This canoe trip is in the east side of Algonquin Park (near Pembroke).
It is centred on the Barron Canyon, a spectacular gorge that was formed over
10,000 years ago by a river that carried a thousand times more water than the
Niagara River! The cliffs stretch for a hundred meters (300 feet) straight down
on either side - quite breathtaking!
We start this trip at Finch Subway station at 8:30am (optional - or we will meet you in Algonquin Park if you choose to drive yourself), and begin the 7 hour drive up to Pembroke. The route will take us through the heart of Cottage country, so it is a very scenic drive. The first night we will "car camp", in Algonquin Park, at Achray Station - an old stop for the trains serving the lumberjacks of old. The campground is on the shores of Grand Lake, very near to the place where Tom Thomson (The Group Of Seven) painted his famous " Jack Pine" in 1916, so you can expect a very picturesque setting.
Our first day of real camping will consist of packing the canoes with all our equipment, and getting some instruction on basic canoeing strokes. We will then start our canoe trip. After paddling across 2 lakes and 2 short portages we will find an interior campsite. After setting up camp, it should still be early enough for us to make the short trip to High Falls for some water fun. This is a set of waterfalls and rapids that were formed by the retreating glaciers. The ice and water have worn the rapids so smooth that it is possible to sit at the top of them and let the current carry you down. A natural water slide!
The next morning we will leave our camp behind, and after a short paddle we will also be leaving our canoes. Our hike will start from here. We will be walking along the Johnston Lake and High Falls Trails, and will stop at one of the several lakes along the way for our picnic lunch and perhaps a quick swim. One of the highlights of this area is definitely the booming waterfall at the end of the High Falls Trail (where the "water slide" is). This hike is slightly over 15 km in length, and should take us about 5 - 6 hours to complete.
The fourth day we will leave camp and head in towards the Barron Canyon. After several small lakes and a series of short portages (8) we will find ourselves on its placid waters, with sheer rock stretching up on either side. Quite often there are pairs of nesting hawks in the area, so we should keep a sharp eye out! This region is also known as a good spot to see moose.
The last day is a lazy paddle down the river to our pick up point. We should get back to Toronto late that evening.
Please note that lunch is not included in the package on both of the
"travel" days, but we will be stopping.
Tel: 905-471-Wild (Wild = 9453)
Toll Free: 1-800-776-Wild (North America)