Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring Peepers, red trilliums and First paddle - May weekends at the Algonquin Log Cabin

May is truly a wonderful month to be up at the Log Cabin. There are typically 3 - 4 weeks of beautiful weather when the ice goes out in late April. It is fantastic to be out on the clear blue water enjoying the first paddle of the season. Days are typically pleasant (temperatures in mid teens) and ideal for walking, hiking, biking or paddling.

I look forward to being at the Algonquin Log Cabin for our upcoming annual spring training for the Log Cabin Naturalists, guides and staff. I love the evenings, sitting on the back porch, listening to the spring peepers. It is amazing how loud this little frog’s mating calls can be. It has been said that one spring peeper call has the same decibel rating of an airport runway. While these frogs are loud, they are rarely seen. Have a look! The "X" on their back are tell tale signs of the spring peeper.

My favourite spring hike is to walk to the top of the Ridge Trail through mixed maple forest and discover patches of red trilliums poking through the snow. These red flowers are the cousin of Ontario’s representative flower. The trilliums have a very short season as does the trout lilly – a delicious treat -to throw into your salad. With out the leaves on the trees, the Ridge trail offers up spectacular views of the islands down in the western bay of Surprise Lake.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Go Fish! (at Algonquin Park)

Algonquin Park offers excellent trout fishing. In 1990, both the largest lake trout and speckled trout caught in Ontario came from interior lakes in Algonquin. Speckled trout are the pride of Algonquin trout fishing. People come from all over North America to fish for the "brookies". Algonquin’s interior spring fed lakes offer excellent speckled trout fishing, as does the South River that flows west out of the Park.

May and June offer excellent Lake trout fishing- without the need to troll or hauling specialized equipment. With the cold water, Lakers can be caught at or near the surface with spinning or fly equipment. As soon as the ice is out, our local area heads into North Tea Lake where the Lake Trout are caught by casting from shore or from a canoe. From the Algonquin Cottage Outpost you can paddle and portage your way into North Tea Lake for some quality fishing. We have hosted a number of fishing enthusiasts at the Cottage Outpost.

Not to be forgotten the bass fishing on Kawawamog Lake is superb. This past season, we had several fishing parties who were very successful both fishing off the dock and from a canoe. The picture below is of my son Ben ( 3 at the time ) and my friend Gary with a 3 lb small mouth- caught on Ben’s first ever cast ! Bass season opens on the last weekend in June.

Click on the above picture to view additional fishing photos

Monday, March 06, 2006

Tracy's Algonquin Park Winter Weekend

All this snow is too enticing to let it pass by without experiencing it for myself. This past weekend I am headed north for a winter weekend at Algonquin Park with my good friend Rebecca.

The first stop on our itinerary was at a deluxe lakeside inn on Highway #11. This is the Inn where our Adventure for Two couples enjoy a 4 star lunch. Our hosts were excellent, the room was comfortable, the meals were delightful and we were even daring enough to brave the outdoor hot tub!

On Saturday I experienced dog sledding for the first time on a full day trip. The day started with an orientation where I met my guide and learned all about the commands that are necessary for mushing my very own team of 6 dogs. After the orientation we arrived at the Dog Yard and harnessed our team. The dogs were so excited to get out on the trail! Once our group was ready to run I stood on the back of my sled and Rebecca sat in the basket (also used for holding gear on the overnight trips). I yelled "Let's Go!" and off my team sped along snow covered roads and powder forest trails. This is the real deal! This trip is definiltey for people that are looking some excitement (and a little bit of a workout)! To view pictures of the day trip click on the photo below!

Following the trip, Rebecca and I drove out to the Algonquin Cottage Outpost and unwound in the Magnetawan Chalet. Joe, our Algonquin Log Cabin cook had some delicious Dream Bars waiting for us when we arrived. We had a delicious dinner and a bottle of wine and spent the evening talking and looking through our digital pictures from our dog sledding day. On Sunday morning I woke up early to experience a beautiful winter sunrise over Kawawaymog Lake. Rebecca and I went for a short snowshoe on the edge of the lake before heading home.

There is so much to do at the northwest corner of Algonquin Park. On my next winter visit I look forward to doing some ice fishing and snowmobiling.

Friday, March 03, 2006

February Photo Contest Submissions

We couldn't have asked for a better February at the northwest corner of Algonquin Park. The weather was crisp and cool and we hosted a number of great groups at the Algonquin Log Cabin and the Algonquin Cottage Outpost.

Thank you to everyone that sent in photos from a trip in February. Please click on the below photo to visit the February Photo Gallery:

Custom Log Cabin Rental
February 17-19, 2006

Did you join us on a trip in February?
If you did and haven't yet sent in your photos please send them to

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Algonquin Park Snow Report - March 1, 2006

As I look outside the Voyageur Quest office window in Toronto it looks like winter has passed us by. Don't be decieved! Each morning I speak with our Algonquin Park wilderness team at the Algonquin Log Cabin and receive the daily snow update. I just received some new photos in the office today and there is more than 5 feet of snow. Now that is something to celebrate!

Algonquin Log Cabin
February 22, 2006
- a winter wonderland