Northern Ontario Camping Adventure

rkj__

Adventurer
My wife and I recently returned from a two week camping trip through Northern Ontario. In short (ha!) we had the vacation we were hoping we would have. We were both very pleased with all the memories we made, and experiences we shared together.

The map below shows our approximate route, less a few of the side trips. All in all, we did about 4,000km of driving. While we did not do any off road driving, we did plenty of hiking, and outdoor exploration, that some members here might enjoy. The trip report is over 9,000 words, so I can't even post three days of the trip here without hitting the 10,000 character limit of this forum, so I'm going to shamelessly direct you to my blog if you want to see all the pictures, or maybe even do some reading.

Link:
Northern Ontario Camping Adventure






 

zzz150

Adventurer
looks like you all had a great trip!! superior really is a beautiful part of ontario. i saw some cool stuff in your photos; msr tent - good happy medium for durability and weight and very stout in bad weather!, super cool doggy backpack! - my dog has one also. a hammock - yesss!! since you seems to like a little backpacking i suggest you try the point grondine trail, it is near killarney and is about 30km round trip, makes a nice one nighter and not too far from southern ontario! if you are up for some real backpacking adventure on a very rarely travelled trail that is part of the infamous lacloche range but not in the park hit me up!
 

rkj__

Adventurer
looks like you all had a great trip!! superior really is a beautiful part of ontario. i saw some cool stuff in your photos; msr tent - good happy medium for durability and weight and very stout in bad weather!, super cool doggy backpack! - my dog has one also. a hammock - yesss!! since you seems to like a little backpacking i suggest you try the point grondine trail, it is near killarney and is about 30km round trip, makes a nice one nighter and not too far from southern ontario! if you are up for some real backpacking adventure on a very rarely travelled trail that is part of the infamous lacloche range but not in the park hit me up!
It was a great trip indeed. Procuring all of the backpacking gear has been far more expensive than I was hoping it would be, but we did not want to get low grade stuff that we would be itching to replace after a few trips. We got the tent discounted, because it was a demo that the local outdoors shop had set up for a day on some grass outside of their store. The poodle does not mind his pack, and every bit of assistance carrying stuff helps. He does sometimes run the bag into trees, because he does not realize he is wider than normal. It's not too big of a problem though. The hammock was one of our best buys. It was only $30 CAD on Amazon.ca, but comes with some really nice tree straps.

I was not familiar with Point Grondine Park. Thanks for mentioning it. From what I gather, it is a very young park with some big plans for the future. I'll definitely keep it in mind.
 

762X39

Explorer
Looks like you had an awesome trip (can't go wrong in Northern Ontario). I just got back from visiting my brother in Thunder Bay. We stopped at our cottage on Manitoulin on the way up and on the way back. Funnily enough, I have never hiked the Cup and Saucer trail but I think Katherine has. Spending a week up in Thunder Bay gave my younger brother and I time to do the tourist thing. Stopping in Providence bay and checking out the back of the Sleeping Giant.
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Bushcoat

one trail at a time
Looks like you had a great time! I always encourage Northern and northwestern ontario travel. Im glad you took the time to visit ouimet canyon, even with the road work and detours going on this year, it was probably still worth the side trip. I bet you are enjoying your new truck, a bit roomier than a canyon!

We did a bit of an opposite trip earlier this summer, Thunder bay to Kirkland lake and some other spots around there and stayed a few nights at kettle lakes. Only saw about 4 or 5 people our whole time there.

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zzz150

Adventurer
It was a great trip indeed. Procuring all of the backpacking gear has been far more expensive than I was hoping it would be, but we did not want to get low grade stuff that we would be itching to replace after a few trips. We got the tent discounted, because it was a demo that the local outdoors shop had set up for a day on some grass outside of their store. The poodle does not mind his pack, and every bit of assistance carrying stuff helps. He does sometimes run the bag into trees, because he does not realize he is wider than normal. It's not too big of a problem though. The hammock was one of our best buys. It was only $30 CAD on Amazon.ca, but comes with some really nice tree straps.

I was not familiar with Point Grondine Park. Thanks for mentioning it. From what I gather, it is a very young park with some big plans for the future. I'll definitely keep it in mind.
Ya, when I think of the cost of my backpacking gear I am amazed at how something that seemed so inexpensive when I was 20 costs so much now! Explaining the cost to somebody who doesn't do that sort of thing or somebody is looking to get fully into it always shocks people. My dog always takes a half day to get used to his pack between trees, then is good to go until he gets tired, then he gets hooked and stands there waiting for assistance!

Grondine is new but the established hiking trail is easy to follow as it has been there for many years before the park became public.
 

zzz150

Adventurer
Just thought I would mention another cool adventure in Northern Ontario because based on what I've seen of your trip would be suited to your travel style and enjoyment of a bit of backpacking. Ishpatina Ridge! it is the highest point of elevation in Ontario. From Toronto you would be looking at 4.5-5hrs of hwy to pass through Sudbury, then about 2hrs on easy gravel roads where you can tow your little trailer, then the hike to the ridge can be done in a full day from sunrise to sunset if you really push it, or my preferred method is to backpack to the bottom, setup camp and head up the following day, camp the night again and then out! I may be in that area again this summer and would be happy to guide the way as I have been up there twice.
 

rkj__

Adventurer
Just thought I would mention another cool adventure in Northern Ontario because based on what I've seen of your trip would be suited to your travel style and enjoyment of a bit of backpacking. Ishpatina Ridge! it is the highest point of elevation in Ontario. From Toronto you would be looking at 4.5-5hrs of hwy to pass through Sudbury, then about 2hrs on easy gravel roads where you can tow your little trailer, then the hike to the ridge can be done in a full day from sunrise to sunset if you really push it, or my preferred method is to backpack to the bottom, setup camp and head up the following day, camp the night again and then out! I may be in that area again this summer and would be happy to guide the way as I have been up there twice.
That sounds like a fun adventure. I remember looking into the climb a couple years ago, and recall reading that a significant amount of bushwacking was required to reach the summit. Is that still the case?

Regardless, it does not look like we will be taking any big, long distance trips this year, as other life goals have taken priority. What we have planned so far will be 1-4 night trips, with a max travel distance of about 5 hours from Niagara. We've planned up to Canada Day long weekend, and are taking a "see how it goes" approach to the remainder of the year.
 

zzz150

Adventurer
There has been enough traffic up there in recent years that a track has been somewhat developed, last time there for me was 2015 and it was a fairly easy route in. I don't mean easy like a groomed trail, but not difficult for experience hikers. I left Sudbury around 11am and we were setup for the night at the base for a late dinner, we enjoyed the trip in and didn't rush. I may be in the Sudbury area again this summer. If you decide to check this out let me know. If you have a canoe you can avoid the hike other than from the base to the top taking basically the same route.
 
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