Quetico Canoe Trip

Quetico Canoe Trip

Planning a Quetico canoe trip can be difficult for those who have never been to Quetico Provincial Park.  Why, because Quetico park covers over 4,760 square (1,180,000-acres) and over 2000 lakes so planning a canoe trip can be a challenging tasks. We are here to help…

Start your Quetico canoe trip with a copy of the official park trip planning map which outlines all the possible route options, portages and gives you a general lay of the land. The map is especially helpful when you are talking to paddling friends, outfitters and park staff.

Quetico Canoe Trip Routes

Once you have decided on a time frame and recruited some friends or family members, it’s time to choose your canoe route. At this point you should consider giving us a call for some advice on your route  to discuss your, schedule, permits and especially your groups goals and capabilities. It’s very important to choose a route that is right for you and your fellow paddlers.  Consider the weather; as a hot July trip can significantly reduces the number of miles you can do in a day!! Try to remember that you are on vacation so consider adding a few days to relax and enjoy the Quetico wilderness.

Here are some routes that I have personally paddled (except the figure 8 route). These Quetico canoe trip routes contain detailed route information, basic maps with camp sites and a GPX file for your GPS. The routes are based on paddling 10 miles (16 km) / day. Times vary by group and how much stuff you bring (more on that later) but with double portaging expect to spend 4-5 hours paddling and portaging each day. Early risers could easily finish by lunch. With that being said, it is always nice to add a day or two to your schedule to fish, swim or just to setup a hammock.

Quetico Reservations and Entry Permits

Quetico Provincial Park operates on a strict entry quota system that preserves the wilderness experience for all visitors. Reservations can be made no earlier than five months before your planned park entry date. E.g. Reserve on March 5th for for entry on August 5th. Note that the period between July 15th and the first week of September can be busy. A park reservation will require a deposit of $100 plus a reservation fee of $11 – $13. Note: You will need to decide on your canoe route before you reserve as park reservations are for a specific day at one of the 21 park entry points.

Quetico Provincial Park
Dawson Trial Ranger Station

One important item.  The reservation is just that, a reservation to enter the park on a given day at a given entry point (E.g. Beaverhouse lake, Pickerel lake etc). When you arrive you will have to go to one of the six official park ranger stations to secure a park entry permit. On busy days this process can consume a lot of time. We highly recommend that you have your outfitter reserve your entry date and pick up your entry permit so that it is ready for you when you arrive. Once you or your outfitter has secured your park entry date you will need to decide if you will be bringing your own boat(s) and gear. If not, it is a good idea to reserve whatever gear, canoes and shuttles you may need.

Note…Canoes can be scarce in high season so if you need to reserve canoe(s) do so once you or your outfitter has secured your park entry date reservation.

What to bring & What not to bring

Everyone packs differently for a Quetico canoe trip but we need to keep in mind that the goal should be to bring just enough gear to travel safely and comfortably in the Quetico wilderness. Here is what we consider to be the basic essentials…CLICK HERE

How to plan your paddling day

How you plan your paddling day will have a significant impact on how much effort you will need to get to the next campsite. Quetico typically experiences winds from the West and mornings tend to be calm with winds picking up as the morning progresses. This is especially so on warm sunny days when the warming air will rise to create thermal winds which will will bring waves.

If you are looking at a longer day of paddling, a large lake crossing, or if it is hot you should consider getting an early start. The hour or so you that invest in an early start will allow you to save a significant amount of effort paddling into strong wind and waves. The positive side of an early start is that you are more likely to see wildlife on your early morning paddle.

Quetico Canoe Trip Sunrise
Early Risers Make Many Miles!
  • Here are a few tips for Quetico canoe trip planning…
  • Review your route after before bed
  • Pack as much as you can the night before
  • Fill your water bottles and set aside lunch and snacks in your food pack
  • Pack your tent and gear as soon as you wake up
  • Prepare a simple breakfast. Use a stove if you need to heat food and water
  • Enjoy the sunrise.



Call Barry at (807) 929-2266

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