able to secure site 77 at Lake of Two Rivers.  We have always wanted to try this site.  Very big, on the water (but not really good water access) private except on one side is a valley area of bush between us and the sites on the southwest side.  We had a few people tromping through that bush and ending up in our site !    Happened more than you would think lol.  And they always look surprised as if our 20 foot trailer and truck are invisible !

Continue reading “Algonquin Park – June 2016 – REVISITED”

Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 11 – 2011

This was our final year doing this kind of trip (for now).  In the years following, 2012 and 2013 two of us had surgeries.  In 2014 Clint and I retired and then our “big” trips started.  We would leave May/June and return home October.  In 2018, we stayed in Ontario traveling and did get in another back country trip.  I hope to be able to do a few more years of this but the way we travel now, I don’t know.  Anyways, this year Back to Pen Lake !


Portage access from Rock Lake into Pen Lake

Clint portaging the canoe

So we made it back to Pen Lake.  We had a huge big site, up above a rocky shoreline.  It was pretty spacious and open.  Lots of room for us and we were able to see anything coming lol


So a fair walk in behind our site was the toilet.  And I mean literally a box as per below photo.  No roof, no walls, just you and nature.  This type of camping is not for everyone.  You take your roll of toilet paper and off you go.


Clint went for a little paddle on his own and snapped this photo of us relaxing at our site

The rocky shoreline of our site

This is the third time we have been on this lake and we have had three different sites and we have loved each and every one of them.  All were unique and I don’t know which would be my favourite.

My sister and I would swim off these rocks and I remember one day when we got out of the lake, Clint asked me a question.  Here is how the conversation went:

Clint – what was that swimming in the water with you?  It kept circling you for a good 20 minutes.

Me – What????

Clint – the animal in the water, what was it?

Me – and you are just thinking to mention this NOW?  Why didn’t you yell at me when I was in the water with it?

Clint – I didn’t want to scare you or startle the animal.

Me – (&^%*(((*^%?)*

Anyways, pretty sure it was a muskrat or a mink or who the hell knows.  But I lived to tell the tale !

It was not a water snake, which I mention because there are a lot of water snakes around but they don’t bother me. If they aren’t poisonous and can’t kill me, I don’t worry about them.  Just shoo them off.  But this was not a snake.

Our site also contained a squirrel nest.  In a tree right beside the fire pit, there was a huge hole and a bunch of baby squirrels.  The mom would leave the tree in the daytime and come back at night.  What also would come out at night were owls.  We had a couple of owls hanging around, trying to capture these babies so they could have a nice dinner.  Kind of sad but that’s nature.  The babies were cute to watch.  They would come out a bit and then dive back in, I think they were unsure what to do and where to go.  Plus they didn’t want to get into trouble with mom.

Baby checking to see what’s going on

One of the young

Mom having a rest

One of the Baby Squirrel Hunters aka Owl

We also saw lots of waterfowl, including herons.  We love herons, sometimes we sit in our canoe for hours taking photos.


Just a frog………..

When we were at our site, we would sit and relax.  It became an intersting spot.  Clint noticed this bush with this huge spider nest in it, and the Mom spider.  So gross, for me anyways.  If you don’t like spiders, don’t look at the next two photos and honestly I’m not sure which photo freaks me out more.  I hate spiders.

Mom Spider

Nest and look at all the baby spiders, bleh

There is lots to do in this area which is one reason that it’s very popular.  You can do day trips to Galipo River, Welcome Lake, Night Lake, Clydegale Lake and more.  So every morning, early we, as per usual, pack a lunch and head out.  When we got back to our site late afternoon, it was time for a sit on the rock and a nice wine or vodka/orange.



Another year gone and every time I look at these photos I want to go back.  It was hard doing these Throwback Blog Posts because it makes me nostalgic for those times.  I think next year will be the year for a couple more back country trips.  Our summer this year (2019) has been all planned and we have no time but next year………………………Well that’s another story.


Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 10 – 2010

Alq Aug 2010_56
One of the portage access points.  Easy Peasy………….

So this year we are heading to a whole new part of the Park, how exciting is this !  We were told about a wonderful site on Kioshkokwi Lake (Kiosh for short) which is located in the north east area of the Park.  My sister read in a book that this site is the jewel of Algonquin Park.  The guy writing the book is a LIAR.  lol   anyways it’s about a five hour drive from where we live.

Because we had a long day getting there, we decided to camp right on Kiosh

Alq Aug 2010_694

Nothing like paddling in the rain !

The campsites on this lake, and I’m just gonna say it, suck.  Period.   We got what we thought was one of the better ones but it wasn’t.

Alq Aug 2010_367
This is a view of our site from the water

Alq Aug 2010_369
See the little crooked tent?  That’s our tent, was no fun sleeping on a slippery slope !

Alq Aug 2010_372
This was a beautiful area

Alq Aug 2010_391
Lots of marshy areas

Alq Aug 2010_653
Some kind of little alien bug

Alq Aug 2010_686
Another great portage access !

Alq Aug 2010_689
Having a rest between portage trips

Alq Aug 2010_690

Alq Aug 2010_691
Finally, I think I’m near the end

Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 9 – 2009

So here we are again, going back to Carcajou Bay off Grand Lake.  We like this area and no portages to get to our campsite.  So that’s a bonus.  Just a little paddle in site and we can even take more stuff, cause you can never have too much stuff !

Alq canoe 08_15_2009 14
My sister and her husband

Continue reading “Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 9 – 2009”

Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 8 – 2008

This year we are doing a longer trip, putting in at Opeongo Lake and heading to Crow Lake.  Opeongo is the largest lake in Algonquin Park with a total area of 58 km2 (22.4 sq mi), average depth 14.6 m (48 ft) and maximum depth 49.4 m (162 ft). Opeongo has three arms, north, west and south.  We are heading to the North arm.

Opeongo Lake has a store, canoe/kayak/gear rentals and also water taxis.  If you aren’t familiar with water taxis, you can hire someone with an actual boat, WITH A MOTOR,  to take you and your canoe/kayak to another part of the lake.  Much faster, saves a lot of time and because the water on some of these big lakes can be very rough, it is safer.  I am pretty sure I have mentioned more than 53 times, I hate paddling on big lakes.  We are experienced canoeists but I still don’t like to paddle certain lakes and this is one of them.   This particular lake has had many drowning deaths on it.  As recently as 2014, four canoeists capsized.  Two made it to shore and two drowned.  Extremely sad for the families.  Just be safe when canoeing or doing any kind of boating and wear your lifejackets.

All our gear, just waiting for our water taxi


Continue reading “Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 8 – 2008”

Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 7 – 2007

LR Exported CanoeWell here we are again ! Another summer, another trip to the back country of Algonquin Park.  We decided this year to go to Pen Lake.  Yes we have been here before but it’s an area we love and there is always a ton of wildlife.  This is a photo of the canoe we had at that time.  I believe we are on our fourth canoe now and it’s a Souris River 17 1/2 foot Ultra Light Kevlar weighing about 44 pounds.  Super easy to carry !  ……….for Clint. lol


Continue reading “Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 7 – 2007”