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Paddle Canoe Lake Loop in Algonquin

Unorganized South Nipissing District, Ontario

based on 1 reviews



16 miles

Route Type



Added by John Clairmont

This is a chance to take an extended weekend trip through beautiful lakes in the Algonquin Provincial Park!

This loop was a phenomenal trip for a beginner/intermediate canoe group. There are longer or shorter trips that can start in the same area, so get creative and draft a schedule that works best for your group!

The Lakes: Beautiful and clear, quite deep. The paddling is mostly easy, although you may battle some winds across the bigger lakes. We happened to be out on the first lake during a heavy rainstorm, rocking over waves as if we were stars on Deadliest Catch. Of course I highly don't recommend that for safety reasons, but daaaang was it fun. We did swim some on Days 2 and 3, both times it was frigid but refreshing. Well, I guess one or the other depending on if you ask the girls or guys in our group.

The Portages: The portages are relatively easy, save for one behemoth midway through the trip. We found that while it was long and strenuous for a group who had limited portage experience, the sense of shared accomplishment afterward strengthened the bond between us all and really improved our emotional and mental fortitude. It was one of those moments you look back on for encouragement when you are facing hard times, thinking "I did that huge portage with a 70lb pack and 50lb canoe on my back, and it was loads more difficult than this. I got this!". 

The Campsites: It was generally empty when we visited as we went when during the peak of mosquito season and it was still a bit cold overnight. This meant we had free reign to pick and choose the best campsites, which we absolutely tried to do. Of course, the bugs did limit our selection some, mainly forcing us to pick the more windy sites (which was still quite enjoyable since one had a great full lake view and the other was out on a peninsula!). Both campsites had commodes nearby and small path systems that led to who knows where. Each night we fell asleep to the sounds of the great Canadian wilderness.

The Trip Details:

Day 1:

Start at Canoe Lake #5 (where this adventure coordinates are). Paddle up Canoe Lake approximately 5 km to a portage of 295m into Joe Lake. Paddle up Joe Lake into Little Joe Lake, and stay overnight at an available campsite. I don't have the coordinates for where we stayed, but campsites are clearly marked on the map (highly recommend you buy one) and also with actual signs posted. The one we stayed at was somewhere up the East Arm towards or on Little Joe Lake.

Day 2:

Paddle to 165m portage from Little Joe Lake into small pond then 435m portage into Baby Joe Lake. Paddle 2 km up Baby Joe and portage 1140m into Little Doe Lake. Paddle down into Teepee Lake. Stay overnight. The campsite we stayed at was the peninsula campsite located at 45.592713, -78.723926.

Day 3:   

Paddle down into Joe Lake to the 295m portage back into Canoe Lake and then out.

You will need Park Permits/Reservations to access the park and camp each night in it, and the building we picked ours up at also happens to be right next to the start of this trip. They were quite cheap though. Full disclosure, we booked our full trip through Algonquin Bound Outfitters on their website, http://algonquinbound.com/ (physical location is 5280 ON-60, Dwight, ON P0A 1H0, Canada). You do not need to go through them as there are several other options, including simply planning it all yourself! Just be sure to do your research on park rules and regulations!

Take your time, go explore, bring bug spray, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Paddle Canoe Lake Loop in Algonquin Reviews

I have done this canoe trip twice and absolutely love it! The crystal clear lakes and dense green forests are the most gorgeous scenery. I did the first trip in July and it was the perfect temperature for adventuring but the mosquitoes were brutal - I would highly recommend getting a full body mosquito net. The second trip was in late May/early June and was much colder, but the mosquitoes were less of an issue. There is awesome wildlife as well! I saw two adult moose and one baby moose on the first trip, and could hear geese and elk calling each night. I love this trip and would do it again and again!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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