Here we celebrate ice out on the lacework of lakes and waterways across Canada, but specifically that of Algonquin park—Canada’s oldest provincial park three hours northwest of Toronto. We talk lost canoe routes and tripping techniques. We take a look at one of Ontario's most beloved wilderness lodges. First, though, we mark the 100th anniversary of the death of a Canadian art icon, Tom Thomson, in Algonquin Park and the making of a Canadian legend.
Off the Lake
Whitewater raft on the Madawaska River. Hike and mountain bike on park trails. Beckon wolves to answer at evening Wolf Howls.
Book ahead for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Arowhon Pines—a historic wilderness lodge with food rivaling top tables anywhere.
Watch for moose, deer, fox, wolves, beavers, loons, blue herons, etc. Hang your food in a tree and make noise in the bush so as not to find black bears.
Ice out, of course. Spring fishing for lake trout. A visit to Thomson’s Cairn and Totem Pole Memorials on Hayhurst Point. Tripping Big Trout Loop.
A Canoe Lake fixture, the Portage Store offers complete outfitting, tripping advice, and guides. See here for park info and attractions.
Other Required Reading
Northern Light by Roy MacGregor—a crash course in local lore. The Last Guide: A Story of Fish and Love by Ron Corbett.
Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most influential painters of the 20th-century, was last seen alive around mid-day, July 8, 1917, when setting out alone across Canoe Lake to begin a fishing trip. He was familiar with the area, having visited there a number of times – while working in the Park as a fire ranger, a guide for fishing parties, and of course, pursuing his painting. Within hours of his departure, his empty canoe was spotted floating not far from the dock he had left from, and more than a week later, his body surfaced in the lake. His untimely death helped transform the aspiring artist into a cultural giant. Read more...
Whether for a hearty breakfast or the first civilized dinner you've had after a few days tripping, 3 Guys and a Stove is a must-stop on Highway 60, just east of Huntsville. One of the best breakfasts I've ever had.