We’re exited about our paddling season for 2013, especially our backcountry canoe trips in northern Ontario. We have been very busy planning over the winter months and we have some amazing news to share with you this year.
First off, we have teamed up with HandCrafted Canoes and are pleased to announce we will be paddling the newest addition to their fleet of amazing designs, their 16 foot Prospector model. The Prospector design was built for the north country, and the HCC BoatWorx version is everything you want a Prospector to be. Look for our product review of the Prospector coming soon. We also have some very exciting promotions we’re running with HandCrafted Canoes this year that you’ll want to stay tuned for.
We’ve also teamed up with stellar equipment manufacturers Hooligan Gear and Jeff’s Map to add to the great partners we already work with.
Our other big announcement is the addition of a new location for us in the heart of Temagami. That’s right we are opening up Treks Eco-lodge on Anima Nippissing Lake. It’s a great jumping off point to explore the incredible Temagami wilderness. We’ve also added a few new adventures to our schedule this year, like our 3 day, French River-Voyageur Trip. We’ll take you back in time to paddle one of the most famous canoe routes of all in our 25 foot Canot du Nord (North Canoe).
We’ll be talking about all this and more at the Kitchener Waterloo Canoe Symposium on Saturday, April 13 at the Princess Twin Theatre in Waterloo, Ontario.
With all of this fantastic news, you can see why we’re looking forward to having you join us on a canoeing adventure in 2013, it’s going to be an incredible year.
Algonquin-Killarney-Temagami Scheduled 2013 Trips
|Temagami||3 Days||May 24-26||Intermediate||$375|
|Temagami||3 Days||June 10-12||Intermediate||$375|
|French River-Voyageur||3 Days||July 5-7||Easy-Intermediate||$375|
|Temagami||5 Days||July 26-30||Intermediate-Adv||$625|
|Tom Thomson Experience||2 Days||August 5-6||Introductory-Easy||$275|
|Temagami||3 Days||August 16-18||Intermediate||$375|
|Temagami||5 Days||August 23-27||Intermediate-Adv||$625|
|Killarney||4 Days||Sept 6-9||Intermediate-Adv||$500|
|Temagami||3 Days||September 20-22||Intermediate||$375|
Visit our reservations page once you’ve selected your adventure, or if you have any questions.
*prices are in Canadian dollars, plus HST
One of my favorite things about canoeing in the backcountry is having a campfire. For me, there is nothing quite as captivating and hypnotizing as a campfire. I could sit and watch it for hours on end. My family calls it Caveman TV, and to me it is just as compelling and addictive to watch as the real TV. But one of the upsides to caveman TV is there are no commercials and no misplaced remote control.
Whenever I am asked what it is about being outdoors I love so much, I often give the answer “being outdoors allows me to experience life closer to the way our ancestors did.” No other experience can connect you to the past quite like sitting by a campfire. Think about this for a second; less than 100 years ago virtually all human beings would have had the experience of sitting by a fire. For millenia fire equaled life to our ancestors. It kept you warm, it cooked your food, it kept predators away, but more than that it was the symbol of community. Almost every past culture gathered by a fire to share thoughts and experiences, stories and celebrations.
There are a lot of discussions about whether having a campfire in today’s day and age is ecologically friendly. I say it depends entirely on where you are. Be considerate of that before you decide to light one.
Also keep in mind that having a fire in the backcountry is a privilege and with it comes responsibility. It is imperative that you take this responsibility seriously. You have to know what you are doing, and I don’t just mean knowing how to properly light a fire, (that’s important as well) but also when and where not to. A few simple rules and some common sense go along way. It is crucial you ensure that the fire is always within your control. Pay close attention to where you are lighting it, the type of ground you are on, wind conditions and direction. Always have a means of extinguishing your fire close at hand, never leave it unattended and make absolutely certain it is put out before you leave it.
Now put down that remote control and go enjoy some caveman TV!
I sometimes get asked why we go to all the trouble of planning, packing and paddling, otherwise known as the 3P’s of backcountry canoeing, when there are so many other recreational activities that require much less effort. Long days of paddling and difficult portages. Dealing with the elements, weather and bugs. Sleeping on the hard uneven ground instead of a nice soft bed.
This question has many answers and everyone’s is different. Some go for the solitude, some for the beauty that can only be found in nature. Still, for others it’s the sense of adventure or reconnecting to the ways of our ancestors. Let’s not forget the sense of accomplishment you can only get from epic journeys. For me it’s a combination of all of these, when I’m on a backcountry canoe trip I’m truly at peace. I feel a sense of harmony with my environment that I can only get when I’m in wild places.
John Muir’s quote above speaks volumes as to the “why”.
In truth, the short answer is that “the difficult path leads to things that are worth the effort.” For the long answer, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I will let some photographs speak for themselves.
Photos by Andy Tonkin
Come and join us for an adventure – experience life, experience the outdoors.
“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” – Unknown
Often times, the experience of dwelling in an urban space leads one to consider other options. Amidst noise pollution and general chaos, man almost instinctively needs time to recharge among quiet and natural spaces, leading many people to daydream and plan a great escape to the mountains, lakes, or sea. In Southern Ontario -the most densely populated region in all of Canada – the desire to escape urban life is evident in the congested highways that lead north during the summer. Though the northern region of our province rightfully boasts a gorgeous landscape, there is also something to be said for the sometimes-overlooked Grand River region. Just an hour southwest of Toronto, the Grand River is the biggest river in Southern Ontario at 300 kilometers in length, and is speckled with endless recreational and cultural tourism activities suitable for all ages and abilities.
The near-wilderness experience of the Grand is something that can be achieved in one day (more if you wish to tour this area extensively), and while you paddle or hike you’ll learn of Canada’s early beginnings as the river meanders through historic towns and cities. You’ll also enjoy the vista of Carolinian forests – a rarity in Canada as this ecosystem is normally seen throughout the Southern and Eastern United States. This beautiful eco-region brings with it a special set of wildlife; on a tour with Treks In The Wild you are likely to see deer, muskrat, blue heron, osprey, and more recently the stoic and beautiful bald eagle.
In addition to wildlife, there are natural and cultural landmarks along the way that are not to be missed. Between Glen Morris and Paris – a popular canoe route with Treks In The Wild – you’ll find little signs of human presence. A 300-year-old Sycamore tree hollowed out by carpenter ants is a vision that tells of the sacredness of untouched spaces. It is sights like these that fulfill an often-shared desire to reconnect with the natural world, amidst busy and forward moving lives.
Between Paris in Brantford, abandoned gypsum mines from the 1800s hearkens clients back to early beginnings in this particular area. The gypsum from these mines was used to manufacture Plaster of Paris, which in turn gave one of the prettiest towns in Ontario its name. Beautiful stone architecture (including many cobblestone houses), a sunny and bustling downtown, and inspiring natural surroundings make Paris a favourite among tourists. Further downstream, a stretch of river designated as Exceptional Waters by the Grand River Conservation Authority displays an incredible abundance of fish, which makes this part of the Grand a dream for fishermen.
A new route offered by Treks In The Wild this summer begins southwest of Brantford in Newport, and ends at Chiefswood National Historic Site on Six Nations Reserve. This area of Grand slows down into a lazy, diminutive version of the Mississippi. Vast meadows and agricultural lands are broken up occasionally by Carolinian plant and animal species, which make this new route a vision for those inspired by country life. The voyage ends with a guided tour of Chiefswood – birthplace and childhood home of Mohawk poetess E. Pauline Johnson. Johnson’s father, a Chief named George Johnson, built this stately pre confederate mansion as a gift to his English bride Emily Howells. The home was used for many years as a visiting place for guests that would travel by road or river. George Johnson and his family acted as intermediaries between the church, government and reserve for many years. It is here that Pauline Johnson gleaned inspiration for her early works and found a willing audience in visitors for her recitals. The authenticity of this historic site – with its beautiful (and mostly original) Victorian décor and beautiful Indigenous Plants meadow – are not to be missed. This is a special tour that families and individuals alike are sure to appreciate.
The Grand River area promises natural refuge from city life, all while unassumingly passing through a growing urban area. From mouth to source this river has for decades, inspired and defined the identity of many communities and individuals. With ongoing respect for its cultural and natural integrity, this beautiful region will continue to provide an inspired recreational experience to visitors and local inhabitants alike.
Guest Blog Post by Laura Hill