Inroduction: This is Algonquin 

On an evening in early August I am lying on a huge, flat slab of granite at the northwestern end of Lac Lavielle, near the very center of Algonquin Provincial Park. There is a chill in the evening air, but I am still warmed by the heat the granite has absorbed from the afternoon sun. As the sky darkens to deepest black on this moonless night stars by the thousand become visible, and the Milky Way stretches in a glowing band from horizon to horizon. In the distance loon calls echo through the dark. The only sign of other humans is a campfire flickering in the distance on the far shore of the lake.

When I wake shortly after dawn water vapor rising from the warm lake has condensed in the cooler air above, creating billows of mist that shroud the shoreline and swirl through the trees surrounding my campsite. The strengthening sun dispels the mist while I eat breakfast, and by the time I launch my canoe the sky is cloudless. I reach my destination, a sandy beach on the eastern shore, in time for a morning swim in the sparkling clear, cool water.

Drying in the sun after my swim, I reflect for a moment on the subtle beauty of Algonquin. This maze of pristine blue lakes separated by rolling green hills lies just three hours' drive from the crowds and pollution of industrialized southern Ontario, yet feels part of another world. The park is immense, covering an area of over 7000 square kilometers, with more than 1500 km of canoe routes. Near the center, 30 km from the nearest road and over 50 km from the closest town, it is possible to travel for days on end and see no evidence of civilization.

This web site is intended as a guide for those planning to explore Algonquin's interior by canoe. The majority of the entry is devoted to a detailed description of the regularly maintained canoe routes in the park.   There are also brief general sections on rules and regulations, park geography, and gear and stuff , the latter including some thoughts on trip organization. Finally, there is a page of links and references.

It is not possible to update this website as frequently as I would like.  I hope the information presented is still useful.  Comments and suggestions should be directed to

Disclaimer: This guide to Algonquin Provincial Park's canoe routes is intended for use by those with some experience in canoeing and backcountry camping. Neither the authors nor Carleton University, the host of this web site, assume any responsibility for the safety of those using the guide.
Back to Virtual Algonquin main page Last revision August 2004
Copyright 2004 Garry Tarr and Jo-Ann Holden