Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Quetico off-piste routes without transportation

This post comes from Park Information Specialist Jill Legault of Quetico Provincial Park.

“Transporting is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.” -Bill Mason

Did you know that the secluded wildlife experience and pristine nature of Quetico Provincial Park are available without transportation?

woman in canoe

Why try backcountry camping without transportation?

  • It’s a great way to introduce young children to camping in the countryside.
  • It’s great for beginners who want to avoid the rapids.
  • You don’t have to worry about your ability to transport your equipment over long distances.
  • You can bring bulkier items like gas stoves, large refrigerators, and an endless amount of fishing gear!

Very good, you have sold me life without transportation. Show me the routes!

Entry station – Lac La Croix

This area is extremely rich in cultural and historical features. You can paddle to the base of the Maligne River, Martin Bay, Dog Point, Moosehide Island, and Rice Bay from Lac La Croix Station, all without transportation.

La Croix Lake map

Be sure to visit Ojibwe Warrior Hill. It is said that the young men ran to the top of this steep hill to qualify for admission into the Ojibwe Warrior Society.

There are pictographs in the area, as well as historic campsites and transportation that would have been used by Ojibwe, travelers, and early explorers alike.

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Entry Point: Pickerel Lake

Over 40km of paddling is accessible from the northern end of the park, again without transport.

pickerel lake map

Explore the endless islands and sounds of Batchewaung, French and Pickerel Lake, for world-class trout and walleye fishing.

canoes on the coast

You also won’t want to miss the famously beautiful Pines Beach and the 200+ year old Red Pine Stand at the east end of Pickerel Lake.

Entry Point: Agnes/Baswood Lake Base Camp

Entering the park from the US side at Prairie Portage, you will have to walk a short distance to get your permit and enter Basswood Lake. After that, there are endless islands and bays accessible.

Basswood Lake map

For those looking to relax in camp for several nights, there are many base camp options available in Basswood Lake, North Bay, Big and Little Meriam Bays, and Ranger Bay. Be sure to visit Basswood Falls and the English Channel!

view of the lake with trees

Basswood Lake is also part of the Canadian Heritage river system due to its ecological, cultural and recreational importance.

King Points and Canadian Points were used in the fur trade by French and Northwestern travelers, as well as the Hudson’s Bay Company. Canadian Point was later the site of Quetico Ranger Cabin 16, and continued to have a trading post until 1955.

Get hooked

The three suggested backcountry camping trips have Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Lake Trout and Northern Pike.

You could catch all four species in the same lake on the same day!

Man sitting in a canoe holding fish.

With no transportation required, you can bring all your fishing gear! Remember, barbless hooks are required in Quetico.

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Set up camp near a portage and use this location as a base of operations. You’ll then be able to explore beyond the next transport for day trips with just the essential gear.

person under the waterfall

For example, you can paddle to Louisa Falls for the day from Basswood Lake and cool off under the flowing water.

to be aware

These larger lakes often have strong winds.

Be sure to check the local forecast before you set out, know your skill level, and continue paddling along the coast if necessary. Get a waterproof Quetico map for detailed trip planning!

boy in canoe

Choosing a shuttle-free route is a great way to introduce someone new to the world of backcountry camping or to reconnect a camper with a past passion.

Enjoy your time at the Quetico playground, without transportation!

Quetico Provincial Park is part of the Northwest Wilderness Quest.