So you’ve decided that you are going to do this canoe trip and you are excited to start planning but you have no idea where to start? That’s OK! Everyone starts off here :). You have a few things to decide first before you go headstrong into planning anyways. These are things we are going to discuss this morning! Not only can these be applied to a solo canoe trip, but all these posts can be used for any canoe trip!
So the big question is….
WHERE DO I GO?
There are a few deciding factors before you can answer this question:
- Have you done a canoe trip before?
- Is this your first solo trip?
- Is this your first time camping?
If you answered no to the first question and yes to any of the other questions then as a general plan you should look into the most basic of canoe trips….a paddle in site!
PADDLE IN SITES
So in all reality every campsite in the interior is considered a paddle in site but for our purpose I’m talking the ones that are attached to a campground or that have no portaging.
Canisbay Lake and Rock Lake are the only two campgrounds along the Highway 60 corridor that have paddle in sites available. Each lake offers a different experience in terms of paddling and distance to the sites. The picture above is of Canisbay Lake. It’s a smaller and less windy than Rock Lake. The sites along Canisbay are great! The one at the far end of the lake (the last site on the left hand shore) is my favorite! It has a nice rock that you can jump off, a great campfire spot, and you get some gorgeous sunsets! It’s also the most remote of all the sites so it’s quieter!
Rock Lake is a different paddling experience all together. There are islands available for you to camp on, but be prepared that they are the most popular sites! Rock Lake also allows motor boats and because it’s attached to Galeairy Lake and Whitney you tend to get some slightly bigger boats than fishing boats. The thing about Rock Lake that I’m not the biggest fan of is that it’s a windy lake. Typically on the paddle out. You tend to head straight into the winds.
Overall Paddle In sites are the way to go if you’ve never done this before or are just testing out your ability to handle sitting around the campfire talking to yourself haha. Because these sites are attached to campgrounds you can always do a one night trip and camp the night before in the campground. This is also great if you have a family camping trip and you want to try it while people are within an hours paddle away. That way if you can’t handle it or Yogi visits you…you have the option of going back.
If you are a confident canoer and are ready to tackle the challenge of doing a portage solo then doing an interior canoe trip is probably your style. Before you go out on your own though, as a safety precaution, make sure you have a way to communicate with someone in case something goes wrong…better to be safe!
When looking into going beyond the first lakes along Hwy 60 you need to take some things into consideration:
- What is your skill level?
- Are you ok with portaging?
- How much does your gear weigh?
- Do you have a way to communicate in case of emergency?
These are all things you need to consider. If you are embarking on your first solo trip but have only done a handful of other canoe trips you may not want to choose paddling up Opeongo and tackling the Dickson-Bonfield portage alone. You’ll want to stick with something simple like Canoe Lake to Joe Lake (see the pic above) because there is only one portage involved. However if you’ve been doing canoe trips for years with the guys and want to tackle a solo trip then you may be able to handle two or three portages. For me…to start out..the less portages the better! The other thing to take into consideration is the weight of your canoe and pack together. It’s one thing to have a super light canoe and a light pack…but once you add them together the weight can add up. Do you really need those three pairs of jeans? Do you need to put on your makeup out in the wilderness? Can you live without your pillow? Ask yourself these questions before heading out!
So…we’ve looked at our options and we’ve decided the type of trip we’re taking…next post we’ll be planning the route. That post will be include a video so we can look at various routes.
~Enjoy your trip!