Ken Whiting takes us kayaking in Bon Echo Provincial Park in southeast Ontario for this edition of Paddle Tales.
Bon Echo is an easy distance between Toronto and Ottawa. The park is famous for the dramatic rock walls along Lake Mazinaw’s shoreline, with its more than 260 Indigenous pictographs.
Take a look at the video:
Kayaking Bon Echo Provincial Park
Ken had driven the highway next to Bon Echo hundreds of times before he finally decided to stop and visit the park.
He met up with Steve Smart of Smart’s Marina so he could get a local’s perspective on the area. These folks are open from April through November to serve anyone ready to take advantage of the park’s waters and wilderness.
From the Marina Ken paddled for a few kilometers to get to 100-meter high Mazinaw Rock (that’s over 300 feet) with the pictographs, the main attraction there.
As Ken says, there’s just something magnetically attracting about paddling next to cliff faces. Mazinaw Rock offers not just that experience, but the pictographs, many of which can be seen from water level.
“The cool thing about pictographs is that someone was here hundreds of years ago, and this is their story they’ve left in this amazing place,” said Ken.
About Bon Echo Provincial Park
Though a small park compared to Canada’s other provincial parks, Bon Echo is full of beauty and character. Lake Mazinaw is the largest lake in the park, but it has many, many other smaller lakes and portage routes.
There’s great canoe tripping there with 25 canoe-in campsites and family-friendly, well-maintained portages. You can reserve campsites up to 5 months in advance, which the park recommends due to its popularity.
Day paddles are also popular with several public accesses to Lake Mazinaw as well as on a few of the smaller lakes in the park.
A challenging but rewarding day trip is the Kishkebus Canoe Route, which is 21 kilometers long (13 miles). It’ll take you about 6 hours and includes a 1.5 km portage. This route takes you right past Mazinaw Rock and the pictographs.
For more information go to the Ontario Parks website.
(photos courtesy of Paddle TV)
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