I am beginning to make plans for my next canoe trip into Algonquin Park. I have chosen a small lake called Pinetree Lake as my next destination. The last time that I was in the park, a power boat whizzed by in the distance. Solitude (being far from the madding crowd) is one of the reasons I go camping - so I had to find a place that fulfilled only a handful of requirements:
- It must have very little human traffic.
- It must be a reasonable distance from Toronto.
- It must be easy enough to reach by a beagle who has had knee surgery on both hind legs.
There are several aspects about this destination that fulfill requirement #1 - little human traffic: It is difficult to locate the access point - the small parking lot is hard to find from the highway, the sign that indicates the start of the portage is about a 50 meter hike in from where you leave the car. You have to portage just to get to the lake - this discourages a significant amount of people. The paddle is fairly long - but not all that tricky.
Requirement #2 - must be a reasonable distance from Toronto. It isn't far at all - maybe 3 or 4 hours. It is only a few kilometers along Highway 60 past the normal turn off for Rock Lake, Lake Louisa etc... And instead of having to drive down 8 kilometers of gravel and dirt road, it is a quick turn off from the asphalt highway to get to the parking lot.
Finally - regarding requirement #3 that the trip not be hard on Monty's little knees - from the accounts that I have read, the portage is fairly easy and straight-forward. There is only the single portage and then a canoe trip. He doesn't use his hind legs to use his paddle, after all.
Here is a map of my planned journey (click on the icons for information about the route):
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Happy Canada Day,