Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada is on historic ground. It is located about 45 minutes outside of North Bay, which is about 4 hours north of Toronto.

This area was vital to the fur trade traversed by the legendary voyageurs on birch bark canoes along the Mattawa River. The park now protects this waterway for its historic and recreational value. The Mattawa River has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River. (see picture)

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park entrance

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

On a Canadian road trip with my dad, I visited this beautiful park and camped for three nights. I had the opportunity to fish, canoe, hike, and enjoy campfires in this pristine northwoods environment. This post highlights the outdoor adventure activities one can enjoy while staying in this beautiful park.

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Yep, I am guilty of a little plagiarizing – This is my footnote

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Enjoying the beautiful Mattawa River in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Canoeing

The Amable Du Fond empties into the Mattawa River inside the park. The Mattawa then flows toward the Ottawa River. The park offers great day trips and a base for longer trips to explore these historic waterways. Mattawa is Algonquin and means “junction of waterways.” With a name like that, you can bet there are a lot of canoeing options.

Mattawa River Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Canoeing the beautiful Mattawa River through Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

One trip you can take is the Amable Du Fond River, which flows right past the campground. You can paddle a short two mile chute over and over again inside the park or continue on via the Mattawa River. This section can also be tubed, which I am sure is a blast. The water level needs to be in your favor to canoe. It was a little low in September when we visited. The park is also somewhat close to Algonquin Provincial Park, so the canoeing opportunities are endless.

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Tubers about to tackle the Amable Du Fond River in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Amable Du Fond River as it flows through Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Hiking

There are several hiking trails in the park ranging in distance. The Etienne system trails range from 2.5 to 9 kilometers and feature outstanding views of the Mattawa River. I hiked the Kag Trail, which is only 2.5 kilometers, but it is a challenging short hike going up and down the entire length. It goes through several ecosystems including a red pine forest, beaver lake, and oak highlands.

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

After the canoe trip, I did a little hiking in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park hiking

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

View from a high point on the Kag Trail in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Beaver pond along the Kag Trail in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Fishing

We tried our hands on both the Mattawa River and Long Lake. We unfortunately only reeled in small smallmouth bass and rock bass, but one of our group somehow managed to catch two fish on the same cast. While the lunkers eluded us, we did enjoy incredible views, and we did not see another canoe on either stretch. The solitude for a lake and river with immediate road access was enjoyable. We were there during the week, so I am sure it gets busier on weekends.

Ontario canoeing fishing camping photo essay

Two fish on one cast on Long Lake

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Perfect fishing cliffs on Long Lake in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Camping

We enjoyed relaxing campfires each night under a canopy of stars. Our camp had many trees which afforded shade and privacy from our neighbors. The park is huge with over 200 campsites at two different camp locations. I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the bathrooms, and the free hot showers were fantastic. There are also spots for group camping and more remote backcountry camping, so the park accommodates to all types of groups and preferences.

Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Ontario canoeing fishing camping – Our cozy campground at Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

I enjoyed my three days in Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park. Camping inside the park made it easy to access all of the outdoor adventure options the area has to offer.

Adventure On!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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