Family Camping Trip - Cedar Lake, Algonquin Park - August 15 to 22, 2021

IMG 6263 Edit EditFamily Camping Trip - Cedar Lake, Algonquin Park

August 15 to 22, 2021

On Sunday August 15, four adventurers and a dog set out for a week of backcountry camping in Algonquin Park. We had planned this trip to be easy and relaxing, which would be a great opportunity for families. We would be staying on Cedar Lake, also known as Brent Access Point, which is in the northern part of Algonquin Park. The weather all week was amazing, with basically no rain!

We left the RACCC boathouse shortly after 9am, and stopped for a picnic lunch and 1 km nature walk in Driftwood Provincial Park. Upon arriving at the Brent park office we found out that 26 of the 32 sites had already checked in! We were on the water by 3:30pm as planned, and after a very stressful 3 ½  hour paddle we found a site, ironically a 10 minute paddle across from the put-in. After setting up camp, we enjoyed a yummy prepared chicken and sausage gumbo dinner before a well deserved sleep.

 

 

Our second day was a rest day, with lots of reading, swimming and hammock time. Cory made his famous stone oven pizza for dinner, and a dutch oven apple and cherry cobbler for dessert. A nice campfire ended a great day.

On our third day we explored the falls where the Petawawa River empties into Cedar Lake, and walked the 715 metre portage trail. We then paddled through Marshy Bay, to the falls where the Nippising River empties into Cedar Lake, and walked the 945 metre portage trail. On the way back the wind had picked up, with some white caps making paddling back a bit harder. At night we played a game of Exploding Kittens and Riley read some ghost stories.

The fourth day we started the day with apple protein pancakes, then paddled back to the put-in. We walked to the old log ranger cabins. The Algonquin Outfitters were closed due to the pandemic, but had a contactless pickup for canoe/kayak rentals. We walked the Brent Historic Trail before heading back to our site. For dinner we had Thai Chicken Curry, then we played Dungeons & Dragons (we’re doing a Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign!).

We spent the morning of the fifth day playing more Dungeons & Dragons, which was pretty cool doing on the side of a lake. Cory caught and released a few 6 to 12 inch fish shortly before dusk. The boys cooked yummy chicken pasta for dinner, and helped make a dutch oven chocolate cake for dessert. We had a nice campfire and s’mores.

Our six day was another relaxing day, with some excitement as we spotted a rescue helicopter near the falls at the Petawawa River. It became very smokey which led to a red sunset. We played a game of Five Crowns and enjoyed a campfire and s’mores.

On the seventh and second last day, Riley wanted to fish on the lake, so he tried paddling solo while we watched from shore, and did great! In the afternoon we were visited by two park rangers. Although they said they had a zero tolerance policy this summer on cans/glass, I managed to talk my way out of getting a $150+ fine for having canned goods! We asked the rangers about the helicopter the previous day, and they explained a group of 25 people from Wounded Warriors Canada were helping an emergency rescue team practice, so we were happy to hear no one was hurt. Before dusk we started to hear some thunder, which our dog Dakota is terrified of, and she knocked the boys tent down trying to get inside...luckily nothing was damaged in the chaos.The weather was beautiful with no bugs, so we enjoyed our last campfire and some ghost stories.

We packed up and were on the road by 10:30am. We stopped at the Brent Crater lookup, and had a delicious lunch at Plan B restaurant in Deep River.

Here is what Kylah and the boys had to say about the trip!

Kylah: I enjoyed hammock time on the lake. Relaxation and a week of no pandemic talk. Good memory: family swims even with the dog.

Dylan: The trip overall was pretty fun and relaxing. I enjoyed relaxing, swimming, playing games with my family, cooking/eating tasty meals, and sitting around the campfire at night with smores. We played some card games, and made two desserts with the dutch oven, which I believe was a first for us. The bugs weren’t that bad either, especially for that time of year, for me at least. We also went on some day trips which were mostly fun, because of the nice scenery and the break from sitting around. One day we canoeed to three portages and walked two of them, and checked out some rapids and waterfalls. The trip was a great experience, I would consider doing it again.

Riley: The trip wasn't too bad overall. Majority of it was pretty fun. I enjoyed things like swimming, going on adventures, and simply relaxing. Just before the trip I thought it was going to be a rough, long week. But it wasn't actually too bad. Once I was back home It felt like I was only gone for a couple days. It just seemed like it went by SO fast (I bet the desserts in the dutch oven helped, like a lot). I loved how we were able to make things in a dutch oven. We did two things, an apple/cherry crumble, and a small chocolate cake. They were both absolutely awesome! So overall I think the trip was really fun.

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