Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Massasauga Provincial Park Canoe Trip

One more old canoe trip post before I start sharing signs of spring around here!!!  In 2011 we planned a trip around the lakes and inlets of Massasauga Provincial Park, just south of Parry Sound, Ontario.  This is a large area of lakes, islands and forests punctuated by only a few cottages and resorts once you get to the outer areas directly accessible from Georgian Bay.  It's now a provincial park, and today, a decade later is getting far too popular and therefore over-crowded in places.

It's more of that granite and pine tree landscape.  This is the first day or exploring on Spider Lake where we landed and had lunch overlooking the lily pads.

The exploring around the corners of the lake took us up some narrow channels!

But the highlights of this trip were the wildlife.  I spotted this big old Massasauga Rattlesnake curled up three feet off the path up to our campsite.  I really didn't think I should reach out and move that branch for a better picture!

And this big old Snapping turtle visited our landing spot every day looking for handouts.

And we spotted this beautiful Eastern Milk Snake on the rocks on a later day.

I enjoy evening paddles, often just by myself, as the light sets on the rocks.

It's nice to drift slowly so you can get a picture like this White Water Lily. 

We regularly heard the haunting calls of the Common Loon echoing through the lakes.

If we were lucky we might get pancakes for breakfast!  Ron is the author of Canoeing Ontario's Rivers and makes terrific flapjacks!.

I got far too many pictures of our last sunset.

But I was alone getting pictures of our last sunrise.

We packed up at the last campsite and headed back to our working lives.


  1. What great memories, and I so enjoy those trips you have done, beautiful scenery and so peaceful.

  2. What a great set of photos - thanks for sharing with me. I wouldn't ever have a chance to do any of those things, except perhaps the pancakes!

  3. Those animals alone would make for a fascinating adventure but the setting wins the day! Great memories!

  4. Love seeing this wonderful trip. I'm very glad you didn't move that stick! That was one big snake. Loved the pretty milk snake, though. :-)

  5. That looks like it was a grand trip. It was the rattlesnake I thought of when I saw where you were going. It is good that you have so many great shots of these trips.

  6. Beautiful country. Down here in the U.S. massasauga rattlesnakes are in real trouble from habitat loss, I hope they're more secure up there.

  7. wow, what a beautiful place and such happy memories!! the turtle is so cool, i'm not so sure about the snake!!

    the sunset is gorgeous...signs of spring, luck you!!!

  8. You see much more wildlife when canoeing. You are so quiet that you don't scare the wildlife away. I remember going up little channels like the one you show on the Mackenzie delta.

  9. Glad to hear you've got some spring weather in the offing. I never know how I should feel when I see favourite places becoming over-popular, I'm just glad I was able to walk in the hills before there were many people around. We've been treated to the presence of a Common Loon (Great Northern Diver, as we call them) on one of our reservoirs this winter and, just once while we were there, it gave out that evocative call.

  10. You got some fab photos of both scenes and wildlife. Love that turtle and the idea that he visited, looking for treats.

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  12. Wonderful photos! There is so much to see in our country beyond the cities and towns. So few get the opportunity to see the less populated areas. Now the wildlife - I'd be quite happy not to see snakes!

  13. What a great trip! I so love Parry Sound rocks!
    You are droll! No, I wouldn't move that branch, either!

  14. Great memories and great photographs.

    All the best Jan