Wilderness Canoeing In Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park

A party of canoeists makes its way through the narrows at the north end of Sarah Lake in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, just north of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. (Sam Cook photo)

Last week, six of us made an eight-day trip through Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, starting at Nym Lake, just north of the park, and paddling to Mudro Lake near Ely. We caught walleyes, lake trout, bass and northern pike, and we traveled through the heart of the park.

On Delahey Lake, near the center of the 1.2- million-acre wilderness, we camped at the “Cookie Jar Campsite” on an island at the west end of the lake. There, in what is now a large olive container, hundreds of canoeists have stashed notes for their fellow travelers. We read several of them during our visit.

In all, we traveled 90 miles and crossed 44 portages as we weaved our way through the park. We had excellent weather, and the bugs were manageable.

Quetico is lightly traveled these days, perhaps because the per-person, per-night fees have risen over the years. With fewer travelers, we could always find a campsite late in the day and firewood near the sites was always plentiful.

Here are some more photos from our trip:

Dinner was often swimming beneath the canoe. (Sam Cook photo)
Canoeists have left hundreds of messages for their fellow travelers in the “cookie jar” (now a large olive container) at the “Cookie Jar Campsite” on Delahey Lake near the middle of Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
The waters of Marj Lake in Quetico Provincial Park are an emerald green, much like those of neighboring Joyce Lake but different from nearly all other lakes in the park. (Sam Cook photo)
Scott Neustel (right) of Duluth tends the oatmeal will Wayne Bogen looks on at Delahey Lake in Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
A pair of pink lady’s slippers, or moccasin flowers, bloom on the forest floor beneath pines on Marj Lake. (Sam Cook photo)
Scott Neustel (left) and Terry Christensen of Duluth take a breather and check the map after a portage on the “Delahey Death March,” a series of long portages west of Delahey Lake in Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)
Campers watch the crescent moon rise over Conmee Lake in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. (Sam Cook photo)

3 Responses

  1. Laura

    Looks like an amazing trip, what route did you take from Batchewaung to Delaney? Lonely/Walter, etc or Pickerel/Maria, etc. My husband and I have a cabin on Nym and we start all of our trips from that point. Always interested in hearing about a different route. Our trip this year is from Nym to Moose Lake (Ely).
    Great to read about other great Quetico trips.

    1. Sam Cook

      Laura…We went the Pickerel Narrows/Maria/Jesse/Halliday route. Those portages in and out of Halliday are a workout. …Sam

Comments are closed.