Sample canoe trip plan
Aaron & Alex's Canoe Trip
Who: Aaron & Alex Savatti
Where: Algonquin Provincial Park, Access Point #9 Rock Lake
When: June 9th – June 12th
Trip Shed Contact: Aaron – (416) 835-7136 ; Alex – (416) 835-7432
Ontario Parks Permit Reservation #: INOP20-516353B1
Canoe Booking Reference #: 55378693
Enter/Exit: Rock Lake
Night 1: Pen Lake
Night 2: Frank Lake
Night 3: Lake Louisa
Gear You've Got
- Dry bag x 2
- Park map & case
- Canoe Pack
- Food Barrel
- Lightweight Tent
- Sleeping Pads
- Sleeping Bags
- Stove & Fuel
- Cookware & Utensils
- Pot Gripper
- Lighter & Matches
- Water Purification System
- Kitchen Cleaning Supplies
- Toilet Paper
- Insect Repellent
- Lightweight Tarp
- Stuff Sacks
- First Aid Kit
Suggested Packing List
(Things You Need To Bring)
- Sun hat/glasses
- Neck warmer/buff - great for staying warm on rainy days, or dip in water and wrap around your neck to cool off on the hot ones)
- Lightweight t-shirt/long sleeve
- Sports bra
- Rain jacket
- Hiking pants
- Wool/synthetic socks
- Supportive shoes
- Rain pants
- Toque/knit hat
- Lightweight sweater (fleece is always nice)
- Long underwear
- Sweatpants/track pants
- Wool socks (extra pair)
- Lightweight 'site shoes' (easily slipped on, durable, water friendly – think, Tom’s or Croc’s)
- Extra underwear!
- Small stuff sack to keep personal items easily accessible (phone, wallet, keys, medication)
- Quick dry towel
- Power bank
- Feminine hygiene products
- Notebook & pencil
- Spare cash, just in case
Pro Tip: Leave your coziest outfit in your car for the drive home. Or sit in the car with your wonderful forest odour, that’s nice too.
Quick Glance Map
Detailed Route Notes
Alright you two, you’re in it! You’ve got this. Below are some notes on the day to day travel. What to expect, what to look out for, what you’ve got ahead, and some prompts to help get present to what’s around you. We can’t wait to hear some of the stories you come back with.
On The Way Up:
Getting Your Canoe:
You’ll need to stop off at Algonquin Outfitters at Oxtongue Lake on Highway 60 (035 Algonquin Outfitters Rd, Dwight, ON P0A 1H0) to pick up & size your paddles/lifejackets. The canoe will be waiting for you at the shores of Rock Lake, turned over, with a label on it saying The Trip Shed/Katie. When you’re done with your trip, leave it at the same place you found it and make sure to stop back off at Algonquin Outfitters to return your paddles/lifejackets.
The confirmation email sent from Ontario Parks will serve as your permit. Two copies are printed. The first will go into your map case and stay with you for the trip. The second will go on your dash and serve as your parking pass. Given that you don't yet know the license plate number for your rental, please make sure to fill in the plate number line with it when you find out.
KM of Paddling: 8
KM of Portaging: 375m
What to Expect: Welcome! Today’s an awesome entry day to the park. You’ll be coming in from Rock Lake, starting off with a paddle through this gorgeous body of water. Make sure you head left after pushing off the docks which will head straight into Rock Lake. A bit of meander through the nearby waters of the campground, and out into the open lake. You’ll head straight down the lake, sticking closer to the right hand shoreline, through a narrower section to your portage. A good one to get warmed up on, a short 375m carry that walks you past some stunning falls. If you’ve got the time, take it here and go enjoy the sight. Splash around, fill up your bottles and enjoy. You’re now at Pen Lake. Any open site is up for grabs, so depending on your energy levels, grab one that’s as far in as you’d like. Island sites are great for avoiding bugs and give you a full directional view of the sunset.
KM of Paddling: 2.6; 1.5; 10; 2.5 (16.6km)
KM of Portaging: 275m; 2170m; 320m (2.8km)
What to Expect: Back on the water! From your campsite, continue down Pen Lake, sticking to the right hand shoreline. You’re looking for a 275m portage leading to the Galipo River (there’s another 275m portage at the end of the lake leading to Clydegale Lake – you don’t want that one). This portage and the next walk you around some gorgeous falls, so once again, take your time, check them out, and really play with listening. The second portage, 2170m to Welcome Lake, will be the bulk of the day’s ‘work’. It’s on the longer side, and an awesome opportunity to get some steps in. Once you’re at Welcome Lake, again stick to the right shoreline and head across until you hit the creek opening. It’ll be a narrow stretch, slower paddling through some winding bends. Once you arrive at open water, you’ll be on Harry Lake. There won’t be any signs indicating you’ve arrived there, but follow the map and you’ll notice how far along you are (Katie, your map skills will be great here!). On Harry Lake, you’ll want to stick to the left-hand shoreline, once again ending in a creek and winding stretch. Almost there! Welcome to Rence Lake. You’re not going to want to head out into the lake here, as the entrance leading to the portage to Frank is just a few more moments directly to your right. Some more creek paddling, and you’ll hit the 320m to Frank Lake. Your day is done! You’ve got the only site on the lake. Go get it, relax, get some dinner going and enjoy the peace and quiet.
KM of Paddling: 3.5km – 6km
KM of Portaging: 1.7km or 2.9km
What to Expect: Options! As we chatted about on the trip briefing, you’ve got two options today. Frank Lake has two portages leading to Lake Louisa. Access to these portages is through Florence Lake, directly connected to Frank Lake through a narrow straight. One entrance is through the 1.7km portage to the west, and another through the 2.9km portage to the east. Depending on how you’re feeling, weather, and how long of a walk you’re up for, take your pick. In any case, you come out on Lake Louisa. This stunning lake offers a high number of sites, some with beaches perfectly suited for a dip and a lakeside nap. Bear in mind, the length of your morning paddle the next day depends on where you decide to camp tonight. Either way, it’s not too far.
KM of Paddling: 8.7km – 12.9km
KM of Portaging: 3km
What to Expect: Final stretch! Depending on where you camped, hop back in your boat for a shorter or longer paddle to the 3km portage to Rock Lake. Often called Highway 400, this portage is long, flat, and an easy space to let your mind wander. Enjoy it! You’ll come out to a sandy put out on Rock Lake, ready for your final paddle home. Stick to the left hand shoreline (if you’re up for it, paddle close to the cliff faces and try to spot the Indigenous pictographs!). Keep following that shore and you’ll soon see the campground you set off from a few days prior. Almost there. Paddle through that little creek, dock your boat, and you’re done.
Way to go. Take a moment. Soak it in.
We hope it was an amazing trip.
Breakfast: At Home
Lunch: Chicken Curry - Eat this after unloading your car and before getting in the canoe. Throw garbage out at the lake (not in the lake). Leave tupperware in the trunk.
Packed and ready to eat
Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken (In Freezer Bag)
BBQ Sauce (In Spice & Sauce Bag)
Snack: Take your pick from the snack bag, we recommend digging in to the s'mores :)
Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs
Shredded Cheese (Cooler)
Lunch: Salami & Cheese Wraps
BBQ Sauce (In sauce bag - ketchup & mustard also available)
Dinner: Mac & Cheese
Follow instructions on the bag - enjoy :)
Feel free to doctor it up with anything from the spice/condiment bag
Add the rest of the shredded cheese to your hearts delight
Breakfast: Bacon & Egg McMuffins
Cheese Slices (Cooler)
Ghee (In Spice & Sauce Bag) - Use this to cook the eggs & bacon You can also spread some on the english muffins and toast them over the campfire.
Lunch: Hummus & Veg
Granola Bars (In snack bag)
Ground Beef (Cooler)
Shredded Cheese (Cooler)
Taco seasoning mix
Top with wow butter & any leftover apple slices
Lunch: Salami & Cheese Wraps
Dinner: At home
Nutri Grain Bars
Make sure to clean your pots & dishes at the end of every meal. Before washing, scrape all the food from your plate into the fire to burn it all, better yet, lick your plate clean. There is a “Wash Kit” with biodegradable soap, a scrubber, and a collapsible sink which you’ll use to clean your dishes. Make sure to use clean (filtered or boiled & cooled water) to wash your dishes, disposing of the water at least 150 feet from shore.
Plan Your Days
- Leave your site on the earlier side to have more time at your site at the end of the day, plus you’ll get time to pick the best site on the lake. Or, enjoy a sleep in and arrive a little later.
- Best practice is to fill up your water bottles as soon as you hop on the water if your bottles are running low. Purify them right away and they’ll be ready by your first portage.
Leave No Trace
- You’ve got some garbage bags with you - try to carry out whatever food scraps or trash with you rather than leaving it in the park. As a rule of thumb - paper gets burned, plastic is packed out with you, and food is either eaten or burned.
- Be mindful of your fire - make sure your fire is fully burnt out before bed and leaving in the morning, especially with all this dry weather we’ve been having. Try to keep fires in the designated fire pits too.
- Keep the noise down to be respectful of others on the lake, sound travel pretty far on the water
- Leave your site the way you found it... unless it was dirty, then you can leave it better for the next people
- Courtesy Wood - this one’s optional, but we’ve always had a tendency of leaving just a little bit extra firewood at our sites for the next folks. It isn’t always the case, but imagine how happy you’d be arriving at a campsite to find a pile of firewood ready and waiting for you!
Going To The Bathroom
- Algonquin campsites are all equipped with what we’ve always called KYBO’s (Keep Your Butt Off). Wooden boxes tucked away in the most beautiful bathrooms nature’s got to offer. Look for a trail leading away from the campsite, usually near the back of it, and you should find the KYBO.
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