Where are the Moose?

I was trying to come up with an apt title for this trip report as I didn't want to dwell on the negative. Although this was the first trip to Algonquin in many years that we didn't see moose, it was one of our best car camping trips to the park. So, even though the title does stress that we were mooseless, we did, however, see bears (mother & 2 cubs, twice) , wolves (also twice), a variety of interesting birds and we got in plenty of paddling and hiking. Another highlight was being able to hang out with some of the excellent friends we have met over the years.

We arrived on Sept 21 and the leaves were already changing. It was a very wet day, but within two days we were rewarded with beautiful summer-like weather for most of our remaining two weeks. It did finally cool down and drizzle on our last full day.

During the first week, we watched the leaves go to full colours right before our eyes. They went fast and the colours were outstanding from the Lookout Trail, Two Rivers Trail and Booth Rock Trail lookouts. Arowhon Road leaves seemed to peak a little later. The park was insanely busy on the last weekend of September with record day permits sold.

Lookout Trail at Sunrise by Tony deGroot

The clear skies of the first week provided excellent star viewing with no moon to interfere with the clarity. We heard the wolves howling almost every night from our Mew Lake Campsite.

With the weather being so fantastic, it made paddling a dream. Launching a canoe in the mist of Lake of Two Rivers and paddling up the Madawaska made for a fun day trip. The river was flowing nicely and the return trip, with the current, was delightful. Another early morning trip from Park Lake through Hobo Lake and Snow Lake was 12 kilometres of smooth paddling. There wasn't a lot of wildlife, but the scenary was gorgeous.

A twitter group (hashtag #mywildCanada) we follow and converse with were having a meet up in the Park. We all met at Canisbay Campground for an evening fire and a reading from the ghost of Tom Tompson (@TTLastSpring). It was a very successful gathering as 25 people who have never met in person before, got together to introduce themselves and talk with people with passions akin to ours. This might have been the first meeting of the group, but it certainly not be the last.

Great Grey Owl Photo by Kathy deGroot

Notable bird sightings include: Great Grey Owls, American Pipits, Horned Larks, Purple Finch, Rusty Blackbird, Spruce Grouse, American Bittern, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warbler, White-Crowned and White-throated Sparrows, and a Red-tailed Hawk.

We didn't see moose. And we did miss a few friends who weren't up during the time of our visit. But we did see wildlife, we enjoyed the beauty of Algonquin and we had a fantastic time with the friends we met, old and new.


View from Booth Rock Photo by Tony deGroot


Rock Lake Shoreline Photo by Tony deGroot


The Wrapping Roots Photo by Kathy deGroot


Following the Yellow Leaved Road Photo by Tony deGroot



Colours Under the Blue Skies Photo by Tony deGroot


American Pipit Photo by Kathy deGroot


Palm Warbler Photo by Kathy deGroot


Common Loon (nonbreeding) Photo by Kathy deGroot


Horned Lark Photo by Tony deGroot


Rusty Blackbird Photo by Kathy deGroot


Spruce Grouse (male) Photo by Kathy deGroot


Hobo Lake Photo by Tony deGroot


Dead Tree on the Madawaska Photo by Tony deGroot


Shelf Fungi Photo by Kathy deGroot


Milky Way over Costello Creek Photo by Tony deGroot


Stars over the Treeline Photo by Kathy deGroot