Algonquin Trip - August 1999

In August 1999, I returned to Algonquin Park for the first time in eleven years. On this trip, we were a group of two - myself and my brother Seth.

As with past trips, we would begin at Magnetawan Lake. Our goal was to reach Burntroot Lake. Because of my interest in history, I've always wanted see the "Alligator" which is on this lake. Although we had been to Burntroot before, foul weather prevented us from visiting the "Alligator".

In order to cover a greater distance, we planned to single-trip all of our portages. This required careful planning while packing. We decided to pack all of our food in one pack. The food pack would be a smaller pack so that it could be carried at the same time as the canoe. All of our other gear was packed in our larger pack. The person with the larger pack would also carry the paddles and life preservers.

Throughout the trip, I carried the food pack and the canoe. Seth carried the larger pack. We couldn't decide who had drawn the short stick. As the food pack got lighter, we transferred some clothing from the larger pack.

We used a Swift Kipawa canoe which we rented from Algonquin Outfitters. This is a rather nice, lightweight Kevlar canoe. It weighs around 50 lbs. The light weight of this canoe made it possible to carry the food pack while carrying the canoe.

Biggest Surprises

The Weather: The weather was unbelievable. Even though it was late August, the temperature reached 80 degrees each day. Only one night did the temperature drop below 60 degrees. As if this were not enough, it did not rain the entire trip. We had plenty of cool weather gear and rain gear which went unused, but we did not mind in the least.

The Propane: This was the first trip that we would not be cooking over a campfire. We brought along a "Grasshopper" propane stove for cooking. Not knowing how much propane we would need, we brought four tanks. It was the sixth day of our trip before we emptied the first tank. This meant we carried two extra propane tanks for the entire trip. This we did mind.

Biggest Mistakes

Sunscreen: Because our most recent trips were cold and rainy, we neglected to bring sunscreen. After three days of having our legs cooked, we began to drape our life preservers over our legs. It helped but we will never forget sunscreen again.

Bad Cheese: In previous trips, we brought gouda cheese in wax to eat for lunch. Because we couldn't find any gouda in wax, we decided to bring cheddar cheese - extra sharp. As we learned, cheddar does not hold up as well as the gouda did. After the second day, we both refused to eat it anymore. Thank goodness we brought the peanut butter.

Just the Pictures

Maybe you aren't interested in the details of my trip. For you, I've created a page which has just the pictures.

Day By Day

What follows is a day-by-day summary of our trip. Follow the link for each day to read more and to see some pictures.

Day 1
Route:  Magnetawan L., Hambone L., Ralph Bice L., Little Trout L., Queer L.
Distance:  8 miles
Portages:  135, 295, 435, 175

Day 2
Route:  Queer L., Little Misty L., Misty L., Petawawa R., Grassy Bay, White Trout L.
Distance:  17 miles
Portages:  2435, 935, 850, 155, 195, 160, 80, 200

Day 3
Route:  White Trout L., Big Trout L., Longer L., Burntroot L.
Distance:  12 miles
Portages:  300, 40, 75

Day 4
Route:  Side trip to Barnet Depot Farm, Side trip to Cedar Rapids
Distance:  14 miles
Portages:  155, 155

Day 5
Route:  Burntroot L., Longer L., Big Trout L., White Trout L., Grassy Bay, McIntosh Creek, McIntosh L.
Distance:  20 miles
Portages:  75, 40, 300, 745, 510

Day 6
Route:  McIntosh L., Timberwolf L., Misty L., Little Misty L., Petawawa R., Daisy L.
Distance:  11 miles
Portages:  405, 765, 935, 450, 135

Day 7
Route:  Side trip to Salvelinus L. and Rain L.
Distance:  12 miles
Portages:  1185, 1275, 1275, 1185

Day 8
Route:  Daisy L., Hambone L., Magnetawan L.
Distance:  3 miles
Portages:  420, 55, 135

Total Travel
Distance:  97 miles (including portages)
Portages:  16,665 meters (~ 10 miles)

The background image was taken from our campsite on Queer Lake during our August 1999 trip.

The maps used on this site were extracted from the "Canoe Routes of Algonquin Provincial Park" map. A PDF version of this map is available.

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Contact Stephen Miller with any comments or questions about this site.
Last updated on 09/01/2003.