Algonquin – Aug 2016

Many of us on my annual outdoor education retreat had paddled parts of Algonquin but we had not paddled it as a group.  In addition a few of us have taken a school group on this route and we wanted to try something a little different to open up a new option for the school trip.  (NOTE:  The school board requires that a teacher has completed the trip before they are allowed to take students on the same route.)

The school trip begins and ends at Algonquin access point 1A.  We decided to start our trip at access point 29 (Kioshkokwi Lake), the idea being that the school group could then possibly try a trip that starts at access point 1A and ends at access point 29 sometime in the future.   The section that none of us had paddled was the part from Kioshkokwi to Manitou.

We decided to do an out-and-back trip to Manitou – once again we were fitting this trip into 4 days including driving time from near London, ON.

Route Map:

Kioshkokwi is a great access point, there is campground right there as well as a ranger cabin you can rent.  Motor boats are allowed on Kioshkokwi so that was a change from my previous algonquin experiences but we did not see much motor-boat action.  Due to the campground there was quite a bit of activity on Kioshkokwi, however, it’s a big lake and you are quickly far away from the camper traffic.

For night 1 we had a great site on the southern end of Kioshkokwi.  It was a nice place for swimming off the rocks and the after dinner paddled yielded my favourite canoe trip picture yet.

Canoe in lake at sunset
It’s a tradition to fish after dinner until it’s too dark!

On Day 2 we paddled into Manitou Lake and found a nice island site to camp on for 2 nights.  We did quite a bit of fishing and caught some nice smallmouth bass.  My best catch was when I was paddling back in from filling our water jug after dinner and trolling a lure behind.

Recommendations:

  • This is a great access point for families or beginners, it would a great spot to try canoe camping by staying at the campground and then just booking a night on one of the Kioshkokwi sites
  • Having a nice beach and dock was great for having a swim before the trip home
  • Manitou has lots of campsites but we did not notice the others on the lake because it’s so big

Highlights:

  • There is a huge gravel beach at the Manitou end of the Manitou / Kioshkokwi portage, lots of raspberries at the old Dufond Farm remnants along the portage
  • I did not check it out this trip but there is a cool waterfall on Manitou Lake
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