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Algonquin in September- Trip Route Suggestions

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    Algonquin in September- Trip Route Suggestions

    I'm planning a 5-7 day canoe trip in Algonquin Park for this coming September, 2020. We both have ultra light solo canoes and are experienced trippers. One of the goals of the trip is to see a moose and as much wildlife as possible. I understand there are no guarantees in seeing a moose and just being out on the trip will be reward enough. That said can anyone suggest routes, either lakes/ponds or river ways in any combinations, for a 5 night loop that would increase our changes of paddling by a moose and other wildlife? Minimum portages would be preferred but are not a trip breaker.

    Last edited by Bioguide; 02-01-2020, 10:41 AM.
    My YouTube channel

    Had moose in camp on Big Thunder and seen many on Crow River and in Big Trout but that was in June. Usually wetlands are what they prefer BUT.. It will be the rut so be careful what you wish for. Moose are unpredictable in September. They are actually more dangerous than bear.

    I almost always have seen moose no matter what part of Algonquin I was in. The moose in camp was kind of scary.

    I like a loop out of Kioshkokwi and Club to Big Thunder and Erables and Maple to Biggar through some small lakes to N Tea to Manitou back to start. Some 25 portages.


      Bioguide, in Sept, moose will be in rut and may have moved to upland areas, away from wetlands and shorelines where they're easily seen in summer, feeding on aquatic vegetation. During the rut you might hear them calling if there are some in the area, and they might be visible at the margins of lakes.

      I've seen several in Sept, canoeing Algonquin lakes where moose were standing around quietly. Male moose in rut can be dangerous if they sense that someone is encroaching into their territory, so there's a need to keep your distance if you see one on a port. The only time I encountered a male moose during the Sept rut was when bushwhacking to a remote lake, and fortunately he did not charge.

      The chances of seeing a moose in Algonquin may be improved by staying out of the eastern big game hunt zone where they may have learned to make themselves scarce at that time, it's indicated here by diagonal brown lines:

      And here's a short vid from My Self Reliance on what you might see during the Sept rut... these were near a wetland area in the Rosebary-Longbow area although lakes with no aquatic vegetation at their margins may also have moose visible.

      Places near the Opeongo access point is where I've seen some... along the side road in Costello creek (on the left as you drive in), Hailstorm creek wetlands and area as you paddle north, and northward into Proulx and Big Crow and Crow river. If you do camp on Big Crow, there is an old growth side trail and another to a cliff and lookout, worth visiting. Good luck..
      Last edited by frozentripper; 02-02-2020, 09:40 AM.


        Last time I was in Algonquin was for a two-day solo hike around the Eastern Pines Trail loop, in early June 2019. Not what you would call a deep backcountry hiking trail, but I did see a cow moose across from my campsite on Bucholtz Lake (centre of the attached crappily-taken photo) - she just mossied around eating along the shoreline for a good 15-20 minutes while I watched eating my own supper. I probably was lucky, but just goes to show you don't have to necessarily go deep into the park to make the wildlife viewing worthwhile (although as frozentripper pointed out, chances of seeing moose in any one area of the park will change by season). At the same time, that hike convinced me that if I want to really get the most out of these trips I would have to get on the water. Canoe is 95% built and now impatiently sitting through winter in eastern Ontario .....
        Last edited by Traveler; 02-02-2020, 11:52 AM.


          Winter is no excuse not to finish Traveler, I hope to finally have mt forms up and stripping started this week.


            Yeah, winter is no excuse, but glue, varnish and epoxy don't dry too well in an unheated garage. But if it's any consolation I am going to start a little skin on frame project in my nicely heated basement this week. Won't be as interesting or potentially useful as yours but should be fun and will keep me busy for the next month or so.

            Are you still shooting for something in the fifteen foot, thirty pound range? If so I will be following closely as I still have a lot to learn before getting to my second cedar build once the snow stops flying.

            Sorry Bioguide - realize this this is way off topic to your question
            Last edited by Traveler; 02-03-2020, 09:49 PM.


              The nice thing about Algonquin is that the wildlife is dispersed throughout the park. You're as likely to see black bear, beaver and moose a stone's throw from the highway as you are miles away in the backcountry. Habitat integrity is the prime factor of course. A step outside any of the car camping locations and you have that, although I can tell you it's far more satisfying viewing moose & co in the backcountry all alone than standing with tourist crowds along highway 60.
              It's been years since I last tripped there, and I don't have a favourite route, but from what I remember September is great if you're hoping for fewer bugs and people. In September we've seen moose, muskrat, otter, beaver...
              Here's a nice film for a kitchen coffee morning.
              Last edited by Odyssey; 02-12-2020, 10:19 AM.


                Great film with afternoon scone and tea, thanks Odyssey for the great twenty some minutes of wonder
                "All I had were a few flies tucked into the band of my hat and an a old beaten-up Heddon rod, that had been on many trips." Sigurd F. Olson