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Paddling The Paddling forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rafting). Topics focus on trip planning and gear.


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  #1  
Old 07-08-2009, 08:13 AM
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niallgar niallgar is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ontario
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Kilarney Provincial Park Canoe Trip

Kilarney Canoe Trip

Kilarney Provincial Park is located in Ontario Canada at the north end of Georgian Bay (on Lake Huron) in the Great Lakes. It is about a 5 hour drive north of Toronto, and about 7 hour drive from Buffalo.

I travelled with my brother Ewan and our Canoe trip lasted from June 27th to July 6th, 2009. The photos say 2004 because I forgot to reset the date on my camera - duh.

We traveled every day for seven days setting up a new camp each day.
Since we were canoeing we carried more weight than usual and actually ended up with 8 pounds of food left over. We were not as hungry as I had planned.

Weather: We encountered a lot of rain on three of the days, and it was overcast nearly every day - this was a stroke of luck since we left the suncreen in the kitchen back home.

Wildlife: We saw mosquitos in abundance along with black flies, deer flies, and lots of dragon flies. We also saw one black bear, a moose, and a couple of deer. There are beavers all over the park, and many herons, loons, egrets, and ducks.

For the middle three days we did not see any other canoeists as we were in the back country part of the park. There are however cottages scattered throughout the park so you are never completely out of contact with civilization. (This is one of the draw backs of Kilarney)

Next time we will most likely plan a day off or two to get a little more relaxation and fishing done. We found a great spot on Lake Panache that had excellent fishing, and we would like to return.

The level of difficulty was pretty low because of the way the lakes are situated in Kilarney there are few long portages. The first Portage at Bell lake is only 30 metres and is actually done on a little rail trolley that you float your canoe on. My brother let go of the trolley and it went down into 5 feet of scummy water. We managed to fish it out with a rock tied on the end of a rope.

On day four my brother sprained his ankle getting out of the canoe. This presented a problem as the big 3000 metre portage was the next day. I ended up carrying a lot of the weight and humping the canoe solo. X-Ray when we returned indicated that he tore off a little piece of tendon and bone. He's in one of those air casts now for a few weeks.

Gear Notes: The frying pan was heavy but well worth the weight. We brought eggs, bacon, onions, peppers, & burgers. We could have cooked fish but we didn't want to bother. We also cooked some socks (see photo). I used my pocket rocket stove and GSI soloist pot. It was a little small for two people when cooking dinners. My brother's ancient pack definitely needs replacing - it is made of denim. We used a heavy Coleman 3-man tent that had lots of room. Really need to replace the fibreglass poles with something lighter. I also brought my MEC (mountain equipment co-op) Scout Sil-nylon Tarp and a Blue Wallmart Tarp for storing gear and cooking under in the rain.

Kilarney is a great park for Canoe trips, especially if you want to minimize the portages. The lakes are close together and if you plan carefully you can minimize the amount of cottages you come across. There is also a 76 km hiking trail that follows Kilarneys unique Quartzite ridges.

We rented our Blue water canoe (44 pounds) from Kilarney Kanoes located on Lake Bell - they also rent tents, packs, stoves, sleep pads, etc. They provided excellent service.

Some pix from our trip...

My brother cooking dehydrated chilli with hot dogs, fresh onions, peppers, pancetta, garlic, olive oil, and jalapeno tortillas.



This is our campsite on day four between Walker lake and Bear lake.



Lunch at a Beaver Dam. My Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian in the fore ground.


Camp setup. Coleman 3-man tent and MEC Scout Tarp. We pitched our tent in a bad spot. Slid down hill all night.




Cooking up some socks to get them dry. NEVER bring Cotton socks!!!



This is a picture of my MSR Hyperflow set up in syphon mode using some bits of string and my Seattle Sports Bucket. Worked great - filled a 2L Platypus in about 40 minutes. I had to backflush the Hyperflow on day six - no problem.


Note the sprained ankle posing next to my brother's ancient backpack circa 1977. Cotton socks still wet. Eventually his toes turned black and blue too.


Paddling through the Beaver Pond. There are a lot less mosquitos in the swamps (must be all the dragon flies)



Small mouth Bass on Johnny Lake (We caught a huge one on Lake Panache but it was raining so no photo.)



The last lift-over of a Beaver Dam.



Hope you enjoyed the trip report.
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:02 AM
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Bearpaw Bearpaw is offline
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Excellent report! I know enough about canoeing to get from point A to point B, but a trip of more than a couple of days is a rarity for me. I will have to visit the northern lakes country one day.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:10 PM
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TimmyMac TimmyMac is offline
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Backpack: EMS NorthPeak 50
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Location: Melrose, MA
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Great report! I thought I wanted to get a canoe before I read it...now I REALLY want one!
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2009, 10:15 AM
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Laurie Laurie is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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sounds like a great trip... sorry for the rain... that was my husband's fault. Everytime Bryan goes near a tent it rains.

We were just on the opposite side of Sudbury - at Chiniguchi. Have you ever paddled that area? Kevin Callan refers to it as "Killarney without the crowds"
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2009, 06:32 PM
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niallgar niallgar is offline
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Never been up that way. My brother Ewan and I have been thinking about doing the French River. Perhaps next summer after our Scottish Highlands trek.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2009, 06:58 PM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
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Backpack: Jack Wolfskin
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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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I paddled the French River, it was nice in some respects, but halfway to 69 the river gets huge and is dominated by motorboats. It wasn't a problem, just noisy and not the kind of thing I was hoping for.

I haven't done Killarney nor Chiniguchi, so I obviously can't compare, but I have travelled the Spanish River, northwest of Sudbury. I highly recommend that route. It's all downhill, all trees the whole length and only a couple cottages. Several easy rapids plus a couple tough ones, and a couple unnavigable ones. Great flat campsites.

The only downside was when we went in August there were a few extremely shallow sections where we had to walk the boat downriver (put on water shoes and walk over the rocky bottom). Even these were fun and not too long. In navigable sections, there was a good deal of strategizing to read the water and avoid rocks and sandbars.

If the water was a little bit higher, it could have been even better.

Last edited by AlanBaljeu : 09-12-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2009, 08:01 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Laurie Laurie is offline
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Backpack: Granite Gear
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Shelter: Eureka!
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 338
Seriously guys... if you want a more remote experience without the tourists or the plethora of motorboats... check out Chiniguichi. While you'll see the occassional motorboat on Matagamasi or Kukagami the area isn't overrun with them like the French. And Killarney is just too darn busy with canoeists. Sometimes it's like a zoo there.

It's crown land... so no fees and I can hook you up with maps and such (just pm me because they are too huge to upload to the site).
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:07 PM
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TheOneCanoe TheOneCanoe is offline
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Always nice to read about Killarney Provincial Park. One of my favorite places to "escape to."
-Wayne-
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