Last fall, a friend and I took our first Algonquin Park interior trip, which took us from Opeongo Lake to Big Crow Lake and back over the course of 3 days. During that trip, we endured mostly days of heavy rain, cold weather and a long canoe trip across Opeongo Lake (rather than using a water taxi). The result was a great experience, but not a lot of time left for exploring and relaxing. This friend has since moved to San Francisco, but is headed back for a week in June and we decided to fit a 4 day Algonquin Trip in while he’s here.
Though we considered some new routes this time around, a few factors contributed to choosing the same route as last year, with some day trips thrown in. First, the canoe trip to Big Crow seems to be a good one for spotting wildlife (even though we were not so lucky last year). The Crow River in particular is a shallow marshy area that is popular among Moose that inhabit the area. In addition to this, we decided to rent the ranger cabin on Big Crow Lake, which is situated in an ideal spot for easy access to hiking trails and other rivers, lakes and portages for day trips. It may also come in handy as a refuge from the swarms of Black Flies and other biting insects that will likely be out in full force during our stay.
Regarding the insects, I’ve never been to Algonquin at this time of year and as mentioned, it generally an extremely buggy time with peak mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies and other nasty biters all trying to make a meal of you. For this reason, the park is usually much more empty than normal, with most visitors opting to wait for July or August when the bugs die down. A few (billion) bugs aren’t going to scare me off, though I will certainly be armed with this trusty bug shirt:
In addition to Algonquin being virtually empty, the biting insects also drive Moose out of the thick forests and into the open at this time of year, meaning wildlife viewing should be at its best. The brook trout fishing should also be fairly good, with fish still in shallower areas of the lakes and rivers. The fly rod will definitely be coming along and hopefully I’ll finally get acquainted with a few of the fabled Algonquin brookies.