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Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

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Kettering, United...
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Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Am staying in Montreal with my son for a couple of weeks in early May 2013, but would then like to head off to the widerness for a canoing/camping adventure for 5 days or so. I am 62yrs old, fairly fit, lots of camping/trekking experience but no canoing as yet. Fairly low budget required. Any ideas on how i could join a group? Have seen Parc de la Mauricie recommended but seems that group trips only start in June and not much for beginners?

Quebec
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for Mont Tremblant
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1. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

May is early season here, the water is still very cold and the black flies just emerging. We can still have ice on the lakes at that time, not covered but there. Check out these weather averages, you will see that temps are often quite cool in May, though some days can be quite warm to us, 10-15c. Not really canoe or camping weather.

weather.com/weather/…CAXX0811

Maybe head south into the US where it will be warmer?

Kettering, United...
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2. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Thanks very much, bogwoppit,, for your helpful reply. I'll take your advice to look further south. This was my first-ever post on a forum site and it's heart-warming to know there's folk like you out!

Quebec
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3. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

It's a pleasure.

Kemptville, Canada
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4. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

I'm on a canoe camping trip on the May long weekend with Pure Life Adventures on the Noire River in Quebec. www.purelifeadventures.ca/home_en.html. You can call them to see what other trip time they have.

Kemptville, Canada
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5. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Another good outfitter has 3 different 3-day trips. http://www.blackfeather.com/calendar.htm

Kettering, United...
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6. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Thanks, Cathy. No firm plans as yet. I'll check it out.

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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7. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Also consider coming to the Ontario side if nothing works out in Quebec. Ontario's vast Algonquin Provincial Park -- a 5-hour drive from Montreal, but one that can be broken up by visiting Ottawa along the way -- is one of the world's most famous canoe tripping areas and ideal for trips of that length. The lakes there tend to thaw in late April or very early May. I've been on a few early- and mid-May canoe trips there; you have to be ready for any kind of weather and for blackflies, but it's the best time of year to fish for the elusive lake trout, and one of the best for seeing moose. There are many outfitters in the area that offer guided trips, organize group trips, and/or rent equipment for self-guided trips.

Kettering, United...
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8. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Thanks a lot. Seems like i may be spoiled for choice after all!

Montreal, Canada
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9. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

Yes you might be spoiled but beware that the water will be icy cold all around. Usually people don't go to swim or do kayaking in bathing suits until the end of June.

Even Northern US would be like that. I think that at this time of the year if you are looking for freshwater that is less icy you must go near NYC

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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10. Re: Canoe/Camping in mid-May 2013

What makes large parts of Ontario and Quebec so uniquely great for canoe tripping is the Canadian Shield, that rugged landscape of precambrian granite that creates vast webs of interconnecting lakes and streams. The Shield does not extend into southern New York State or come near NYC, so there is nothing special about canoeing in that area.

If the OP is spending a couple of weeks of May in Montreal before the canoe trip, it will be at least mid May by the time the trip happens. I have never seen ice on the lakes of Algonquin at that time of year, and I've even gone swimming, although the water is certainly too cold to stay in for more than a few minutes (and only crazy people like me should even do that).

While Algonquin is Ontario's most famous canoe tripping area and the most well-served by outfitters and guides, there are other options within the Shield region that are either farther south or at lower elevations, so that they warm up a little earlier -- for example Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, Massassauga Provincial Park, or Frontenac Provincial Park. Personally I'd stick to Algonquin but the options are there.

You can monitor the evolving winter/spring conditions in Algonquin at the park website, http://algonquinpark.on.ca/

Edited: 3:05 pm, April 05, 2013