Ralph Bice Lake

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4 km
1 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
430 m
Longest Portage: 
295 m
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Not applicable
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Fall is our favourite season of the year but unfortunately, until retirement, the longest fall trip we are able to squeak out is over Thanksgiving weekend.

We usually travel up to Arrowhead Provincial Park on Friday night, ready to be on the water early Saturday morning. We go in at the Magnetewan access and do two reasonably short and easy portages into Ralph Bice Lake (formerly Butt Lake).

There are numerous campsites available at this time of year but we like to head for the west or north shore sites. They offer protection from the winds or any storms that may roll in. These sites also provide a fairly easy exit on Monday morning, especially if the winds pick up as they usually do in the fall and Ralph Bice Lake is known for its rough waters at the best of times. Camp is established before lunch and the afternoon is spent gathering firewood. Sunday is spent cooking Thanksgiving dinner - a small chicken, cooked on a rotisserie over the fire. It needs to be turned every 15 minutes so the day is spent around the fire pit. With instant potatoes, stove top stuffing, carrots and even cranberry sauce, the meal is perfect. What a treat to be had. We really treat ourselves with food that we wouldn`t think of hauling in on a summer trip. After all, it`s only two days and two short portages!

Usually, the red colour of the maples has passed, leaving a blanket of maple leaves over the forest floor, making it very easy for hikes up and away from the shoreline - those walks that you are unable to make in the summer for all the undergrowth. With reds gone, you are left with the rusts, bronzes, yellows and golds of the oak, elm and birch. What a sight against the blue sky, if the weather co-operates. The leaves almost sparkle as a slight breeze catches them as they glisten in the sun.

Monday morning we break camp and leisurely head out, enjoying the route and all its scenery. Oh for the day when we can stay out as long as we wish without the call of the job beckoning us back to civilization.

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Algonquin Provincial Park Map published by Friends of Algonquin Park


Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


A funny story about Ralph Bice Lake. Until a few years ago, the lake was called Butt Lake. As we were crossing the lake, we were sticking close to shore due to the waves and as we approached a campsite we noticed a women who had obviously fallen asleep, forgot that she was just wearing a beach towel and was exposing her "butt" for everybody going by. We had a good laugh..

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


Great first time portage,easy for children,Ralph Bice can get windy and wavey by noon, paddle early, morning