Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

From Samuel de Champlain

We spent eight days last week (and a bit) at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, near North Bay. The weather was finally summer-like, and we were able to enjoy the nice sandy beach and warm water.

The main day use beach is the nicest, although it's a short (uphill) bike ride or drive from the campgrounds. Each campground has its own small beach, which was nice for a quick dip at the end of the day to cool off, but those beaches are really small and pebbly.

The bridge between the two campgrounds was closed, and in a serious state of disrepair, so we had to bike the long way to see the other half of the park. I was surprised to see how many people were riding downriver through the rapids on inner tubes. The water was flowing quite quickly, and there seemed to be lots of rocks.

From Samuel de Champlain

The park is great for canoeing. We paddled around Moore Lake, Long Lake, and up the Amable du Fond river. We spotted several herons along the way, and a loon with a loonlet.

From Samuel de Champlain

We also drove about five minutes West of the park, to Pimisi Lake, where we dropped the canoe in and paddled up to the end of the lake, and the Talon Chutes.

From Samuel de Champlain

It was kind of neat to be following the route of the voyageurs from 400 years ago. The park has a small museum dedicated to the voyageurs and their travels. It's a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

We took the chance on an overcast day to also head South, into Algonquin Park. We had thought about canoeing from the Kiosk campground, but the lake was really choppy the day we were there - whitecaps and all. Instead, we stopped off at the Eau Claire Gorge to check it out. The hill to the top was in rough shape after some rain, so we had to pop the Jeep into 4x4 mode, and then we scampered up the hill.

From Samuel de Champlain

Fortunately the most northerly of the Thursday night tornadoes was just a bit to our west, and the worst we had was an hour of steady rain. No visiting bears on this trip - we just saw a deer near the top end of Algonquin Park, and some squirrels and snapping turtles under the boat dock in the park.



  1. Anonymous8:24 pm

    Great description!!

  2. Anonymous5:17 pm

    That may very well be the same snapping turtle we met when my husband and I first camped there about 7 years ago. Our favorite park by far!! Site 168 is our absolute favorite site for tent camping. You should head out during the Voyaguer days, lots to do in the town of Mattawa during the festival!
    Love your blog! We have a 2.5 year old we're taking camping again this summer, this time to Restoule for a week and we're super excited.

    I was blessed with a love for camping which I can thank my father for. By far some of my favorite childhood memories were created in Ontario's Provincial Parks. You're doing such a fantastic thing for your daughters by giving them the chance to be children and explore our great province!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks!

    Be sure to do the Fire Tower trail at Restoule. The view from the top is spectacular.

    We've got five trips booked for this summer - two new parks and three old favourites. The girls are counting down the days...

  4. Anonymous10:14 pm

    Was poison Ivy a problem for you at this Park?

  5. I don't remember any poison ivy here.