A Thanksgiving Voyageur Adventure
We wanted to do something special for the Thanksgiving long weekend and decided to make a trip to the renowned Algonquin Park to admire the stunning fall colours. Together with another family, we rented some cabins off Hwy 60, close to the park. We couldn’t wait to explore the park, do some hiking and get out on the water for a paddle or two.
The weather for the long weekend couldn’t have been better. Cool, sunny and clear… enhancing the glorious reds, yellows and oranges throughout the park and along Hwy 60. I’ve spent my whole life living in Ontario and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such amazing colours! Despite the crowds, it was definitely worth the drive to Algonquin.
Between our two families, we had 5 children (ages 9-14) who are all avid outdoor kids, and a dog who loves to paddle with us. We wanted to take them out canoeing and decided to make an adventure of it by renting a large Voyageur canoe from Algonquin Outfitters. That way we could all paddle together like the French fur traders of the past. The fabulous staff at Algonquin Outfitters got our gear all sorted and off we went.
I thought it was going to be a challenge to get such a large canoe moving, but once we got a rhythm going, it actually went quite smoothly along the water. We were lucky to have an incredibly calm day and not much wind to work against us. The 3 adults paddled the whole way and the kids seemed to take turns and have numerous breaks, depending on their ages! We paddled along the north shore of Oxtongue Lake up to the river. We were hoping to see some wildlife, but unfortunately all we got a glimpse of was one fake blue heron in front of someone’s cottage and a family of ducks!
We paddled up the Oxtongue River for about an hour to Ragged Falls where we got out for a snack, a rest and a good look around. Ragged Falls is one of the top 10 waterfalls in Ontario and it was neat to land at the bottom and rock hop our way around (we had hiked into the Falls earlier in the weekend so got our view from the top as well). Ragged Falls is quite famous as a setting for paintings by the Group of Seven (particularly AJ Casson and Tom Thomson), and we can certainly understand why since it’s such a beautiful spot.
Our paddle back to Algonquin Outfitters was equally stunning. We even had a few tourists who stopped by the side of the river to take our photo (I guess we looked impressive in our great big canoe!!). It was a fabulous adventure for all of us. We’re happy to share a video clip of our day trip and our paddling fun.
As we drove back to the big city, we enjoyed the gorgeous fall colours and reminisced about our very special Thanksgiving memories paddling a Voyageur canoe.
Algonquin Outfitters been providing outdoor gear rentals for canoe trips & hiking trips for 50 + years. Book your adventure today toll free 1-800-469-4948.
Other Useful Links
- Ragged Falls Day Trip
- Other Day Trips
- Ontario Parks Oxtongue River / Ragged Falls
- Map to Ragged Falls
- Algonquin Outfitters Oxtongue Lake Base
- Discover Algonquin Park Canoe Trips
Lisa Crowley lives in Ajax, ON with her Kiwi husband, two fabulous kids and an energetic dog. She runs her own online business ParentSource.ca, works part-time at a local ski hill and has a passion for social media. Lisa enjoys an active outdoors lifestyle with her family: hiking, biking, camping, paddling, spelunking, skiing and traveling (and is always on the look-out for her next adventure!)