September 28-29, 2012 - Algonquin - Sunday Lake
- Location: Algonquin Provincial Park, Highway 60
- Access Point: A14: Logging road at west end of parking lot for Big Pines hiking trail, ~km 40.4 off Highway 60
- Trip Duration: Two days (one night)
- Trip Length: ~2 km with 2 portages totalling 300 metres
- Trip Type: There and back
- Route: Sunday Lake
There was so little travelling via kayak that it is a misnomer to call this outing a kayak “trip”. It was really just an opportunity to check out Algonquin’s gorgeous fall scenery and attempt to capture it in photographs. I also only had one night available for the trip, so I had to pack as much as I could into two days. I took one day off work, got up before 5:00 AM, packed up my car, and headed north (my favourite direction!). The stunning fall colours were evident even before I got to the park. I stopped at the Robinson Lake picnic area and again just south of Maynooth, where the light was hitting a stretch of forest beside the highway so perfectly that I had to stop and take some pictures:
I got to Algonquin before 9:00 AM, got my permit for the night ($11.75 is an amazing deal!), and headed west towards the Big Pines parking lot. I enjoyed the fall colours all the way, anxious to get in my kayak and see them from the water.
I took a small detour up Opeongo Road before reaching my access point. I was lucky enough to spot a spruce grouse on the side of the road and an otter family playing in Costello Creek.
After my brief side trip, I was at the access point parking area in no time, took a few trips on the portage to get my kayak and all my gear to the water’s edge and I was ready to check out the campsites. There are three sites on Sunday Lake but I quickly settled on the island site, anticipating that the sunset and sunrise would look good.
There was a frost warning for the night, so I packed my fleece sheet and was hopeful that my three-season tent and sleeping bad would keep me warm enough. Of course they did! In fact, I got a bit hot during the night so I had to shed a layer. I awoke to an absolutely gorgeous scene. Breathtaking reds and yellows were perfectly reflected in the still water of Sunday Lake.
This trip was a short one, but a good one. If you’re looking for the next step above car camping, I recommend Sunday Lake. It’s only a 150 meter portage from parking to the lake and a very short paddle of less than 20 minutes to the first two campsites. I was the only person staying on the lake, only two groups went by en route to Sproule Lake, and the fall colours were spectacular!