This one’s our favorite and our recommendation. The park is the quietest and least busy during the weekdays, so the chance of seeing wildlife is higher and other people lower.
The extra day also increases the chance of having a clear dark night with bright stars and planets.
This will be a busy 4-days, packed with adventure. It’s the perfect balance between work and play. There is about 2-3 hours of paddling each day, some wood cutting, and camping in comfort in a wild rugged environment.
There’s a tour to a natural beaver lodge and dam along a narrow winding river, night-time paddle to see the stars, a sunrise paddle, an incredible VIP menu, the coolest activities, and wildlife viewing and photography for moose / snapping turtles / beavers / loons / herons.
We will build a native-style sauna that will be 90C inside and then swim in the river.
You will get to try night vision and thermal binoculars and see the moon and planets with a telescope.
We will stay at the same campsite and use it as a base and explore 9 km in a different direction each day.
There’s swimming, cliff jumping, fishing, campfires, and a few more surprises.
The 4-day excursions have a bit more free time than the 3-day excursions. The average group size is 7. This excursion is an excellent choice for friends, couples, families, or lone travelers.
Your guide has led more than 500 excursions here. He knows what people want to see, do, and experience in Algonquin Park. By the end of the excursion you’re going to have unforgettable memories and pictures of your Algonquin adventure and your new Algonquin camping family.
The exact times of the scheduled events may change due to weather, group ability, or other factors.
|12:30 pm||Meet at Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park (Access Point #5) - intro, registration, equipment|
|1:00 pm||Canoe lesson|
|1:30 pm||Begin journey (3 hrs)|
|4:00 pm||Arrive at campsite|
|5:00 pm||Dinner, animal lectures, how to start a fire without matches, look for wood|
|7:00 pm||Campfire, BBQ salmon, astronomy lesson|
|10:00 pm||Night time paddle to beaver lodge and see the stars from a canoe|
|9:00 am||Guided tour to beaver dam (4 hrs), lunch|
|1:30 pm||Cliff jumping|
|4:00 pm||Short hike, collect wood by canoe|
|5:00 pm||Prepare dinner|
|7:00 pm||Campfire, free time|
|9:00 am||Long canoe tour (15 km) to look for wildlife (4 lakes, 2 rivers, 11 inlets), lunch|
|3:00 pm||Prepare sauna, collect wood, long sauna/swim|
|6:00 pm||Prepare dinner, dinner, camp fire|
|10:00 pm||Paddle to see the stars, free time|
|6:00 am||Sunrise canoe tour|
|10:00 am||Depart campsite, paddle back looking for wildlife|
|1:00 pm||Arrive at beginning point|
We believe very strongly in eating very well. This is a VIP mouth-watering camping feast like no other backcountry camping excursion. It is probably better than the food you eat in restaurants on vacation. All the food is prepared over an open campfire and a portable propane BBQ. There is a vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free option for $20/$25/$30 and the meals will be as similar as possible to the regular food.
- Look at the calendar and choose a trip date.
- Fill out your contact info, preferences, and health info.
- Make your payment.
How can I pay for this excursion?
The easiest way to make your payment is directly registering through this website with your credit card, PayPal, or e-transfer.
Are all prices in Canadian dollars?
Can I make a deposit and make my full payment later?
Unfortunately no. All payments must be made in full at the time of registering.
What is the best way to contact you?
E-mail (email@example.com). We are in and out of the office all day cleaning up from the last camping trip or preparing for the next one. Visits to the office are by appointment only.
What is included?
This excursion includes: canoes, life jackets, basic paddle lesson, guided 3-day/2-night excursion, tent, airbed, sleeping bag, park registration fees and 6 meals.
What is “backcountry camping”?
Backcountry camping is using a canoe to get from your vehicle to the campsite. Car camping is driving to your campsite and parking it near your tent. Your tent will be about 11 km by canoe and portage from the vehicles.
What is a “portage”?
A portage is a path on land through the forest from one lake/river to another. We have to carry all our food, gear, and canoes from one body of water to another. It allows us to go deeper into the forest. Your portage is about 250 m.
How difficult is this trip?
It will be about 35 km/3 days or 50 km/4 days of canoeing. It isn’t a simple trip, but it also isn’t very difficult. You will get tired and dirty. You will sleep and eat very well. We bring 16-year old high school student groups to the same location as well as groups of beginners.
What are the minimum physical requirements and necessities to take this excursion?
All participants must be 5 or over, less than 100 kg, be able to walk, and have functioning arms.
I have never been in a canoe before. Is that a problem?
Most of the people will be beginners. Canoes have a middle seat where you can relax but let your guide know exactly how much experience you have and how comfortable/confident you are in the canoe. Everyone has life jackets so you will be 100% safe, but your arms might be sore from paddling.
I can’t swim. Is that a problem?
Knowing how to swim is always an asset, but it isn’t necessary. You will have life jackets, and you will be paddling with a group of canoes including a licensed professional. Let your guide know your swimming ability when you meet. Also, canoes can flip, but they don’t sink. They float even filled with water.
Is this excursion dangerous?
Any outdoor excursion to the wilderness has risks. Although there are bears in the park and we are living in tents in the forest, we rarely see them and they avoid campers. The weather (temperature/rain/snow/wind), dehydration and heat exhaustion are much bigger potential dangers than bears.
Can I go fishing?
Yes. Fishing is possible in Algonquin Park with a valid fishing license. You can get this many places in every city. There are many different kinds of licenses for different durations and non-citizens.
What should I not forget?
Don’t forget your Invoice & Confirmation Letter (on your phone), medical insurance, water sandals/shoes, and any medicine you need. These are absolute must bring.
Is there an age restriction?
Yes. Participants must be 5 or older. There are always exceptions. If you have a child younger than 5 and wish them to participate, please contact our office. It most likely won’t be a problem however our equipment vehicle doesn’t have child seats, so you will need to get to Algonquin Park on your own.
What must I NOT bring?
DO NOT bring any metal containers (beer can, coke can…) nor glass containers (beer bottle, wine bottle). No guns nor hunting in the park.
How much money should I bring?
You won’t need any money during the excursion, however, there is a gift shop and you will need money for food when the trip ends. Bring your credit/debit card and about $20 in cash (some of the gift shops are cash-only).
Do I need to pay a tip/gratuity after the excursion?
You can pay a gratuity to your guide if you wish. I am sure he will appreciate it very much. It is not necessary. We suggest buying a souvenir from our Algonquin Nature Adventures Merchandise.
Are there any refunds?
There is a 100% refund if cancelations are made more than 2 months before departure, 50% refund if cancelations are made 30-60 days before departure, and 0% if cancelations are made less than 31 days before departure. There is no refund for missing the ride, missing the meeting time and location, nor being ejected for “unacceptable camping behavior”/becoming a safety hazard.
How far is the hospital from the campsite?
The closest hospital to the campsite is approximately 5 hours away (canoe & driving).
What kind of sandals do I need?
You need sandals that you can walk in a river 40 cm deep many times every day. Flip flops and crocs aren’t OK.
Do I need special shoes?
NO. Regular running shoes are sufficient. More rugged shoes would be better, but don’t go out and buy special shoes for this excursion.
What kind of clothing (tops/pants) do I need?
Your tops should be long sleeves, not tight, and a closed neck. It is the best protection from mosquitoes. Always bring something warm because the weather is unpredictable sometimes. You will get more mosquito bites with short sleeves. Your pants should also be loose to allow movement and protect you from mosquitoes.
Should I rent the waterproof backpack?
If there is any chance of rain, rent it. Speak with your guide. You can decide at the park. You don’t have to reserve one.
Is there drinking water at the campsite?
There is no running water at the campsite. All our water is filtered river water. It’s perfectly fine, but you can bring a few bottles of bottle water if you’re concerned.
What food options are there?
There are 4 options for the food : regular, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free. There is an additional charge of ($20 / $25 / $30 for vegetarian / vegan / gluten free)
Can I bring snacks?
Yes. You should bring snacks like chocolate bars, energy bars, nuts etc.
Can I bring alcohol?
The park permits alcohol in plastic bottles only. Please remember you are 5 hours from a hospital and any alcohol consumption will exclude you from any canoe activity.
Can I smoke cigarettes at the campsite?
Yes but ALL filters must be thrown in the campfire.
How many people in each canoe?
There are 3 people in each canoe.
How long is the canoeing each day?
There is about 3 hours of canoeing each day.
Can I pick my own canoe partner?
Usually yes, however, safety is our first priority and we are traveling as a group so it is possible for the first lake, your guide may want to redistribute some power from one canoe to another.
How many people in a tent?
There are 3-4 people in each tent. The tents are very large and you can stand inside. They are separated into male and female. There is also a mixed tent.
Can I bring my own sleeping bag?
Can I bring my own tent?
Unfortunately no, however, there are 3 large tents for 10 people so sometimes 2 people end up in a tent by themselves.
What animals can I see?
You will most probably see wild beavers, loons, snapping turtles and on about 70 % of the trips we see moose. The best time to see moose is from mid-June to the end of August. The best time to see moose calves is from mid-June to end of July. The best trip to see moose is the 4-day weekday trip. Snakes are not common to see but they are harmless garter snakes. The park has wild wolves but you will not see them, but you might hear them from a distance at night.
How bad are the mosquitoes?
The mosquitoes are most abundant from the 2nd week of June to mid-July. If you wear a long sleeve top and pants, you will be fine. A mosquito head net and some repellent are also very good ways to protect yourself.
Algonquin Park has about 2000 black bears. There is no separation from the wildlife and our campsite. You will probably not see a bear on your excursion, but a bear will probably see you. Bears avoid humans. But there is always the potential risk so food storage and campsite cleanliness are issues we have to deal with.
Are the animals dangerous?
Moose can be dangerous if you get too close. Bears can also be dangerous if they lose their natural fear of humans. No animal is poisonous in the park. Preparation, knowledge, and experience can greatly reduce any potential risks. Your guide will give you a detailed explanation at the campsite. Nobody on our excursions has ever been injured by an animal.
What if it is raining?
Our excursions continue on schedule whether it rains or not. There are some specific situations such as wind, current, lightning etc. that might delay the schedule. Our excursions are prepared for rain.
What if there is a fire ban?
If there is a fire ban in the park, the trip will continue as planned.
Is there a washroom at the campsite?
This is backcountry camping. There is a traditional camping “compost toilet” on each campsite. There is a great view and you have privacy.
Can I charge my phone at the campsite?
There is no electricity at the campsite. You should have your phone fully charged at the beginning of the trip and bring a battery charger.
Is there internet/cell service at the campsite?
There is no internet/cell service at the campsite.
How many people on the campsite?
Our excursions have an average of 7 people per trip.
Is the water cold?
In May and very early June, the water is cold. In July and August it is warm enough to swim very comfortably. The water begins to cool down in early September and by the end of September it is cold.
- There is a 100% refund if the trip is canceled by Algonquin Nature Adventures. You will be contacted as soon as possible.
- There is a 100% refund for cancellations made 60+ days before departure.
- There is a 50% refund for cancellations made 31-59 days before departure.
- There is NO refund for any cancellations made 30 or less days before departure.
- There are NO refunds if there is a fire ban in Algonquin Park.
- There is no refund if environmental conditions (weather, temperature, current, wind, rain, snow, bears etc.) affect or shorten/lengthen the excursion.
- There are no refunds if your excursion is shortened for sickness or any injury.
- There is NO refund if you CANNOT provide proof of medical/travel insurance at the departure and are possibly refused participation.
- There is NO refund if you arrive late for the departure.
- There is No refund for Visa/Embassy/immigration issues.
- There is NO refund if you are ejected from the excursion for “unacceptable behavior”. There is zero tolerance.
Unacceptable behavior includes: racism, bigotry, sexism, sexual harassment, any issues with alcohol or drugs, aggression/violence, violating common sense rules, drinking alcohol and swimming/paddling, violating the campsite rules, violating Algonquin Park regulations, intentional damage to the equipment or forests, inappropriate language, violating Provincial and Federal laws, and/or becoming a safety liability for yourself or anyone in the group.
Is the transportation included in the price?
No. Transportation isn't included in the price. You are responsible for your own transportation. The price is the same whether you meet us at Canoe Lake or decide to get a free ride in the equipment vehicle the guide or canoe instructor uses to commute to work from Toronto to Algonquin Park. You are not paying for the transportation to and from Algonquin Park. You are catching a free ride with the canoe instructor while he is commuting to work. DO NOT tip the driver of the vehicle or pay the canoe instructor any money in any form for the transportation. We are not a commercial bus or taxi company. We are commuting to work and you are getting a free ride.
Can I get a free ride to the park?
Yes. On the morning of each excursion (8:00 AM), our equipment vehicle delivers the excursion food and gear from Toronto to Algonquin Park. You can get a free ride to and from the park.
If I drive up on my own, is the parking permit included?
No. You can get it in Algonquin Park at the Registration Office at Canoe Lake (Access Point #5), or the East/West Gates at the park’s entrance.
Is it better if I come in my own vehicle or take the free ride?
We believe it is better to have your own vehicle so after the excursion, you can continue to explore other parts of northern Ontario. It is truly a vision.
Our excursions originate from Toronto.
In the early morning of excursion dates (8:00 AM), we transport the food, sleeping bags, and our camping equipment from Toronto. There is usually sufficient space to offer a free ride to the same location. It’s no problem at all. The excursion price is the same if you get the free ride or not.
If you are getting a free ride in our equipment vehicle, we will see you at the Ossington Subway Station, Toronto. It is at the intersection of Ossington/Bloor. We meet at 7:50 AM. We depart at exactly 8:00 AM. We cannot wait 1 minute because of rush hour traffic to Algonquin Park. It is your responsibility to arrive early. There is a CIBC bank machine and a McDonalds/washroom at the intersection. Please wait inside the subway station near the front door until you see someone from our team. Please see the [map] below. We will be parked in the small CIBC bank parking lot next to the station. You can eat and drink in the vehicle. Please go to the washroom before departure. There are no refunds if you miss the ride. Arrive 30 min early and go to the washroom at McDonalds. The ride will be about 4 hours. You can sleep in the vehicle. You will have time to change your clothes if you need to at the park.
There is no need to confirm your free ride the day before the excursion. The vehicle delivers the food and equipment. It always leaves the morning of every excursion. If you accept this free ride, it is your responsibility 100% to make sure you arrive to the departure location early. There are no refunds if you are late/miss the ride.
See you at Ossington Station between 7:50 AM – 8:00 AM on the morning of your excursion.
This is a multi-day, outdoor wilderness excursion. Preparing is the most important part of the excursion. You should check the temperature in the day and night and the possibility of rain in Algonquin Park (West gate) for each day of your excursion. There is limited space in the canoes so we need to pack efficiently and smart.
This excursion includes: canoes, life jackets, tents, air beds, sleeping bag/fresh liner, and your meals (6 meals/3-day and 9 meals/4-day). There are some things you must bring, should bring, don’t have to bring, and must not bring. Dollarama, Walmart and Canadian Tire are the cheapest places to prepare. You need clothing to protect you from the cold, the rain, the sun, and the mosquitoes. See the checklist.
- Simple hand/head flashlight w/batteries
- Water sandals – you will walk in rivers up to your knees every day … flip flops and crocs aren’t OK
- Medical Insurance, Invoice and Confirmation letter (on phone or printed)
- 1.5 L bottle of water (refilled at the campsite)
- Shoes (running shoes are fine)
- Socks (3) – in May, June, Sept, Oct bring warm socks
- Pants (2) – loose
- Tops (3-4) – Long sleeve is better. Avoid open V-neck. Bring at least one warm sweatshirt
- Hat – a hat to block the sun is a very good idea
- Jacket – bring one according to the temperature at night … we paddle at night too
- Rain coat – bring one if there is any chance of rain
- Personal things – toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, sunglasses, medicine, insect repellent, sun block, headache medicine etc.
- Some snacks (chocolate, energy bar, nuts, etc)
You should pack everything in separate plastic bags before you put them in your backpack. Bring several extra plastic bags. You don’t need a special backpack. Any backpack you can fit your things in will be fine. There is filtered river water at the campsite. If you want, bring something else to drink (juice, pop, etc) in a plastic bottle. Your pants and tops should be loose to allow body movement and protection from mosquitoes. It’s better not to bring your passport, but bring a credit card, any picture ID, and some cash ($20). There’s a gift store. In May, early June, September, and October, the nights can get cold. Gloves, hat, scarf, and neck warmer will be necessary.
Don't have to bring
- You don’t need to bring any plates, dishes, cups, bowls, fork, spoon, eating knife, toilet paper
Must not bring
- No Glass Bottles (beer bottle, wine bottle, any glass bottle)
- No Metal Cans (beer can, coke can, tuna can, any metallic disposable container)
- No shampoo (no biodegradable shampoo)
- No music with speakers (headphones are OK)
- Alcohol is permitted in the park in plastic bottles. (Remember, you are 5 hours from a hospital)
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