Although the Canoe Lake routes are probably the most used in Algonquin Park, they still remain some of the easiest to access (there is a parking lot, store, canoe rental, and permit office right there). Here we’ll highlight one of the routes, but there are a lot of different variations that can be done in 3 days.
The basic route takes you up Canoe Lake to Joe Lake, onto Burnt Island Lake, up through Sunbeam, and then down through Tom Thompson and Teepee Lakes, then back to Canoe. The route is not too long, so you end up getting a bit of rest or exploration on the second day.
- Total Distance: About 39km
- Number of Portages: 13
- Total Portage Distance: 4.35km
- Longest Portage: 670 meters
Highlights: The key advantage to this route is the ease of access and the easy terrain. Although there are 13 portages needed to do this, most of them are quite small, and all are extremely well marked and travelled. This area of the park also gives you a few options. Given the short distance, three days gives you enough time to relax or explore, either by paddling around Burnt Island Lake, or by choosing a different route home from Sunbeam.
Downsides: These routes have been extensively travelled, to the point where collecting firewood can be a problem. At many sites, you may even find that people have taken to cutting down smaller live trees to feed their fires. You will also likely see a lot more people on this route than most others, as it is the most accessible portion of Algonquin Park from the Toronto area.