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Thread: Bushwhacking Algonquin

  1. #1
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    Default Bushwhacking Algonquin

    Hey folks,

    First-time poster. Grew up in Toronto, moved to rural Eastern Ontario as an adult, and have been teaching myself to hunt and fish for the last four years. Become somewhat of a generalist outdoorsman, but definitely still a beginner in many ways. Am certainly grateful for the tips and wisdom this forum has provided (despite not having contributed to it yet).

    I was compelled to post because I'm planning a trip into the Algonquin Park backcountry in May, and am hoping to try to bushwhack into some brook trout lakes that aren't on established canoe routes. I've done a number of backcountry trips in the Park before, but have never strayed from the routes laid out in the popular guidebooks/maps.

    My question is this: How do you safely navigate into some of these secluded lakes, especially while portaging a canoe? Do you use GPS and compasses, or just follow contours/land features? Do you stick to lakes on old logging roads/unmaintained portages, or do you slog it straight through the brush? I'm not looking for anyone to reveal their honey hole, or even tell me where to start looking. I'm mostly interested in how to access these types of lakes as safely and efficiently as possible.

    Thanks in advance, and happy holidays!

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  3. #2
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    Welcome, im also new here, so cant help much, but after getting lost on crown land, I got a Garmin GPS. now I dont step a foot in bush without it.
    CCFR, OFAH Member
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  4. #3
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    welcome.

    I use Compas and GPS
    "This is about unenforceable registration of weapons that violates the rights of people to own firearms."—Premier Ralph Klein (Alberta)Calgary Herald, 1998 October 9 (November 1, 1942 – March 29, 2013)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ata83 View Post
    Welcome, im also new here, so cant help much, but after getting lost on crown land, I got a Garmin GPS. now I dont step a foot in bush without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    welcome.

    I use Compas and GPS
    Use both! A printout of the map of the area you are going in a ziplock so it stays dry and a compass take up almost zero space. Many phones have GPS and location but a proper GPS is a must (and an extra set of batteries)
    "It's disturbing that when it comes to the Christian faith, people don't really want, or know how, to investigate the evidence" - Daniel B. Wallace So why not learn?
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  6. #5
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    Depending on where your going a lot of the lakes have logging/access roads that do not show on the map. Especially up north(kiosk access, etc.) away from the highway 60/canoe lake busy areas.

    Good luck have portaged canoes in bush before and would rather chew tinfoil.

    Make sure to read the regulations carefully because the park is full of odd rules that can trip you up. Cannot use certain roads, cannot fish certain lakes. Might want to call and chat to ranger Rick.


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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saskfly View Post
    Depending on where your going a lot of the lakes have logging/access roads that do not show on the map. Especially up north(kiosk access, etc.) away from the highway 60/canoe lake busy areas.

    Good luck have portaged canoes in bush before and would rather chew tinfoil.

    Make sure to read the regulations carefully because the park is full of odd rules that can trip you up. Cannot use certain roads, cannot fish certain lakes. Might want to call and chat to ranger Rick.


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    ^^^^This

    Not sure how you could get maps showing the roads - perhaps if Google earth or similar was up to date enough. But apparently there are 8,000 km+ of logging roads in the park:

    https://ecojustice.ca/pressrelease/t...lgonquin-park/

    Or check out this mountain bike transect of the park from NW corner to SE corner basically:



    Algonquin is not nearly the wilderness it is made out to be and there is all sorts of unconventional access.
    Last edited by Species8472; December 10th, 2020 at 03:26 PM.
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  8. #7
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    Maps would most likely be obtained by contacting the Algonquin Forestry Authority or AFA. CO's, park officials and the AFA will discourage use of active logging roads because of safety.

    One of my favorite lakes to fish in the park is a day and a half hard portage but when I worked near it, drove right to it. Lol.

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  9. #8
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    Backroad Maps is also very good.
    "This is about unenforceable registration of weapons that violates the rights of people to own firearms."—Premier Ralph Klein (Alberta)Calgary Herald, 1998 October 9 (November 1, 1942 – March 29, 2013)

  10. #9
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    I'm thinking you'd probably be limited to day use only as you'll never get issued an interior camping permit for a non-designated site (eg to camp on the hidden lake) . You'd have to camp on a designated site, then bushwack from there. There are indeed lots of hidden gems that are not directly on the canoe routes. Some are surprisingly close to the main canoe routes! I just used a compass and an NTS map. Try to follow the first contour line up from the lowland so that you're not tramping through swamp.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    Not sure how you could get maps showing the roads - perhaps if Google earth or similar was up to date enough. But apparently there are 8,000 km+ of logging roads in the park.
    A lot of those roads won't show up on satellite images regardless, overhead tree canopy is thick enough to completely obscure them from the air.

    For the OP, there are a ton of small, unmarked trails that few people use. Talk to some of the snowmobile clubs in the area, they can be a great source of info.

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