Opeongo is Algonquin’s second busiest departure point, and there is really no escaping the crowds for the first few kilometers. However, once the lake opens up into different bays, the people start to thin out, and it begins to feel like a real backcountry trip. Opeongo and the lakes to the north are all stunning, and the crow river that connects them is a fun and easy paddle.
This route goes from the Opeongo Outfitters, to the North Arm of the lake, then onto Proulx, the crow river, and then Little and Big Crow Lakes, before turning back to Opeongo by the same route. On the way back, stop at Hailstorm Creek, which is an incredible ecosystem teeming with wildlife!
- Total Distance: About 70km
- Number of Portages: 1
- Total Portage Distance: 1.4km
- Longest Portage: 1.4km
Highlights: There a few highlights to this route! Doing it in 4 days means you are not rushed, and can really enjoy the best parts, like Hailstorm Creek, the Crow River, and the scenery in the upper lakes. Hailstorm creek is especially beautiful and is a great place to spot moose in the early morning. Opeongo itself is beautiful, with some excellent sites along the way with great sunrise and sunset views.
Downsides: Opeongo is a very large lake, and many people opt to skip it and take a motorboat straight to the portages on the other end. This means you have to deal with the noise from the occasional motorboat passing by, especially in the narrow section in the south. In the North, the bay opens up and the waves can be fairly large. Wear a life jacket, and stay close to shore; people have lost their lives on this lake.