My brother and I are looking to do our first trip, probably a week in duration, so looking for advice on when and where. We are located in NW Ohio, which would make Algonquin and Adirondack roughly the same distance from us (10 hour drive), or we could add another four to five hours to get to BWCA ... certainly not limited to those three, but I don't see us traveling any farther than BWCA.
I'm a school teacher, so we're limited to the first week of June through the third week of August. My brother and I are both experienced paddlers and campers, but neither of us have done canoe tripping, and probably worth mentioning that we're both in good physical condition and have the necessary equipment for tripping. Looking for some seclusion, so my research thus far has me leaning toward northern Algonquin. Any advice/suggestions on destination and timing based on this limited information?
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Posted by: glendorado on Jan-16-13 9:08 AM (EST)
You're the 2nd poster that is considering the BWCA. As I replied to the other poster,I am from MN & paddle there many times a year. are you looking to just paddle lakes? Rivers? Or both. The BWCA put in points can be fairly populated in the summer, but once you've ventured out a day or so, you may not see another soul the rest of the trip. Self rescue skills are a must.
Posted by: glendorado on Jan-16-13 9:26 AM (EST)
a link to get a map of the BWCA. http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/superior/maps-pubs#online%20maps the online map just shows major roads in the BWCA. The $10 map you can order is a must have for the BWCA. It shows entry / exit points, portages, camp sites. You may want to consider a trip in the superior national forest. The map also covers this area. Unlike the BWCA, no permit is required, and you can "disperse camp" which just means you can camp where ever you want, not just designated sites like the BWCA. If you're really serious about making a trip in this area, let me know & I can give you a lot more info. I will say it is the most beautiful & secluded area I've ever paddled.
Posted by: richardp on Jan-16-13 11:13 AM (EST)
If you decide on the Adirondacks, I would suggest Low's lake. Much to do (even some hiking)for a week and you could add the 2 mile portage to get to the Oswegatchie River. Much fewer people in June, but that is black fly season too. There would be little seclusion in August, but better weather.
Posted by: BuckeyePaddler on Jan-16-13 2:19 PM (EST)
We'd be looking for a trip that has a combination of rivers and lakes. I realize June will be prime time for black flies, but I think we'd be willing to deal with them if it will give us the seclusion we're hoping for. Can anyone talk me in or out of June due to the flies versus lack of people?
Posted by: glendorado on Jan-16-13 2:56 PM (EST)
I can tell you about the BWCA, superior national forest is that you can run both lakes & rivers & be as secluded as you want. Flies & mosquito pests are minimal on the water & are non existent at night cause it WILL get cold even in the middle of June. My water froze at night in the back of my truck on a June night. If you're wanting to go "black ops" in the wilderness as far as hiking, exploring, the flies will be there, but make sure you have trail markers. If you get lost in this area you are screwed. Your cell phone will not work, and you can hike for 50 miles and not see anything. Easy to get lost on the water too without a good map, compass & some common sense. I Have paddled a lot of areas and this is my "go to" place if I don't want to see people.
Posted by: Mattt on Jan-16-13 2:38 PM (EST)
cost - BWCA would cost you $15 per person per trip (I think that's the going rate)so $30 for you and your Bro. Algonquin would cost you somewehre between 15 an 20 dollars per person per night - so that's about $30 x10 = $300 or so. No fees that I'm aware of in Adirondacks.
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-16-13 4:01 PM (EST)
Posted by: Mattt on Jan-16-13 2:42 PM (EST)
Posted by: glendorado on Jan-16-13 3:43 PM (EST)
Where I go in the BWCA, superior national forest has some creeks & rivers that are class V in the spring, class II-IV in mid june. Some areas there are NO portages if you want to avoid the rapids. Just have to haul your gear through the woods to get to your next destination if you're not comfortable with running rapids. That's why I said in my previous post that if you're serious about BWCA, superior national forest area, you're going to need a lot more intel to be safe. A creek or river that looks flat when you start can turn into a class IV or V with little or no warning. (I learned the hard way) A trip to the BWCA, SNF to run any rivers creeks, you should talk to a ranger in the area you're considering. They'll let you know where NOT to go if you don't want rapids. The link I posted earlier, you can find the ranger info there.
Posted by: ppine on Jan-16-13 4:14 PM (EST)
I would not be too ambitious about the mileage. Bad weather can really mess up your itinerary. It is supposed to be fun, not a paddling marathon to impress anyone, even yourself.
Posted by: BuckeyePaddler on Jan-16-13 7:25 PM (EST)
Thanks for all the suggestions and info, guys! I paddle a Wenonah Argosy in the kevlar ultralight setup for my solo adventures, but my tandem is an Old Town Charles River ... great for the family around home, but obviously WAY too heavy to even consider tripping with portaging. So, we will be renting an ultralight tandem regardless of where we go. Regarding our camping experience, yes, we have the backpacking equipment, so no issues with needing anything else from an outfitter. Honestly, the flies have me concerned, so maybe the BWCA is our best option for a June trip???
Posted by: richardp on Jan-17-13 11:21 AM (EST)
People do indded camp in te Adirondacks in June, I di not mean to scare you. The 1st week of June can be ok if there was a dry May. Cover exposed areas and try to camp in a breeze. They also go away at night. As for August - it is not like there will be hoards of people out. There is a limited amount of sites and most people do not venture out to the far reaches of the lake. As long as you avoid the weekend you shopuld be able to find a site with little problems. Raquette River Outfitters out of Tupper Lake has great equipment and a nice map that lists and comments on all the sites on Low's. I hope to make the BWCA some day but a 15 hour drive for a 1 week trip seems a bit much to me.
I can't see any difference in bugs|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-17-13 7:21 PM (EST)
in any northern areas. Unless you are allergic to them, there are many coping mechanisms to mitigate their annoyance.
Posted by: beaverjack on Jan-24-13 7:36 PM (EST)
I also live in Ohio, in the SW part. Sucks for anyone who likes nature and doesn't own a big farm. I've done the U.P. of Michigan on years when the BWCA is not doable. There are some nice places, small, but you can move around and do lots of daytripping down both rivers and lakes. The Manistique River is wonderful. The Escanaba can be pretty wild, and Big Island Lake wilderness is good for a two or three day overnighter. In the west, there's Sylvania - great fishing and very nice. The point is that if you can't go very far, there's alternatives. The U.P. will not be a "wilderness" experience, per se, but neither is BWCA. Good luck and have a good time wherever you go. And, TAKE IT EASY.
We've been sampling Ontario lakes and|
Posted by: ezwater on Feb-05-13 12:23 AM (EST)
rivers that are close to the Sault St. Marie entry. There are good options in and around Superior Provincial Park. There's one big lake, the name of which escapes me, that is very complex and has campsites scattered all around. No portages unless one insists.