Monday, 19 March 2012

Spotlight on Recreation: Canoe Tripping in Algonquin Park

We kick off our Spotlight on Recreation with an all time favourite of our blogger, Vanessa. She loves canoeing in Algonquin Park and thinks you will too!

The most delicious food you’ll ever eat is when you’re exhausted, starving and cooking over a crackling campfire -- especially after a long paddle. If you ask me, a canoeing and camping trip in Algonquin Park is an amazing experience. The sights are breathtaking, the adventure is fun and exciting and it is an experience that is truly unforgettable. This is what makes it is such a worthwhile trip.

The first reason I would recommend canoe tripping is simply for the animals, plants, and vistas you will see. The animals themselves are quite fascinating so you wouldn’t want to forget your camera. As you’re paddling on a creek or hiking through a portage you’re bound to see wildlife. It could be a moose or a deer gazing warily in your direction, or a frog hopping through the weeds. There is nothing as beautiful as paddling through a field of pastel water lilies and nothing as majestic as the golden sun shining through a tree canopy of variant greens. Algonquin Park is nature’s playground. The rocky cliffs tower over us, hard and immovable, on a paddle through the Barron Canyon. Throughout the park’s many lakes the water changes from delicate ripples to rolling waves and from brilliant blue to inky grey. The sun shines its glowing warmth upon it all. Canoe tripping is a great way to discover the beauty of nature.

If you aren’t convinced to go on a canoeing and camping trip to see nature’s beauty then do it for the adventure! The food is out of the ordinary but always delicious. Whether you are eating hot dogs or trail mix it always tastes like a five star meal. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning some of your food has disappeared; taken by raccoons or rained on and sodden but even those are interesting, if disgruntling, experiences. These activities are a chance to explore the uninhabited, untamed yet peaceful wilderness. You will find it to be very quiet and a welcome change from our modern society. There are no cell phones, computers, cars or electricity while in a canoe. To some nature is a foreign world that we’re losing touch with, but nature is always waiting- ready to be explored. What are you waiting for?

Every canoe and camping trip is sure to be a learning experience. Wilderness trips strengthen your relationships. You learn teamwork, trust and cooperation and you become very close to the people you are travelling with. You learn the important things about them like their work habits, personality and whether they’ll be there for you through your successes and struggles. A canoe trip also makes you physically stronger. Nature will throw headwinds, 5 kilometer portages, waves, storms and any obstacles it can think of at you and you must overcome them. Facing these hardships, you learn to paddle harder, move quicker and lift longer. Canoe tripping builds mental strength as well. You quickly learn that determination, humor and positive thinking are indispensible tools. Without them your trials are unconquerable foes but with these essential skills you are the master of your own fate. When my canoemates and I were paddling against terrible headwinds it seemed like for every stroke of our paddles we were pushed back just as far. Our weapon of choice was our imagination. We all took turns describing the most amazing meals we could think of and laughing at what we came up with. We all had fun and eventually made it across the water, conquering the wind. Canoe tripping is a truly amazing experience because it teaches you what you’re actually capable of.

Anyone who has been on a canoe trip knows that like life, it has its trials and tribulations but they are what make the triumphs sweet. Camping and canoeing in Algonquin Park is a beautiful and empowering experience that I highly recommend. Happy paddles.


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