Algonquin Park is three hours from Ottawa, making it a popular getaway for city folks. The park holds 2,400 lakes and 800 miles of rivers and streams that are dotted with campsites. Lake Traverse is part of the Petawawa River system that flows from the center of the park to the Ottawa River. The park lies on the meeting of northern coniferous and southern deciduous forests, creating habitat for a variety of wildlife and fish. Watch for moose, bear, deer, beaver, snakes, fishers and weasels.
CAMPER: James McBeath, Jackson Kayak’s director of marketing, www.jacksonkayak.com.
MILD 1 2 3 4 5 WILD
Cleared campsites and pit toilets.
CAR CAMPING 1 2 3 4 5 EVEREST BASECAMP
Long dirt road to launch and paddle-in camping.
TOURIST MECCA 1 2 3 4 5 TOTAL ISOLATION
A few anglers in tin boats on the weekends. Inaccessible to larger boats.
TARGET: Largemouth bass and catfish call Lake Traverse home, but the most popular target is musky. Check legal seasons before fishing.
METHOD: Topwater frogs are a favorite for aggressive musky. We had more than 60 strikes in three days, but only hooked up with eight fish.
TACKLE BOX: Musky hide in thick vegetation on shallow banks. Topwater frogs are the best weapon to avoid snags. Trade the higher hook-up ratio of treble hooks for weedless frogs. Use a net to scoop toothy musky from the water and long-nose pliers to remove hooks.
CAMPING KIT: Pack personal gear like clothes, tent and sleeping bag in the kayak. Tow a standup paddleboard loaded with coolers of food.
MUST SEE: Be wary of moose. These huge animals are impressive at a distance, but downright scary close-up.
LOCAL EAT/DRINK: Fuel up on poutine—fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. Wash it down with local craft beer from Whitewater Brewing Company.