Smoke to Bonnechere Loop

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
20 km
2 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
2000 m
Longest Portage: 
540 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Enter at Smoke Lake,
Paddle 3.5 km.
P 240 m to Ragged Lake
Paddle 3 km through Ragged Lake
P 540 m to Big Porcupine
Paddle 2.5 km through Big Porcupine.
P 210 m to Bonnechere
Paddle to campsite in Bonnechere.
Return via same route

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Algonquin Provincial Park map published by Friends of Algonquin Park
Special Comments: 

Navigation fairly easy, Smoke Lake can be quite choppy, usually on the return trip.

Two nights is barely enough for this trip, 3-4 would allow for more rest and time to explore.

Grant Miller


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


I don't agree that you need 3-4 days for this trip. In Sept. 2005 I took my two children (ages 10 and 12) on this lovely trip, for the third time. It takes barely an hour to get down Smoke Lake, even with wind and a light chop, then the quick portage into Ragged. 50 minutes paddling takes you to the (muddy and shallow) entrance to the steep portage up to Big Porcupine.

Big Porcupine is often windy, but even so getting to the short Bonnechere Lake portage takes much less than an hour. Once in beautiful Bonnechere you have your choice of charming campsites, and it's far enough away from the highway that the day trippers are left behind.

We left the Smoke Lake access point at 8.30 on Saturday morning, and got to our Bonnechere Lake campsite 4 hours later. The next morning we left to retrace our steps, and after less than 4 hours were back at the car. We still had time for a leisurely afternoon swimming and relaxing.

You can definitely stretch this great route into several days, but if you have only a short weekend, don't be deterred - it's definitely doable without killing yourself.

Michael Watson