Plan a canoe trip in Ontario cottage country

This trip through the province's scenic fall landscape is sure to appeal to novice and expert paddlers alike.

girl in a canoe

The basic four- to five-day Magnetawan River loop is suitable for novice canoe trippers and covers 80 kilometres of mostly flat water, returning to the starting point on Harris Lake via Trout Lake. We added a day to the trip by continuing down the Mag’s rugged lower section before looping back to Harris from Miner Lake.

Parking: Free parking is available at the public boat launch on Harris Lake Road, off Highway 69 north of Parry Sound. It’s also possible to start and finish the trip from the boat launch on Wahwashkesh Lake Road, accessed via Highway 520, or Naiscoot Lake off Highway 69.

Camping: Canadians can camp free on Crown land and within Magnetawan River Provincial Park, which combine to encompass most of the route. Some campsites are indicated with orange markers while others show distinct signs of use. Similarly, most portage landings are unmarked but obvious.

Maps: National Topographic Series (1:50,000): 41 H/9, 41 H/16

Outfitter: White Squall Paddling, Nobel, Ontario; (705) 342-5324

For more info: Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario by Kevin Callan.