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Algonquin - Joe Lake & Hiking Trails
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Author:  Gorp [ August 19th, 2020, 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Algonquin - Joe Lake & Hiking Trails

I am thinking of going to Algonquin in mid-September and camping on Joe Lake. I am interested in doing some day-hikes on the trails by Arowhon Pines.

1) Does anyone have any knowledge about these hiking trails?
1) Would Joe Lake be busy in mid-September?
2) Is there much motor boat traffic on Joe Lake?


Author:  Gorp [ September 27th, 2020, 6:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Algonquin - Joe Lake & Hiking Trails

We just got back from our Joe Lake trip and thought I would respond to my own post in case it is helpful to someone else.

1) A brief description of the various hikes are at We walked part of the "Orange Trail". We accessed the trail from the road a the south end of the trail. I thought it might be a well-groomed walking path but it was fairly rugged and steep at times. We didn't see anyone else on the hike. It is well-marked with flagging tape which was good because if there was no flagging tape it would be possible to get lost. I really enjoyed the hike. Jeff's Map also shows the trails.

2) We stayed on Joe Lake from Sept 19-25. Lots of people go through Joe Lake to get to other parts of the park. On the weekend, all the Joe Lake sites were full. During the week, a fair number of sites were empty. There was a cottage near our site and there was a group staying there and we could hear them during the evenings but later at night it was exceptionally quiet.

3) Motor boat traffic was minimal. I think there was only a house boat/pontoon boat from Arowhon Pines Lodge that putted around a couple of evenings giving a tour to the guests.

Some additional points:

i) For a day trip we parked the canoe in the bay east of the Canoe Lake/Joe Lake portage and scrambled up to the road and walked along the old rail bed (which is a road for most of the way) all the way to the Mizzy Lake Trail. No bushwhacking required. We really enjoyed watching the Gray Jays at Wolf Howl Pond.

ii) Climb to the top of Gibraltar Pt/Rock for a great view. Since we were there in mid-September and the leaves were turning colour, the view was spectacular.

iii) A lot of beginners use the Canoe Lake access point. As a result, some don't know any portage etiquette. Be prepared for people blocking the put-ins/take outs with their canoes and gear. We went for a day trip to Burnt Island Lake and on the way back a group had a canoe blocking the takeout on Baby Joe Lake, they were taking a break in the middle of the portage (with a canoe blocking the path) and then there was a multitude of gear all over the steps at the other end. Our site (the northern site on Joe Island) had a fair bit of litter and lots of toilet paper flowers. However, after a bit of clean up it was a really nice site. With the amount of use the sites get, they are well-picked over for firewood and unfortunately even some green trees were cut down. You may need to go deep into the woods to find suitable firewood.

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