We’re headed up to Toronto Memorial Day weekend, and hoping to get some kayaking in during our trip. We definitely plan to spend some time exploring the Toronto Islands. However, we’d also like to take a day trip, somewhere within a 2 hour vicinity of Toronto. We’d prefer a lake/loop, rather than bother with a shuttle. We’d love a place good for a beginner/intermediate paddler, 15-18’ poly kayaks, with scenic/wildlife views. Any suggestions?
You are probaby on the
Try registering at myccr.com Dont be put off by mostly canoeists. There are several dozen active paddlers living in the Toronto area.
Did a quick google earth scan, and
didn't see large lakes near Toronto. Going farther, some large lakes appeared surrounded by development.
What looked more promising were some long, narrow lakes to the east of the town of Bobcaygeon. The lakes had less development on shore, and there were interesting clusters of islands in places. That the lakes had differing orientation might help depending on the direction of the wind the day you are there.
Bobcaygeon is sort of NNE from Toronto. I forgot to take a crow flies distance estimate, but maybe those lakes are within a couple of hours drive.
I also forgot to check your profile for your starting destination, but if you're sort of midwest, try driving up I-75 through Michigan and entering Canada at Sault St. Marie. Then you can drive west along the north shore of Lake Superior, or east to Spanish River and Killarney. We spent some nice days paddling lakes just west of Killarney and didn't have to mess with permits or campsite assignment.
Oh, Philadelphia. I was at Penn in the 60s. I guess you might go across at Niagra and cut back to Toronto. Got your passports for the border?
Here is a quote from a Toronto paddler
"Anyway - yakkin’ close to the City. The lakes you mention near Bobcaygeon are great water (I have friends with a cottage on an island in Stony Lake), but they are VERY busy, being part of the Trent/Severn waterway moving boats up through Lake Simcoe to Georgian Bay. Plus large parts of Buckhorn & Pigeon Lakes are Native Reserves, and they can get REALLY prickly about paddlers/fisherfolk in their waters. Yeah, seriously. Wouldn’t be my choice.
"Are they looking for day-tripping, or camping-stuff? Bringing gear/boats, or renting?
"There’s very decent yak day-stuff right here in the City, out to our Island Lagoons & over through the Outer Harbor. Here’s a link to the Center where I store my boats - mostly yakkers -
"For more remote stuff, it’s more like 3 - 3 1/2 hours, but the best spot for no shuttle, no portage easy paddles with great visuals is here:
"The best little out-and-back starts at Herb Lake on those maps.
“Hope that helps.”
Let us know if Christine’s info is close to the mark. I’ll let her know that you are (as I believe) bringing your own kayaks and planning on day trips.