Back Country Camping – Algonquin: Tim Lake

Algonquin Park was the first provincial park in Ontario. As one of the largest provincial parks, it is diverse and offers a vast landscape of rocky ridges, thousands of lake, ponds, and streams. The park has more than 2,000 kilometers of canoe routes and over 1,900 campsites.

The camping is split up in two categories – drive to camping and backcoutry camping. This is all based on the mode of transportation to get to the location. Drive to camping includes developed campgrounds, RV camping, ranger cabins, yurts and lodges. While backcountry camping includes canoeing, backpacking, paddle in campsites and ranger cabins.

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The park has 29 different backcountry access points located around the park. You also need a permit for overnight stays when backcountry via canoe routes and backpacking trails. Maximum of 9 people per campsite. Ages 6-17 is $5.65/person/night and ages 18+ is $12.43/person/night including taxes (13%). You can easily make reservations online. Although, we did not get a permit. We were lucky enough to get away with it but we do not recommend doing that.

Thursday, July 02 – Sunday, July 05 we had taken a backcountry camping trip using Tim River Access Point (#2). The permit and information can be obtained at the park office in the Kearney Community Centre. You can also rent equipment including canoes. We were lucky enough to have our own canoe that we could bring.

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Thursday after work we had left and drove from Windsor to Barrie which is about a four hour drive. We wanted to go up to beat the busy traffic form a long weekend. We had to make a couple stops and then made our way to Huntsville which is about 1.5hr drive, we stopped to get grocery and booze!

Tim Lake is mostly shallow, calm water. The paddle to the open waters of Tim Lake were surrounded by weeded areas. Tim River is also surrounded by a weeded area which is a great for spotting moose. Throughout our stay we saw and heard many loons as well. Our campsite was high up, very shady and there was a good breeze which was great because the weather was about 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and then the sun would make it warmer.

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We canoed down to Tim River on Saturday where there was a 120m portage. We were not staying very long so we decided not to complete the portage. That would take you to Rosebary Lake. The people coming to Tim Lake told us that the river was about 7km of windy, weeded area and that the fishing was not good so we decided to stay back. We also tried fishing in the river and lake but did not get anything.

The area was really beautiful and the weather turned out almost perfectly. There was a thunderstorm that rolled in around 2:00am. There was no service so we could not check the weather while we were there. We did not know the storm was going to happen so had to get up at 2:00am to set up a tarp super quick and make sure our canoe wasn’t going to float away. Other than the storm it was such a great weekend.

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