Trip Reports

Barron Canyon Day Trip June 1st, 2020

Barron Canyon Day Trip June 2020

Barron River June 2020 0007On June 1st some Ontario Provincial Parks opened backcountry camping.  To celebrate, three club members headed to Algonquin Park for a "private together apart" day trip where no club equipment was used (we do not yet have access to the club boat house).  Algonquin Park staff were still figuring out how to register people during COVID_19 so the Sand Lake Gate building remained officially closed, with a "self-serve" kiosk functioning.  Staff present were able to tell us that the gate into Grand Lake at Achray, our original destination, had been opened and that the area is now accessible.  Due to expected high westerly winds we changed our trip to see the Barron Canyon instead.

We put in at Squirrel Rapids about 10 am with a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius.  We paddled a little over a kilometre before doing a 400 m portage.  We had our own lunches at a quiet spot on the water.  We paddled the length of the beautiful canyon and some of us got too hot in our wetsuits!  The highest temperature reading for the day was 20 degrees Celsius and with wet feet we should have been cold but we were not.  We stripped off some clothes.  We turned around at the next portage, after paddling about 10 km and the whole canyon section.  There was now a strong westerly tail wind, which gusted to 30 km/hr, to blow us back to our starting point.  We stopped briefly to watch an Algonquin native dancer who was amazing and beautiful.  We saw turtles and deer.  Just east of the canyon area we stopped at the first campsite.  It had water on three sides, a thunderbox, and several suitable tent spots.  It would be a great place to stay but we didn't.  We built a campfire, roasted marshmallows, ate snacks, chatted and blew bubbles in the sunshine.  Full and happy we went back into the canoes to paddle and float to the portage and back to the cars.  We loaded canoes onto racks and returned to Ottawa before dark.  We had met a total of five kayakers and two canoeists other than ourselves.  Only one campsite of the seven was in use.  The scenery was beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  There were a few mosquitoes and black flies.  It was an excellent start to the summer.


Barron River Map

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