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Solo 1-2 week route ideas for an older guy, preferably in Ontario

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Hi
I'm a 57 year old guy with a bad knee. I get around well but need to be smart about my routes for safety sake. I wear a knee brace and can handle shorter portages that aren't too strenuous. I travel with a Spot to let family know I'm safe and call for help if needed.
My favourite place to canoe previously has been lake Superior on the big Lake. It beautiful and there is very little in the way of people but wind and waves are an issue and don't lend to soloing (at least for me). I get disappointed when I run into garbage etc. Last week I did a 520 metre portage with about 30 metres of elevation change (guessing) into a lake beside lake temagami. I was disappointed to find 5 aluminum motor boats stored at the put in. I like remote.

I may be asking too much here but figure it doesn't hurt to ask. I paddled a lot of the Mackenzie river as a kid with my parents but it's too far away and kilometers wide. If it weren't so far away it would kind of suit but I found it felt like paddling a highway 40 years ago. It's busier now with barges etc. I like smaller rivers for the connection to trees, animals etc.

I've paddled Killarney, Chiniguchi and Superior in the past. I have no interest in Algonquins longer portages and crossing paths with beer hauling Toronto paddlers.

So here's what I'm looking for help finding:
-a 1-2 week route preferably in Ontario (I'm in the Milton area).
-No or easy portages. (Part of why we used to paddle superior).
-I'm ok to pay for a fly in and willing to drive (Lake Superior is about 12 hours for me).
-not a lot of human impact and spoilage.
-if possible an easier river but I can't find that without whitewater or leaving the province.
-if there is whitewater I'd like it to be minimal for safety reasons because I'd be solo and have little whitewater experience.

A big ask I know. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not willing to give up canoe tripping yet.

Thanks
Dave
 
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If you are looking for remote tripping with very little portaging... and are fine with some travel and possibly a flight in, have you considered Wabakimi?

We did a week long trip (wish we had time to do longer) in 2019 and absolutely loved it. We normally trip in Algonquin, so to escape the southern Ontario crowds was a huge plus. We also did very little portaging yet still covered a large portion of the park in fairly limited time.

The only downside for our trip was the cost. We are in south eastern Ontario so it took nearly 23 hours of driving one way to get there, with two nights of lodging at Wabakimi Outfitters (highly recommend https://wabakimi.com). We also entered the park via float plane, so the costs were much higher than our typical week long trip to Algonquin. All things considered, it was worth the investment though. Completely different feel up north, nothing like it where we are.

They have options to enter the park via vehicle (very few options) and you could also take the train up to and into the park. We considered this, but we couldn't get the train schedule to jive with our time off at work.

Good luck trip planning!
 
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There is always the Ogoki River, or The Little Current, past Percy Lake, or even the Kenogami river past Longlac.

For the Ogoki, you could put in on the Ottertail, then there is one portage around Amy falls about 40 k down, but you should be able to navigate the rest, arrange for a fly out further down. You could probably arrange a shuttle out of Nakina so your vehicle would be waiting at the airbase for you when you came back.

For the Little Current, you would have to arrange for a flight into Percy Lake. There are a few ports further down, but nothing outstanding. You would have to fly out again.

The Kenogami....probably if you started around Chipman Lake, you would be able to travel a long way. Can't remember the portage situation, but it is a substantial river.

Anyway, if you don't mind flying, those are three trips to look into to.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Dave, I don't know Ontario routes but would like to welcome you to site membership! Feel free to ask any questions and to post messages, photos and videos in our many forums. Please read Welcome to CanoeTripping and Site Rules! Also, please consider adding your location to your profile, which will cause it to show under your avatar, as this is in many ways a geographic sport. We look forward to your participation in our canoe community.
 
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If you are looking for remote tripping with very little portaging... and are fine with some travel and possibly a flight in, have you considered Wabakimi?

We did a week long trip (wish we had time to do longer) in 2019 and absolutely loved it. We normally trip in Algonquin, so to escape the southern Ontario crowds was a huge plus. We also did very little portaging yet still covered a large portion of the park in fairly limited time.

The only downside for our trip was the cost. We are in south eastern Ontario so it took nearly 23 hours of driving one way to get there, with two nights of lodging at Wabakimi Outfitters (highly recommend https://wabakimi.com). We also entered the park via float plane, so the costs were much higher than our typical week long trip to Algonquin. All things considered, it was worth the investment though. Completely different feel up north, nothing like it where we are.

They have options to enter the park via vehicle (very few options) and you could also take the train up to and into the park. We considered this, but we couldn't get the train schedule to jive with our time off at work.

Good luck trip planning!
Takeoff/Metig/Rockcliff Lakes
 
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I'll second Wabakimi. Especially if you're okay with flying in or out (or both), the options are almost limitless. There's whitewater if you want it, and plenty of flat water if you don't. If you stick to the more well traveled routes, the portages are generally in remarkably good condition, although if you go to more out of the way places, it may get a bit grueling.

Give Wabakimi Outfitters a call, they're a top notch canoe outfitting and guide service in Armstrong with decades of experience in the area (it is in fact Bruce Hyer of Wabakimi Outfitters who is largely responsible for the creation of the park and its subsequent expansions).

If you have some slop time the train becomes an option, or there is some road access as well that isn't on the map.
 
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I'd suggest either the rideau canal or the trent-severn waterway. There are few or no portages, you can buy a really cheap lockpass for a canoe and just use the locks. I want to say I paid like $30 or $50 and that was for full summer access. You can also camp at most locks for like $5 a night or just stop on crown land.

I personally have done the rideau canal twice. I'll usually do it in 2-3 days, but I'm a "young" guy who pushes distant and I travel ultralight. I'm looking to do Trent-Severn next year.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I'd suggest either the rideau canal or the trent-severn waterway.

Metharian, welcome to site membership! Feel free to ask any questions and to post messages, photos and videos in our many forums. Please read Welcome to CanoeTripping and Site Rules! Also, please consider adding your location to your profile, which will cause it to show under your avatar, as this is in many ways a geographic sport. We look forward to your participation in our canoe community.
 
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Thank you all for these great suggestions.
I definitely have some research to do.
Happy Thanksgiving
 
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