Burnt Island, Big Trout and McIntosh Lakes, Algonquin

 

Our first canoe trip of 2012 would be in Algonquin Provincial Park and would also be our first trip with our very own canoe: a used 16.5 foot Swift Kipawa who we would name “Loona” by the end of the trip.  For our first trip of the season this would also be fairly ambitious, as we would be covering ~70 km paddling and portaging over four days.  We have been back country canoe-camping off the Highway 60 corridor of this park enough times now that we have to make a more serious effort to get out to lakes we have not visited before.

    We started at the Canoe Lake access point and paddled to the 290 meter portage into Joe Lake.  We proceeded up the East Arm of Joe Lake, and once again we saw a moose in Little Joe Lake just before the portage.  We were able to paddle/wade through the creek bed and past the 20 and 430 meter portages, ending up in Lost Joe Lake.  We followed the creek into Baby Joe Lake to the 190 meter portage into Burnt Island Lake.  Like the last time we were here, the wind was blowing.  Except this time it was a tail wind!  We camped in a great site on the south side of the lake.  The next morning, we paddled north across the lake to the 780 meter portage to Little Otterslide and Otterslide Lakes.

We took the 240 meter portage into Otterslide Creek and followed the creek north taking 390, 270, 730 and 100 meter portages along the way to Big Trout Lake, a very large lake that is also very beautiful and worth coming back to for sure.  We camped on one of the island campsite on the southwest side of the lake.  The following morning, we left Big Trout Lake and paddled through White Trout Lake (a long paddle).  We were rewarded with a second moose sighting in Grassy Bay.  We took the two portages (780 and 540 meter) along McIntosh Creek into McIntosh Lake, where we would spend our last night out.  On our last day, we paddled the creek out of McIntosh Lake south into Ink Lake and took the 2320 meter portage into Tom Thomson Lake.  We then continued south on the Little Oxtongue River into Teepee Lake and Joe Lake, making it to the 290 meter portage back to Canoe Lake.  As is usual, a fierce head wind greeted us on Canoe Lake back to the access point.  In total, our moving time in canoe and on foot was 20 hours, averaging between 5 to 6 hours a day on the go.  We were quite tired when we made it home but fulfilled from our time outside.

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