My family has always lived in the city, and although we are Canadians, we have never experienced the great outdoors for which our country is so famous.  A family canoe trip in Algonquin Park –  a dream! We are totally inexperienced when it comes to any kind of outdoor adventure, so the idea of a camping trip is pretty intimidating. Luckily Voyageur Quest has a trip that fits our needs perfectly. Their five-day adventure includes a three day canoe trip and two days in a rustic log cabin. We don’t need any experience, I can bring my 9- and 11-year-olds, and we get to spend a whole five days in the famous Algonquin Park as a family. It was an easy decision to book when I found out everything is included, and that it is an award-winning signature Canadian experience!

We don’t have a car, so the door-to-door shuttle service was a huge help. We arrived at Algonquin Park access point #1 by noon on Monday. After a great lunch at the Broken Paddle patio, our wonderful guide ensured our packs were secure in the canoe, and we were off on our family canoe trip in Algonquin Park. Our guide was very patient and there was no rush as we learned how to paddle and portage. Our campsite was at a beautiful scenic point, and we arrived with enough daylight for a lovely swim and a delicious campfire meal. Who knew gourmet cooking was possible in the middle of nowhere!

The next day we saw some stunning lakes and some beaver in a bog. During the afternoon, we explored the area around our campsite and relaxed in the lake. Our guide told us some amazing stories as we cooked marshmallows over the fire that night. We were already comfortable with laying down to rest in our tents under the stars. The next day after a hike in the forest, I learned how to solo a canoe! I’ve never felt more in touch with my Canadian identity. We paddled to the VQ canoe base camp and we were soon at the Algonquin Log Cabin in time for an amazing dinner, our family canoe trip over.

After a restful night in the cozy and comfortable cabin, we explored the area around the lake on a hike, learning about the boreal forest on the way. In the afternoon, we got into a huge canoe called a voyageur and paddled to a high rock for some fun jumping! We were all ready to relax in the sauna when we got back, and enjoyed a fun BBQ dinner.

Our last morning was spent walking to a beautiful lookout point, where we had our last view of the lake system we had spent the last four days exploring. After lunch it was time to go back to the city. I think my whole family agreed that we were definitely more capable at outdoor exploration than we had previously believed. We had the best time together exploring our country’s natural landscape on our family canoe trip in Algonquin Park, and it is definitely not the last time we’ll be here.

This blog was written by guest blogger and VQ customer Kate Dotsikas