Guest Blogger

Algonquin Park Canoe Delivery

If you’ve visited Algonquin Park, it’s probably safe to say that you’ve paddled along a few waterways in your time there. What’s not to love? After all, there’s the wildlife you may not see any other way, the amazing workout that paddling offers and, above all, the peace and quiet you hear, with the exception of the sound of paddles gently swishing the water, leaving mini whirlpools in their wake.

As a descendant of the master birch bark canoe builder, Matthew Bernard , I have always had a deep appreciation for the canoe and its rich history. One of the top activities for my family through the generations has always been to rent a canoe and spend a couple of days paddling around the lakes and waterways of the Algonquin corridor.

While my husband and I would love to purchase our own canoe, we really don’t have space to store it between uses, which is really only once or twice per year, as we don’t live in cottage country. That’s what makes canoe rentals so convenient.

There are many places in the park’s Highway 60 corridor to rent equipment from, with a wide range of prices, but we somehow always end up renting our canoes from Algonquin Outfitters. The staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, making sure to properly fit customers with the right sizes of PFDs and paddles. The availability, even in peak season, is terrific (especially amidst the busy-ness that COVID brought to many campgrounds across Canada). And campground delivery? Hello!

The trickiest part of renting canoes or kayaks is to coordinate your rental to hit the best weather possible during your stay in the park. This year, we happened to camp during a very damp week but managed to do the majority of our planned canoe trips on a warm, sunny day. However, if you love to go fishing, it could be that the rainy days are prime for catching your dinner.

Rental PFD's and PaddlesMy husband connected with Mike the day before we wanted to start our canoe rental, just to ensure that two, two-person canoes would be available for the following day. (Note from AO Staff, we suggest making reservations as far in advance as possible; we hate it when we don’t have any canoes left for those last-minute rentals!) When Mike showed up the next day, our canoes were just waiting to hit the water. We chose our paddles and PFDs, and we were ready to go. The service even included van-to-water’s-edge service 😉 .

The sheer convenience of being able to rent a canoe without leaving your campground is one of the things I like the most. The expertise of the staff is a true bonus, with quality products (and, in this case, ones that have been sanitized for everyone’s safety). If you have questions or concerns, they are more than happy to take the time to explain.

Even if you have little ones or pets, there are PFDs to fit them as well. Maybe next year, we’ll bring our cat 😉 .

As we travelled to the Lake of Two Rivers island and, later, the Madawaska River to the portage point (P50) at the waterfall/rapids, we thoroughly enjoyed the quiet, while feeling safe and secure with all the equipment we were using for the trips. Extra peace of mind came from the canoe safety kit, which includes a rope, whistle and bailer. I’m happy to say that we have never needed to use these items.

Lastly, I’d just like to mention that AO lists all of their equipment rentals on the website but, if you should have any questions, it’s a good idea to give them a call and chat directly with an expert.

Safe paddling!

View from the island on Lake of Two Rivers.

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Denise Riches

Wife - Boy Mom - Virtual Assistant - Wine Lover - Chocoholic - Camping Enthusiast. Denise was the Grand Prize winner in our 2019 Safe Paddling photo contest. She won a 3-day Ultimate Canoe Trip Package with Algonquin Outfitters for up to 4 people, valued at $1367.30.

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