Algonquin Through Magnetawan Lake – Final Post

We had a lazy morning packing up because we didn’t have that far to go to Moccasin Lake. When we started loading up our canoe, we could hear gunwale thunder approaching the same portage we were. It was a girls group of 4 canoes. We all landed at the same time (good thing there was enough space), but B, Banjo and I had our packs on before they were all out of their boats. We portaged 1030m to Muslim Lake where Banjo and I waited for B to go back and get the canoe.


I knew the girls camp would be approaching the put-in at any minute, but only 2 girls eventually came out. One was crying and the other looked and motioned me to not say anything.

The girl (let’s call her Sally) tripped and fell on the portage and cut her big toe open. According to her, it was the result of the leader (let’s call her Maud) chasing her down the trail. Maud ordered Sally to change from her flip-flops into her shoes, and asked that she carry a “low kit” (it was a diabetes girls camp) and other gear. When Sally refused (because it was all too heavy for her) and took off down the portage, Maud chased after her so that she wasn’t on her own, and that’s when Sally tripped. If she was wearing her running shoes instead of her flip-flops like asked, she wouldn’t have cut her big toe open.

“NO! It doesn’t matter, you were chasing me!” cried Sally. “I want you to call my mom right now!”

At this point I asked the leader if she had any first aid supplies, but they were left back at the beginning of the portage. I brought mine out and handed it to Maud so that she could take care of the injury.

“I don’t want you to touch me!” yelled Sally. I asked if she would let me take care of her foot, and if that was okay to take her flip-flop off. She did. So, I performed first aid on little Sally while she said that she hated it out here, and that she wanted to go home. All this time Banjo was lying beside us. I told Sally about Banjo’s misadventure in Algonquin and if the dog can make it 16 kms out of the interior in 4.5 hours with an allergic reaction, surely Sally can make it one more day until the bus was ready to pick them up at the Rain Lake access point.

B made it back and we packed up our canoe. He asked Sally if Banjo could say hi, and Banj went over and licked her face and didn’t we see a little smile out of Sally. Banjo performed therapy and I performed first aid.

Who could resist Banjo?
Who could resist Banjo?

I was surprised when I didn’t get a thank you from Sally or Maud for helping and using my own supplies (that will need to be replenished, like gloves, bandages, cotton swabs and a biohazard bag).

Wenona Lake. I would camp on the only site if I ever paddle through these lakes again.
Wenona Lake. I would camp on the only site if I ever paddle through these lakes again.

We had a few small portages to do. A 370m from Muslim to Wenona, 540m from Wenona to Bandit, and 440m into Moccasin where we stayed another night.


4 hours after we made camp, the girls camp came paddling by our site. Still no thank you or anything.

Here come the girls camp, 4 hours later!
Here come the girls camp, 4 hours later!

Moccasin is a beautiful little lake. We had it all to ourselves. We listened to a thunderstorm and had a little bit of rain for about 10 minutes until the sky cleared up again in the evening.

Makin’ camp
I love seeing the abuse these trees get. Who in their right mind?
Wet and stinky
Moccasin Lake all to ourselves
Waiting out the only bit of rain we received during our time in the park
Beautiful Moccasin Lake
Beautiful Moccasin Lake
Watching the thunderstorm roll by

Our last night was spent on Casey(‘s) Lake. We portaged 185m out of Moccasin into Juan, and 450m into Jubilee where we paddled by the girls camp loading their canoes. We then portaged 450m into Sawyer(‘s) Lake and 310m into Rain Lake.

Put-in at Sawyer Lake from Jubilee Lake
Put-in at Sawyer Lake from Jubilee Lake

From there we paddled to our last portage of 1330m into Casey(‘s) Lake. The lake was at full capacity. When we got to the put-in, 2 groups paddled from the other portage to the 2 campsites we could see. We had to paddle to the last one. Not sure why it wasn’t taken because it was the cleanest, most pleasant looking site we had stayed on during our whole trip!

Drying laundry and relaxin’
From L to R: Me, Banjo, B
From left to right: Me, Banjo, and B
View from our campsite
Smoke not on the water
Campsite with a view


The sunset on this lake was incredible as we watched a weather system roll in.

The golden hour
We heard a bit of thunder
Then watched this happen!
It really was something to see!

Just as we started the trip with Ralph Bice, we had to end the trip with him. Instead of portaging from Daisy Lake into Acme “pond” Lake and into Hambone, we opted to paddle across Daisy again to the portage into the big waters of Ralph Bice. This was a challenging portage of 1455m considering we had just done a 1235m from Casey(‘s) into Daisy.

This photo is for our friend, Eitan


Banjo’s always looking back on the portage trail for B to come back!
Daisy Lake from Casey (‘s)


Ralph Bice Lake looked amazing! What a great view from the put-in. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this lake. It was originally named Eagle Lake and then Butt Lake, but finally named after Ralph because it was his favourite.

Beautiful Ralph Bice Lake


We had a 295m into Hambone and another 135m into Magnetawan to our access point. It was 11:55am when we rolled out of there (we broke camp at 7:00am).

Take-out from Ralph Bice into Hambone Lake
Put-in on Hambone Lake from Ralph Bice

It was a great trip! The 3 of us spent some good quality time together and we were able to see 4 moose and 2 families of river otters. The only thing that was surprising was the amount of people we saw. I think next time we’ll opt for a northern route to see if we can find some more solitude, and less campsites trashed by youth camps (granola bar wrappers, feminine products tossed in the bush, dirty underwear, socks, etc). The sites were well used.

Typical items left behind on campsites:

  • bread bag tags
  • granola bar wrappers
  • elastic bands
  • hair elastics
  • tissue
  • bits of garbage in the fire pit (peels or packets)
  • twist ties
  • ropes hanging in trees
  • small tent pieces
  • tent pegs
  • dirty socks and/or underwear (we had to burn underwear on Moccasin Lake that we found in the bush)

What am I missing?

Thanks for reading!  Part two and part one.

Our route as shown on Jeff’s Map


  1. well, you 3 had an amazing trip and time together, that’s the main thing. it is VERY unfortunate that back country campers don’t know better, than to leave trash behind figuring it’s not their problem, when, in fact, it is their responsibility to remove everything they brought in. It reminds me of a pet peeve, when I drive through the north country and see all the graffiti on the rock cuts, like anybody knows who in the hell they are, and more importantly like we give a crap! I’m just glad you two are the type of campers who know better and thank Mother Nature by treating her with respect and care…. way to go!!!


    • Thank you for checking out my blog, Someone. However, when you leave a comment like that, it’s unfair to not leave a way in which I can contact you to see what you mean.

      I’m truly sorry if my blog post came off as pretentious. I definitely don’t want to come across that way in the future, so if you wouldn’t mind giving me some constructive criticism, I would appreciate it.

      Thank you again, for visiting my site. 🙂


  2. Saw your link from algonquin adventures. Nice trip. Looks like you had some nice site. I understand the frustration with garbage at the site….sometimes things get left behind.

    I just do what ever one else does and just cleans it up. Don’t really see the need to gripe about it.

    Nice that you assisted that girls group. The girls not thanking you appears to have really bothered you? Maybe you just didn’t hear them say it or they were so exhausted forgot to.

    Anyway, good read, nice photos. Still seems a bit pretentious.

    The page saved before I had a chance to enter my name.



    • Hi William, thanks for the follow-up.

      I have been camping many times, as I’m sure you have, and do see bits of garbage all the time. Unfortunately during this particular trip, garbage was evident everywhere and in larger amounts. So it definitely made for some frustrating moments.

      In terms of the girls camp and the leader or girl not thanking me. Well, that was a little bothersome as well. I was always taught to thank a person for their help. If we can’t be teaching our children manners, they will be lost. It’s all about proper etiquette. I go to the backcountry to escape from human influence, not to be cleaning up after them.

      Thanks again for the follow up and checking out my blog. If you haven’t had a chance to read the Temagami posts, you will see that it was all a very positive experience. I would recommend paddling there to anyone. What a beautiful place!


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