By Bryan Dearsley
Ontario’s outfitting businesses have grown rapidly as they keep pace with the tremendous rise in interest in nature adventures, and Algonquin Provincial Park in particular has become a haven for canoeists, kayakers, campers and nature lovers alike. Encompassing some 8,000 sq km of rugged Canadian Shield – most of it accessible only by canoe – the park is home to abundant and diverse wildlife, unspoiled lakes and rivers, and spectacular scenery.
An impressive 1,600 km of canoe routes traverse the park’s lakes, rivers and streams, providing the best possible way to discover the area’s rugged natural beauty at your own pace. You decide how long to stop and enjoy the sight of a moose, when to stop for a swim or a spot of fishing. It’s a great way for families and friends to spend quality time in the fresh air, sharing the experience of the great outdoors while unwinding and developing (or even teaching) new skills.
For those new to such outdoor adventures, businesses like Algonquin Outfitters can handle the equipment and canoe rental, packing and planning for trips of any length or complexity, be it a gentle paddle with the kids or something more adventurous such as a weekend’s wilderness escape (guests just need to bring their personal gear).
As important as the equipment, however, is the training and advice available from an experienced guide. Algonquin Outfitter’s staff can custom tailor trips as well as provide a personal guide, whether for a day or longer. Beginners should in fact consider starting with a simple guided day trip to get a taste for the great outdoors, picking up valuable tips and techniques along the way. A variety of guided overnight packages are also available (an experienced guide can certainly make that first wilderness trip a lot less intimidating).
Check out their website at www.algonquinoutfitters.com