Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Algonquin Park Fall Colours are best seen by canoe

Where do you like to take in the majesty of the fall colours? This past week  has been spectacular at the Algonquin Log Cabin. The big hills are filled with colour and  the water blue as can be.

I love the deck at the log cabin. Always peaceful with a soft west breeze. And the sunsets are amazing !

But my favourite way to experience the colour is from a canoe paddling across the blue water.  Surprise Lake was calm and so clear with red and orange reflecting off the water.

Come visit soon. The Algonquin Log Cabin  has trips that leave Monday - Wednesday and Friday to Sunday throughout the fall colours. Cost  is  $456  with meals and guided excursions. Have a look here for more information:


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Algonquin Park Trout Fish Canoe trips

Algonquin Park has  spectacular trout fishing and over 1500 km's of canoe trip routes. Voyageur Quest runs a series of Algonquin Park Trout Fish canoe trips every year in search of lake and speckled trout. These two night trips feature canoeing into remote lakes  to try our luck. Visit and or call our office for 2014 dates.

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Algonquin Park Winter Update 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 will be Voyageur Quest's 22 year operating Algonquin Park guided adventures. Winter is dear to our hearts  ! In fact our first guided trips were in winter. Going back to 1991, we operated back country ski trips to Pathfinder Island  just north of highway 60.We feel fortunate to be working in such a beautiful landscape where all 4 seasons offer so much to experience.

The past few weeks have been stunning at Algonquin's north west corner.  Our Log Cabin Christmas was filled with repeat customers from around the world.  Stephanie returned all  the way from Europe to experience a white Christmas at Algonquin. And white it was.  Here are a few shots sent in from Stephanie.

Is there a better way to celebrate Christmas day then a  back country ski in the sunshine !

As you can see, conditions are excellent.  Here are a few other shots  taken from last week. The last is of two happy children with a bowl of  Joe's sticky pudding!

Our Algonquin Cottage Outpost has weekend space in January for any of you ready to work off the Holiday  treats !  Hope to see you all soon at  Algonquin's north west corner for some snowshoeing, back country skiing or dog sledding.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip Update for July 2012

With record heat and the sun shining every day,   our guided canoe trips into the lakeside paradise of Algonquin Park have been the ultimate escape this summer of 2012.  Our guides and guests are living in bathing suits and spending as much time in the lakes as they are canoeing over the water!

July is a great month to see wildlife and this year is no different.  Our blackboard at the  Canoe Outpost reports   “Lots of moose, bald eagles, otters, Merlin's, one black bear, white tailed deer, beavers,  herons,  ducks, northern flickers, and of course the loons. Fishing has been good.  Cody took a personal trip down to the Nippising river and reeled in over a dozen brook trout.  The bass fishing has also been great on North Tea and the Amable Du fond river where several 3 – 4 pounds have been caught by customers.
 One of the highlights of summer is hosting families of all shapes and sizes.   A canoe trip is a wonderful adventure that families can do together. This past July, we hosted families on 3 to 6 day canoe trips  from  as  far away as the UK, Germany,  the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria, Europe, China, Kenya , Poland  the US and of course all across Canada. Our award winning 3 day family canoe trip is super convenient to book with scheduled trips going our every Monday and Friday.  Private trips are a great alternative   for families who want to  travel deeper into Algonquin, have younger children  or perhaps take a river trip to a different area of Ontario. (Picture French river with kids).   Cody and Nick were out with families with a Duke of Edinburgh award candidate who were looking for help completing their final expedition.

 This past Wednesday July 17, helicopters and MNR planes buzzed over us  as the province issued a fire ban for all of Algonquin Park. Eastern Algonquin Park had a significant forest fire caused by lightning that ran 5 days until it was put out yesterday.   It is amazing that it has been four weeks since we have had any significant rain !

All of us here at Voyageur Quest feel so fortunate to share Algonquin Park with you.   We hope to see you “on trip” later this  July or August.


Monday, June 18, 2012

"Voyageur Quest" on the French River

It is a crazy idea to paddle  80 km in one long day.  Yet this crazy idea  brought the 7 of us together to paddle a massive chunk of the French River  -   from Wolseley Bay to Georgian Bay - in one marathon day.  Something of a  2012 take on the voyageurs and the historic  fur trade route on the French River.

I’ve always known the voyageurs to be a rowdy, somewhat wild crew who paddled hard  by day and enjoyed  a smoke and sip of something strong at night.  Our approach was  similar  but with the addition  of  steaks, fresh trout  and wine.

Late afternoon Monday, we put in and paddled a few hours to get in the groove.

One of our seven, Peter, is  the definition of a  “ringer”. Peter has been paddling Montreal canoes down the French for decades.  His confidence in what our north canoe could handle was inspiring and  in no time  we were  barreling down  the rapids of Blue Chute and Parisien  with big smiles.

Our 26 foot north canoe looked a little rough with uneven packs, barrel and coolers but we were balanced nicely and  with seven paddlers   moved  at a  good pace.   At one point our big canoe   went over a rock garden and one good sized boulder which stretched the canoe but unbelievably  did not break.  Amazed ,we paddled on checking for leaks which never came.

The French River has amazing camping everywhere and our Monday night site was superb.  After a feast of red meat and shiraz, we sipped spiced  rum  by the fire and talked through our plan for the big day. On the water by 5am and with luck – on the bay by end of daylight.

Tuesday began with driving rain which thankfully quit as we packed out. With a hit of coffee – we were off. The first 5 hours flew by. 30 odd k and feeling good. The portage around Recollect Falls was simple and provided a much needed fuel stop.

And then the west wind kicked in. The forecast called for westerly winds at 25km and  we  felt all of  it.    The canoe slowed but our effort  did not.  The French River really is a series of  lakes and we paddled on through bay after bay.

Mid afternoon – we turned south and got a  wee  break from the brunt of the wind.  In no time we were at the Dallas Rapids- a tricky set but one in  which we were looking forward  to shooting.  But our excitement  quickly changed to concern . The rapid looked  treacherous in one spot . With the early  spring melt , the water level on the French was exceeding low and  at this rapid translated to   the  sharp rocks  below the surface. Rocks that otherwise we could float over in higher water.
So much effort,  head wind and now this  “fun” rapid  was turning out to be our crux.  The gate before the bay. We all wanted to run the rapid but with that can opener – the chance of the canoe being torn apart was real.  The portage was short but  the trails we did see went nowhere and were difficult for  carrying a north canoe. Lining  was no picnic either.  The idea of a difficult portage or line  after such a long day on the river was bringing down our energy. 

There is no reward without risk and with that in our mind a decision was made to shoot “Dallas” without packs and with a lighter weight of just 4 paddlers.

Pete gave us the line and we nailed it  - with a nice eddy turn to boot!

Our spirits soared!  On to the bay!

Our group of 7 hit the Bay an hour after.  The off shore islands protected us  from the   wind  and  we were able  to paddle out to Sabine Island  arriving around 6:15pm.  

 Satisfied and with smiles all around,   we hoisted a drink with a gorgeous view of Georgian Bay and the Bustard Islands.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Algonquin Park Camping Feels like Coming Home

Have you ever returned to a favourite campsite and felt like it was like coming home ? For over 20 years I have been  leading canoe trips and camping all over Algonquin Park . Some campsites  are really special and feel like home to me.   I love the solitude, intimacy  and quiet of Algonquin Park's backcountry lakes. The campsites are really stunning. 

This past week , I was out on a canoe trip   back  to an old stomping ground and had the opportunity  to camp at one of my favourite  beach campsites. It had been years since I had been on this route.   The wind was howling  and we  spent a wonderful afternoon  swimming, sailing and cooking up a storm. 
Memories of past trips, of friends who have shared the site with  me , the good times we have on  the trail- these memories always come back when I am sitting by the fire at  a favourite campsite.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip Season is open!

Spring has us smiling at Algonquin 's north west corner.  Our guide team have been busy training for our lodge based adventures as well as our guided Algonquin Park Canoe Trip season which  starts June 1, 2012.

Welcome back Cody and Nick and we are pleased to have Stephanie, Kayla, Dave, Jeremy and Cassandra on board. Melissa will be running the Outpost.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Algonquin deep in snow !

Our winter guide team  were out  at the heated wall tent last week.   Snow conditions were fantastic ! Here is a shot of the team as they arrive back at the Algonquin Log Cabin.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Algonquin Park Camping in Winter

With the popularity of Les Stroud aka Survivor man and others, the wilderness is often portrayed as a foreboding place where one can test oneself.    This is especially true in winter where many people head into Algonquin Park and other wilderness areas to  “survive “ the weekend by building  Quinzees (snow shelters) or  cold camping  in tents. While I applaud the adventure  and  skills to survive in the  winter wild, I  would prefer the focus to be on how “comfortable “   nature and life in the wilderness can be. Come to  Algonquin or other wilderness  to slow down, relax, be at peace,  have fun, enjoy. Stripped down to the essentials, living simply need not be harsh or equated to  “surviving”. Just the opposite.  Many  like me and my adventure friends  refer  to  our time in nature  as “living the good life “.

Many people can understand this “good life” when they  are camping  in Algonquin Park in the summer.  Swimming in clear lakes, fishing, travelling by canoe , sleeping under the stars. All perfect.  But what about winter.  The image changes and people think danger and survival.    I challenge those of you who think  of the wilderness in a survival sense to come visit Voyageur Quest  this winter at Algonquin Park’s north west corner.    

Voyageur Quest operates several Algonquin  winter trips  including  “off the grid” Log Cabin adventures featuring dog sledding, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing.  Accommodation and meals take place at in a heated cozy cabin. Finish off the day with a sauna and a drink in front of the fireplace.   Our guides teach all skills , provide all equipment and ensure you are  having fun.   Life is good remember?!

If you want more adventure – snowshoe  down  Surprise Lake to experience winter camping in a “hot tent”. These canvas tents have a wood stove that can  heat  the inside to the tune of 20 degrees c or 65 Fahrenheit. Sleep on pine boughs that give the air a sweet  hint of the forest that surrounds the tent. Enjoy  hot drinks ,  a bowl of  chile and fresh baked corn bread in front of the wood stove. Walk outside the tent and look up to  a night sky that  is filled with more stars than you have ever seen before.  Spend the next day exploring the highland hills by snowshoe. Follow the  wolf tracks, moose tracks  and  otter slides.  Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Breath in the fresh air.  Peaceful. Quiet  and fun.

This is the winter I know and  an experience I hope to share with you.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Algonquin Island Cabin for Couples Only

If you are looking for a private island or an Algonquin Cabin for a romantic vacation, consider the Algonquin Island Retreat. Tiny, "off the grid" and with extraordinary lakeside views in all directions, the island Cabin is very comfortable and has all the amenities you need for the ultimate Algonquin couples only getaway. Solar power translates to running hot water and lights, a wood stove , a stunning second floor walk out bedroom deck, fully stocked kitchen, cosy living and storm room and yes a hot shower! Given the location at Algonquin Park access point # 1, these amenities are really first class! To see more pictures of the Algonquin Island Retreat, click here.
You begin your couples only vacation by arriving at the Algonquin Canoe Outpost where you rendezvous with a Voyageur Quest staff who helps unload your bags and pack your canoe. Don't worry about canoe experience. If you have never been in a canoe or need a few tips , the friendly staff take you through a comprehensive canoe lesson and in no time you are ready for the 15 minute paddle to the island.

The canoeing on Kawawaymog lake is fantastic. Explore the lake's many islands or paddle down the the Amable du Fond river. Rest tired bones in the floating sauna.
The 3 decks and two docks of the private island are wonderful places to read, relax, sip a drink and photograph or paint. From this vantage, the sunsets, sunrises and night skies are unforgettable.

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

September is the best time to see Algonquin Park Fall colours.

If you like the fall colours, September is the time to come to Algonquin Park. With cool nights and clear days, the Algonquin forests starts to change as early as the last week of August and are filled with colour by September 20. I love to come in the middle of the change - typically between September 15 to 25 where you see a dramatic change every day. The days are summer like and the water still warm enough for a dip. The morning mist is heavy providing living paintings every morning. Peak colour changes every year but the last 10 days of September are always incredible. This year , the colours appear to be peaking September 27 to 30.

Our three uniquque Algonquin properties offer warm and cozy retreats and ideal bases to catch the colour show. The Algonquin Island Retreat for couples is an extraordinary location to photogrpah or paint as the colours and water surround the cabin. The Algonquin Log Cabin is a good choice for those looking for a fall colour guided adventure filled with fun and interesting excursions and tasty harvest meals. The soloar powered Algonquin Cottage Outpost is another great choice for a private cabin or cottage to base your weekend fall colour adventure.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

From Shanghai to Algonquin

Martin, age 10 , travelled all the way from China with his mom this week to take part in our Algonquin Log Cabin 3 day adventure!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Canoe in the silver water

I love the late afternoon sun and flashes of silver on the water. This is a shot of Nick paddling over to the Island Retreat.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Take a float plane to Algonquin and start your adventure in style!

Last week, we had two groups arrive via float planes. From Toronto, the flight time is one hour making it a speedy and exciting way to start your trip. Our Ottawa group timed the flight with the sunrise for a majical start to their Algonquin canoe trip adventure.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bass are biting at the Cottage Outpost !

The bass fishing has been fantastic on Kawawaymog lake this July. Here are a few from last week.

Matt Volpe with a 4 pounder

Cody with a 3 1/2 pound

John with a 4 - 5 pounder !

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Breakfast at the Algonquin Island Retreat

Gorgeous weather this morning for breakfast on the bedroom deck. The fish are jumping everywhere!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July Misty mornings at Algonquin Park Access point # 1

Algonquin sunrise on Kawawaymog at Algonquin park access # 1

Another beautiful sunrise as seen from the bedroom deck this morning from the Algonquin Island retreat looking east at the Amable du fond river. If you are a fair weather adventure type who loves to experience the great outdoors with sun and heat- come to Algonquin in early July! The past few weeks are a great example of classic early summer weather. Day time temperatures are in mid to high twenties, sunny blue bird days and clean fresh water lake to dive into and cool off. Beyond the warm sunny days, early July is also great for seeing wildlife and the bass fishing is superb!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes with our 2011 Guide Team - John, Ben & Ana

5:01pm with John, Ben and Ana out for a sail on Round Lake.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes with our 2011 Guide Team - 5:01pm with Roddy and the Toronto Island Team

Roddy towing the Voyageur canoes after a great teambuilding event on the Toronto Islands.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Behind the Scenes with our 2011 Guide Team - Nick

Nick wowed our team with his amazing creation!

This delicious dish features grilled chicken, asparagus, blue cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, white mushrooms, onions, portabello mushrooms, fresh basil, garlic, and cayenne.

No need for dessert after this meal!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Behind the scenes with our 2011 Guide Team - Becky

Becky with a cold one and a fishing pole

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Behind the scenes with our 2011 Guide Team - Mark

5:01pm with Mark...
a newspaper and a cold one at the Log Cabin dock.

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