Grand Lake to Squirrel Rapids

Barron River Canyon

This 20 plus km long trip starts with a series of three lakes emptying into the Barron River. With bigger flat water sections and more and longer portages than our three day trip, some canoeing and tripping experience is an asset, but not essential. You will want to have the camera along with lots of film or memory capacity for great pictures.

Day One: We will meet at the Algonquin Portage Limited Store on Highway 28 just outside the East boundary of the Park. Equipment rentals and vehicle shuttle can be arranged here. Then it is off to the Sand Lake Gate to register for our wilderness adventure. We then drive into the interior of the Park to the Achray Campground on Grand Lake where we will off load and start our canoe trip in earnest. On the drive to Achray we pass by the Barron Canyon Trail and have the option to walk the trail then or save that for the end of the trip. Definitely have your camera on this hike. Our first camp will be on Grand Lake, Stratton Lake or St Andrews Lake.

Day Two: The highlight of this day will be a trip to High Falls. If the weather permits we could spend the whole day at this natural water park that is sure to thrill all members of the group. This is a day for exploring the natural wonders and some relics from the logging days in the Park. This night the camp will be on either Stratton Lake or St Andrews Lake.

Day Three: No getting around it, the meat of this day is a series of portages. Thankfully, the scenery is wonderful. A 550 m portage at the North end of St Andrews Lake takes us into High Falls Lake . A short 300 m portage will lead us into Ooze Lake followed by a 650 m portage into Opalescent Lake. We might spend the night on this lake, or of if the mood is right, continue with a final 750 m portage into the less traveled Cork Lake.

Day Four: The day starts with a 740 m portage out of Opalescent Lake into Brigham Lake, part of the Barron River. A couple of easy portages take us out of this lake and around Brigham Chute and Falls. Shortly after resuming our paddling we enter the spectacular Barron Canyon gorge. Cameras ready! We will pass through this area at a leisurely pace allowing plenty of time for photographs, rock scrambling and swimming. Our camp this evening will be just below the gorge.

Day Five: One short 420 m portage today takes us around Cache Rapids and a former log chute. Just over a km along we come to the takeout. We will off load equipment into vehicles here. If we haven't already walked the Barron Canyon Trail on Day One, then this is our chance to do so. If we have already completed this walk, we have the option of portaging Squirrel Rapids just down stream and completing a return trip farther down the Barron River to feast our eyes on the spectacular Canadian Shield rock that this river cuts a path through.

Barron River 5 Day Trip Map:


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