No Portage Paddling Trips

By Haliburton Highlands  Getting out for a camping trip on one of the many beautiful lakes in the Haliburton Highlands is an amazing experience: the feel of your paddle in the water, the sound of loons calling, meals under an open sky, and star filled nights. If you want to experience an overnight paddling trip, but don’t like the idea of carrying all your gear and your canoe, kayak or SUP from one lake to another, we have a collection of trips for you!

These trips will allow you to get on the water, paddle to a beautiful site, and spend a few days without having to carry all of your gear; an ideal experience for folks just getting into tripping, families with young ones, and anyone that believe that boats are meant to paddle, not to carry! These are just a few of our favourites, you can probably find several of your own as well.

Havelock Lake, Haliburton Forest

Haliburton Forest is well known for a variety of recreational and backcountry pursuits. They have a collection of paddle-in sites. Our favourite is site #3 on Havelock Lake. This is truly a wilderness experience on a stunning backcountry lake, without the ordeal of portaging to get to a beautiful site. It is a bit of a drive from base camp, but well worth it.

Kingscote Lake, South Algonquin

This little-known lake in the southern panhandle of Algonquin Provincial Park is one of many gems in South Algonquin. Sites must be reserved through the Ontario Provincial Park system.

Algonquin Highlands Water Trails

Algonquin Highlands Water Trails offers an amazing opportunity to do canoe/kayak/SUP trips into classic Canadian Shield lakes. Although you can do classic Ontario multi-portage trips, we have collected some destinations that do not require portaging. All sites need to be reserved.

  • Big East Lake,

Big East, located on Hwy 118 just 20 Kms west of the village of Carnarvon. There is a short carry to get onto the water from the parking lot, but once on the lake there are beautiful, rocky campsites and great swimming.

  • Red Pine Lake

An easy put-in and a short paddle down the Kennesis River take you onto this delightful lake with stunning campsites. This is a boat-in cottage lake, so there will be some motorboat traffic, but is generally very quiet.

  • Sherborne Lake

Sherborne lake, located at the end of Sherborne Lake Rd about 21 kms from the village of Dorset, has a true backcountry feel. With many narrow bays, there is a lot of exploring to be done on a multi-day trip. The road in is now unmaintained, so a high-clearance vehicle is a good idea.

  • St Nora Lake

St Nora is a classic Canadian shield lake with sites located on beautiful, rocky points. It is very easy to access, directly off of Hwy 35. The launch for this trip is right next to the Algonquin Water Trails office, so local information and rentals are easily available without having to transport a canoe on your vehicle. This is a cottage lake, so expect some boat traffic. This might be the best introduction to overnight tripping lake in the Haliburton Highlands: easy access, rentals right at the put-in and stunning sites.

Koshlong Lake, Highlands East

sunset on Koshlong lakeA fairly busy cottage lake, Koshlong has a number of crown-land sites. Our favourites are in it’s most southern bay, known as Bark Bay. Although not as quiet as some true back country lakes, this is a classic lake with rocky points and towering pines. The quietest times to camp here will be spring and fall. Sites cannot be reserved, so be prepared to paddle if your first site is occupied. Put in at either the public boat launch for a short paddle, or at the dam for a longer paddle to the bay.

Be sure to check out some more of our Paddle Routes.