Two Short & Sweet Algonquin Paddles for the Casual Canoeist

front end of a Bartlett Lodge canoe with a paddle in the water

Paddling in Algonquin is always beautiful but sometimes more rigorous than the casual or novice canoeist would enjoy. Here are two simple routes to get you into the dip of things without pulling muscles or portaging hundreds of meters over rugged terrain.

Canoe Lake – Bonita Lake – Tea Lake – Smoke Creek and Home

This is a gentle shoreline paddle starting at the Portage Store in the park, just a few minutes along highway 60 from Bartlett Lodge. Take a canoe with you or rent one at the Portage Store. Stop for your packed lunch about halfway – wherever the shoreline allows.

Bartlett Lodge – Madawaska Dam

Pack your canoe and your lunch from the dock at Bartlett Lodge and head south around Big Island (staff can provide you with a laminated map). You’ll see great examples of Algonquin lease-hold cottages which have been in the same families for years and perhaps generations. As you head south, look for a small island and keep east of it, then turn North. Travel to the end of what appears to be an inlet and turn East again – you’ll see the dam, an old rail line and some great hiking/photography opportunities. It’s a great place to explore and take time for an outdoors lunch. Return to Bartlett the same way you came.

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