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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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This looks like my kind of place! I tell ya – I could canoe/kayak for the rest of my life!! I love it. I’m so happy that the weather will be cooling down here in Florida soon so I can get back out in my kayak!
Thanks for sharing this article 🙂
JP recently posted..Sailing Into the Sunset – An Evening on the Mantanzas
Wow, 3 days of outdoor adventure fun! That’s my idea of a vacation too. I now understand why you said you’re more of a mountain person than beaches. You have some really nice national parks in your corner of the world. 🙂
Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com recently posted..Is Boracay for Solo Travelers?
I’m not huge into fishing, though i’ll definitely take up on the canoeing and hiking! I love spending time outdoors so this vacation is right up my alley!
Meg @ Mapping Megan recently posted..7 Apps Every Traveller Should Have On Their Smartphone
Looks a lot like where I grew up in New Hampshire. Impressive that he caught 2 fish at once!
Matthew Karsten recently posted..Cirque De Mafate: Crazy Cats & Flower Rum In The Mountains
This looks awesome. Adding it to my list for me and the kids to do soon!
With options for hiking, canoeing/kayaking and tubing, Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park looks like a fantastic place. Sounds like you could have easily spent more than 3 days there. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Now, I want to take a long walk in the woods.
Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Win a $47,000 Dream Ski Vacation to Chile & Vail via Peak Seasons Sweepstakes!
This park is excellent for riding bicycles. There are numerous paved roads to explore including the ones to Bagwa picnic area and to the boat launches on the Mattawa River and Long Lake. Campground roads are also nice to ride on.
Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment. I will keep that in mind next time I visit.