A Heritage of Adventure

The Eastern Ontario region, falling between the major Canadian cities of Toronto and Montréal, has for centuries been the focal point of exploration, trade, and recreation made possible by a rich natural heritage.

The area is overlaid with lakes, rivers and streams set amongst a rough rocky countryside still covered to a large extent by a diverse forest.

canoingIt is said that the canoe is to Canada what the horse has been to the United States. No other icon is a more appropriate symbol for Ontario’s eastern half than the canoe. The canoe, and more recently its cousin, the kayak are the principal vehicles for outdoor adventure along waterways that have been dipped by paddles for centuries. As the seasons move toward winter and water based travel becomes impossible, the cross country ski and the snowshoe still carry modern day adventurers over trails and countryside that provides ample opportunity for wilderness experiences.

Positioned in the centre of Central Ontario, the 7,725 square km Algonquin Park has since 1893 provided a sanctuary for millions who cherish the natural and cultural heritage of Ontario. The only way to explore the park’s vast interior is by canoe or on foot. Highway 60 crossing the park permits casual exploration with access to outfitters, campgrounds, swimming areas, museums, interpretation facilities, and trails. From the park’s north and east sides, adventurers can access remote campsites and less traveled canoe routes. Situated in the traditional zone between deciduous forests and more northern coniferous forests, the diversified habitat is rich in plant and animal life, including 262 species of birds and 45 species of mammals. The moose, the wolf and the loon, all important Canadian symbols, are to be observed in Algonquin. You can learn from a variety of experiences waiting for you in the park by searching the Algonquin Park region on realontario.ca or you can visit with www.algonquinpark.on.ca.

At the north end of the region lies Temagami, and adventurer’s mecca. Old growth pine forests, smooth blue lakes with bountiful fish and rock polished by glaciers over centuries are landscape features. Temagami is Ojibway for “deep water by the shore”. The region is rich with canoeing opportunities. Interconnection canoe routes link hundreds of rock and pine clad lakes, wetlands, wild rivers, breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife. The best known park, Lady Evelyn – Smoothwater Wilderness Park includes the Ishpatina Ridge, Ontario’s highest point, at 693 meters, extensive hiking trails and fabulous canoe routes.

Other waterway parks within the boundaries of Temagami include The Sturgeon River Waterway Park, The Obabika River Waterway Park, Solace Provincial Park, and Finlayson Point Park. (see map http://www.icanoe.ca/html/parksinfo.html)

Travel north form Canada’s Capital Ottawa along the old Ottawa River fur trade route just an hour and you will be in the Upper Ottawa Valley, yet another focal point for adventure opportunity. Whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing opportunities abound in the rush and tumble of fast moving water on the Ottawa and Madawaska Rivers. Float planes offer access to a range of river and lake canoeing on both the Ontario and Quebec sides of the Ottawa River. A wide range of outfitters, lodges and camping areas provide assistance to would be adventurers. Year round trail experiences for hikers, cyclists, skiers and snowmobilers abound.

Adventure minded travelers might consider bird watching, dog sledding or cycling in the Haliburton Highlands, kayaking in the 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence River, rock climbing in the Land O' Lakes Region, hiking in Hastings County or canoeing along the Rideau Waterway or the Kawartha Lakes.

This is an adventure rich region. Just search “The Great Outdoors” on this website to learn more about the experiences waiting for you.




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