Fri, Jul 17 2015, Sat, Jul 18 2015, Sun, Jul 19 2015 - Backpacking the Highland Trail in Algonquin (35km) (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): César, Jessie
Participants:César, Jessie, DaveJ, Erik, Ende M
Voluntary Donations:$8.00

Click for Album
Write Up:

We had three great days in the outdoors.

On Friday we drove early out of Toronto, and the traffic was so light, that we were getting close to the park fairly early and decided to have brunch at Dwight before getting our permits and starting our hike. The hike started with a light drizzle, which persisted and at times became plain rain. Friday’s hike to Provoking Lake was meant to be an uneventful and short hike (7km), but hiking in the rain added drama. The fun kept going when trying to start a fire, as all the wood, tinder and little branches that could be used were soacking wet. Trying to keep fire alive for few hours was an exercise in perseverance. After dinner, the rain said farewell, we dried out and spent time relaxing around the fire, which by then it only required fanning every 5 minutes or so, to keep it alive.

We had an easy Saturday morning, waking up late, enjoying the scenery, coffee, tea and breakfast, while slowly packing and getting ready for hiking to our next destination. We left the campsite around 11:00AM, and headed to the second loop, towards Harness Lake. We hiked 12km in sunny conditions, and we reached our next campsite early afternoon. The water was inviting, and some of us indulged in the lake . After dinner, we spent most of the afternoon chilling by the water, chatting, taking pictures, and just enjoying the scenery and a beautiful sunset. Since we knew that next day we would have a long hike back to the cars, we decided to call off the night early and get some sleep. When most of us were sleeping, there were some loud dry-tree-branch-crushing noises that persisted for 30 minutes. There was not wind, and the sound came from a very specific area, so the suspicion was that a bear was trying to play piñata with our food. If that was the case, apparently we did a good job hanging it high enough, because it found it intact next day.

On Sunday, we woke up to another sunny day, had breakfast while packing our stuff, and getting ready by 9:30AM to hike out 17 km. We saw lots of very photogenic mushrooms along the way. We had to stop several times to readjust our gear, and to address our bodies' cries, which kept telling us along the trail: “I need water!”, “the shoulders need a break!”, “the feet need a rest… and while at that, do something for the blisters!”, …., and so on. We were back at the cars around 6:00pm, and decided to stop for dinner in Huntsville, to reward ourselves for completing a very long day. The day ended back in Toronto past 11:00pm.

Everybody’s adaptability, resourcefulness, and willingness to assist permitted to experience the the park in a variety of weather conditions, enjoy relaxing times, and work together around any challenges that a long trail could present.

Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Erik Sonstenes at Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.