Moose Valley Provincial Park
CanoeingMoose Valley canoe route consists of a chain of 12 small lakes, and is a leisurely two-day round trip. The main canoe launch at Marks Lake provides parking and the most developed facilities at Kirkland Lake. For most visitors, the Marks Lake site is a good place to begin. Beyond this site, the road continues toward the west end of Maitland Lake, but it gets rougher and narrower. The road becomes impassible beyond the Marks Lake access site. From the Marks Lake parking area, you can launch your canoe and paddle south along the west shore of the lake to the short portage into Maitland Lake.
Maitland Lake is the largest lake on the chain, and is very scenic with its crystal clear water and abundant loon population. A cabin and pit toilet are located at the north end of the lake. To access the rest of the chain, you will need to return to Marks Lake. From the east end of the lake, continue over three short portages and two small lakes known as Crane Lakes to arrive at Kirkland Lake. This is one of the larger lakes on the chain, and home to a variety of birdlife including Bonaparte gulls. A rocky portage leads to the first of two small Beaverlodge lakes, which are linked by a narrow waterway through mosses and reeds. A similar waterway, locally known as the “African Queen Portage” comes out at Long Lake. At low water levels, these waterways are impassible, and you may need to turn back as there are no alternate dry land portages.
After Long Lake, with its deep bays and small islands, you can make a circuit of Moose, Grebe and Canoe Lakes, in either direction. There are rustic campsites located on the shores of Long and Canoe Lakes. These sites can be a good base for your first night out. Please use these established sites to reduce your impact on the surrounding vegetation.
In early summer when the water is high, it is possible to bypass some of the portages and paddle through the reeds. In late summer when the water level has dropped, paddling between the lakes is no longer possible, and the portages must be used. Please do not attempt to paddle the waterways in low water, because the moss bed will be damaged by dragging your canoe. The portages are well marked, but do not accommodate canoe carts. Benches are located along the trails for those requiring a rest.
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