Today’s post comes from paddling enthusiast Dave Caughey who, along with his wife, recently made the trek to Quetico Provincial Park.

For years, my wife and I longed to visit Quetico Provincial Park. We had heard the canoeing there was awesome, through a terrain peppered with countless lakes, and routes that could involve days between portages!

But Quetico seemed mind-bogglingly far from our home in Ottawa—1,600 km to be exact! Who would be compelled to drive that distance, just to go paddling?

Meanwhile, we were planning for our 30th anniversary, and had mapped out a big trip to Europe. The pandemic had other plans. And then it struck us… we were completely willing to spend a long, full day travelling to an overseas destination, yet we thought Quetico was unreasonably far?

We began to realize that Quetico isn’t really much further, yet the trip is remarkably different. One involves sitting motionless and cheek-by-jowl in an airplane or in busy and noisy airports, and the other involves driving through breathtakingly beautiful scenery around Lake Superior all with the freedom to pull over whenever we wanted to stretch our legs or grab some chip-stand poutine.

So we pivoted, thought, “Why don’t we make Quetico our anniversary trip?”, and began to plan in earnest.

Planning the trip to Quetico

For the travel to and from Quetico, we decided to spread the travel over a couple of days and make the journey an actual part of the trip, i.e., slow down and enjoy the journey.

We investigated what we could see along the way, and where we might stay. There are a lot of options, from Pancake Bay to Agawa Canyon Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park, to the gorgeous long beach of Neys Provincial Park.

In the end, we decided to make a

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