Algonquin – Misty Lake

Algonquin has become an annual tradition for us. For some reason we are quick to forget the (literal and figurative) blood, sweat and tears from our past trips, and are eager for more. More paddling, more portages, and more pain. The forecast was calling for nice weather over the August long weekend, which was great because we planned quite an ambitious route to Misty Lake.

Presqu’ile Provincial Park

Presqu'ile is the French word for peninsula. It is situated along the north shore of Lake Ontario near Brighton and features one of the larger wetlands along the lake. It contains forests, marshes and sand dunes, leading to diverse vegetation, ecosystems and habitats for the flora and fauna in the park. It also features a long sandy beach making this an ideal spot to swim, hike, and camp.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Charleston Lake is located in South Eastern Ontario, just north of the St. Lawrence River. The rocky lake and surrounding forest area are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the largest and oldest geologic continental shields in the world. The shores as well as the islands of this lake are a mix between private property and the provincial park. Nevertheless, it is one of the best provincial parks in Ontario that is relatively close to Toronto for fishing, swimming, boating and camping.

Point Pelee National Park

Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point of the mainland in Canada. Despite being the second smallest national park (after Georgian Bay Islands, also located in Ontario), it boasts of being the most ecologically diverse national parks in the country. Point Pelee mainly consists of beaches, marshes, and woodlands. It is home to over 390 species of birds and is part of a bird and butterfly migration corridor over Lake Erie.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo Provincial Park is located in southeastern Ontario and is situated along several lakes, including Mazinaw Lake - the seventh deepest lake in the province. For years we've been saying we'd like to visit Bon Echo, in large part because it's located close by K's family cabin. So this year we finally made it happen. While there are just over 500 car camping sites to choose from in this provincial park, we booked one of the 25 coveted canoe-in campsites located in the backcountry on Joe Perry Lake.

Yellowstone National Park

The first national park was established here in Yellowstone. Situated along much of northwestern Wyoming and parts of neighbouring Montana and Idaho, even over a hundred years ago there was a collective need to protect and preserve the abundant wildlife and many geothermal features surrounding the area. Today Yellowstone boasts of being one of the largest ecosystems in the Lower 48 to support a wide variety of animals - including many endangered species like the grizzly bear, gray wolf and American bison. Resting atop an active supervolcano, it is also home to half of the world's geothermal features.

Shenandoah National Park

The Shenandoah Valley stretches across 200 miles  between the Blue Ridge Mountains in the east and the Appalachians in the west. The Shenandoah National Park encompasses around half of that stretch from Front Royal in the north to Rockfish Gap in the south. The Skyline Drive, the main road that winds through the park, offers sweeping views of rolling hills from the neighbouring mountain ranges in either direction.

Arizona

Arizona is home to one of the largest canyons in the world. Carved millions of years ago from the force of the Colorado River, it is 446km long, 29km wide and at its deepest is 1829 m from rim to the river. It truly is a sight to behold. But there are a variety of other attractions in Arizona's red rock landscape and desert climate that are worth exploring as well.

Acadia National Park (in the Fall)

Located on Mount Desert Island along the Atlantic coast in Maine, Acadia National Park is the first and only national park east of the Mississippi River. It encompasses all of the beauty, charm, and ruggedness of New England's wilderness. Many of the trails weave their way up, down, and around mountains, through lush forests and along a granite coastline that has been (and continues to be) ravaged by the never-ending lapping of waves by the ocean.