Noganosh Provincial Park (Happy Thanksgiving!)

It felt weird for us not going home to be with family for Thanksgiving. Instead we decided to take the long weekend and go on canoe trip to Noganosh Provincial Park. I have been extremely busy since starting school full-time, and really needed some down time.


I’m usually the planner in this family of 3 (B, Banjo and I), but because I was so busy B took on the responsibility of organizing our weekend away. Friday evening was a scramble as I got home from school late and then had to do some shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner at camp.


We were up early on Saturday to drive 2 hours north from Muskoka to Noganosh Provincial Park (non-operating) and launched our canoe at Flemings Landing. We paddled against a light headwind to our first portage. The portage was super easy. From there we paddled through a wetland/beaver pond, did another portage into another wetland/beaver pond and finally into Smokey Lake. I’d say the portages were about 300meters each.


Smokey was a beautiful lake. We paddled by a fishing lodge with rustic cabins. It didn’t look very occupied, or the guests were really quiet.

We were still paddling against a headwind and it had been lightly raining on and off all day. We decided to paddle to Noganosh Lake to spend our first night. We took a site that was really exposed to the wind. It really kicked up on this lake. B set up the shelter so we had some blockage from the gale-force wind. It was bone chilling!


Noganosh Lake


It was already late in the afternoon by the time we arrived at our site so we settled in with camp chores and got a fire going to keep warm. It felt amazing to be outside getting some much needed Vitamin N.

Noganosh Lake

It’s neat to witness the sun set at 6:30pm. It felt so much later than it really was. We were in bed probably by 9pm and up after 8am. The sun is rising around 7:30am. That’s a long time in the tent!

Sunset on Noganosh Lake
Moon, stars and a campfire. Life is good.
Starry night on Noganosh Lake

Sunday morning was a beauty! Mist dancing across the lake, the sun beaming over the coloured trees, and that amazing golden tone when it really starts to power up in the morning. The sun is so powerful and warming.



To make Monday a shorter day and paddle, we backtracked to Smokey Lake and took a site on a peninsula that gave us an awesome view of the lake.

Backtracking to Smokey Lake from Noganosh.
Backtracking to Smokey Lake from Noganosh.

We had so much fun here exploring, setting up camp again, and working on photography projects.

Beauty in nature
Autumn Happening
Mushrooms forcing themselves out of the ground everywhere!



View from our campsite on Smokey Lake
Camp chores!
Campsite on Smokey Lake
Photography fun
Autumn happening
Autumn Happening
Our campsite on Smokey Lake
Cool! A beaver stick!

B also had planned a grand Thanksgiving dinner for us. The recipe came from Kevin Callan’s The New Trailside Cookbook and it didn’t disappoint! I made a centerpiece for our celebration and we enjoyed our hearty warm casserole from Grandpa’s Cookpot.




I can’t say enough about how beautiful this day was. All 3 of us had an incredible time being together outside. Especially Banjo who found her fair share of sticks (mostly from B’s wood pile!), who insisted we throw them for her all day long. She was happy.




We had a floatplane land and take-off twice on Smokey Lake, which was fun to watch.



I discovered that my sleeping bag sucks in shoulder seasons. I have a Marmot Trestles 15/-9 (I’ve had it for a few years now). Even though I had 2 pairs of wool socks on, my feet were still cold. I tossed and turned and bundled up in my sleeping bag as cozy and tight as possible. Getting up in the middle of the night to empty my bladder took many counts up to 10 until I finally couldn’t take it anymore. It was cold.

Monday morning was spectacular as we broke camp just as the sun was coming up. There was so much beauty in nature that it completely filled my prescription of Vitamin N. I loved this paddle.

Smokey Lake
Smokey Lake



When we got closer to the wetland/beaver ponds they were covered in frost, and ice had formed in the shallow water in the creek sections. It was cold. But beautiful!




Nature art




Back to Kawigamog Lake to Flemings Landing to end our awesome weekend.


For me, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the things in life I’m thankful for; my best friend/husband, my fur baby Banjo, and the natural spaces that fill my heart with wonder and inspiration. It’s not about how much I get out, it’s about quality time and really appreciating and being present in my surroundings.

Kawigamog Lake
Kawigamog Lake
Flemings Landing

This guy ran out in front of us on our way home! Third bear I’ve seen in 2 weeks!



Thank you for reading! I really love posting these adventures in nature and hope to inspire others to explore these areas too, or just to get outside. Let me know if you have any questions or drop me a line in the comments section 🙂

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  1. Great post Cobi! I was out as well at Mcrae Lake and that wind saturday was very chilly indeed. I think we have the same sleeping bag? I purchased mine last summer and love it. I was good both nights but I was a bit colder saturday night with the dampness from the rain I think? Sunday night we used the hot nalgene bottles and they did not disappoint. We filled them around 1030pm and when I got up yesterday at 715am it was still a bit warm. I was amazed! I too had on 2 pairs of socks, fleece thick tights and my rain pants overtop and pretty much most of my clothes but I had my merino wool hat on and I think that saved me. I was toasty warm and happy as I was scared I wasn’t going to be warm knowing it would be far colder sunday night than saturday but I guess with the rain, comes a different cold? Your pictures are fabulous! They always have been but they look like they are evolving. Glad you had such a lovely weekend. I must check out this place soon! Happy adventuring! #camperchristina 🙂


    • Hey Christina! Thanks for reading! Our friend spends a lot of time at McCrae Lake and it is on our shortlist for sure!

      My sleeping bag used to be good, but now my feet always get cold in it. I’m not sure if the stuffing has shifted or what. I always store my bag out of the compressing sack so that it airs out, etc.

      Hot nalgene bottle is a good idea, but I think this could be a good excuse for a new sleeping bag. Out of all our gear, my sleeping bag is the most bulky, so maybe I should surge for something more lightweight with a colder temperature rating.

      And thanks for the comment about my photos! I think they are evolving too, because I’m learning so much at school! Not just about taking beautiful photographs, but making beautiful photographs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a wonderful trip! We went out this weekend as well and it was very tempting to stay out for another few days. The paddle out on Monday was so great I didn’t want it to end.

    I’m curious about Noganosh. Do you need to book in advance? Any tips on where to find maps? Looks really beautiful and I’d love to explore it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great write up of this park. Some great photos as well. I think Noganosh has become a bit more of a popular spot to go these past few years. My group has often thoughts of just creating a site just off the beaten path to get a little more seclusion. The summer months are very pretty there with all the different flora. The many side lakes offer great fishing and tranquility. Exploration seems endless in this park as it is so big. It really would take many trips to see it all. Once again great job on your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forgot to mention that if you find it cold in your sleeping bag consider a simple liner that made to go inside like a sheet for a bed.their are all kinds of different ones. All kinds of price points but the middle is good enough. It will create an extra layer that traps heat and keeps you warmer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The liner is a great idea. But my sleeping bag is the bulkiest item in our pack. I guess I could make due with it, but having something that would pack down half the size would be ideal.

        With a smaller sleeping bag, maybe we could start single carrying! 🙂


    • Thanks for reading, Joe! I can see how Noganosh would be a popular place in the summer. I guess it would be best to explore in the shoulder seasons when there would be less traffic.

      It was such a beautiful place and super accessible!


  4. Your night photo by the fire is perhaps the most captivating moment I’ve seen and embodies why i do what i do to get to those quiet spaces.



    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your photography! Your descriptions makes me want to go there too! That is such a beautiful place! I wear lots of socks when I camp and freeze too. I have a Kelty Ignite zero degree. As long as I sleep in it the right way and my hips don’t mash it, I’m mostly warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mara! I’m looking for a new sleeping bag. The synthetic type are just too bulky! My sleeping bag takes up so much room. It’s time for an ultralight down bag.

      Thanks for your comment 😀


    • Thank you so much for the comment, Lauren!

      I feel very lucky to be so close to so much wilderness in Ontario. I think we have more space and freedom than our US neighbours.

      So much to explore!


  6. Wow! Your photos are incredible! Your recap of your trip is also very well-written and makes me want to check out this route even more! I was doing some research on this spot when I came across this post and I’m now more excited than ever to check it out this month!


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