Samuel De Champlain




Campsite #50

This trip out was our second to Samuel de Champlain. We visited here in 2008 and stayed in the same campground, but at a different site. For this visit, we booked site #50. It was large but not so level. We eventually found a nice place to park the trailer after a few tries. The privacy on the site was okay. It backed on to a beautiful forest. Our site had 30amp service, but no water hookups as is usually the case with Ontario Provincial Parks.

Champlain is a beautiful park located along the gorgeous Mattawa River. For us, it’s about a 5 hour drive from home. We’ve never been fortunate enough to see any wildlife here, but there are supposedly wolves, moose and deer. The scenery here is amazing. Here are some photos of the park:



We kayaked many times while camped here. Several times we kayaked on Moore Lake and the Mattawa River. We caught some nice bass and a pickerel. The fishing seemed to be pretty decent. This resulted in a nice fish fry dinner!


The weather stayed pretty nice for the most part during our trip, with the exception of one day where some pretty strong thunder and rain storms rolled through. Fortunately the soil is mostly sand, so the water just ran through our site and into the woods.


There were so many beautiful kayak fishing trips out, that I can’t even begin to post enough photos here. So, I’ll post a few of my favourites from the Mattawa River:


Our kayaking trips along the Mattawa River took us to two beautiful waterfalls and a beautiful channel called “The Gut”. The scenery was spectacular and the fishing pretty good! We also spent some time on Moore Lake kayaking. The depth had changed considerably since our last visit in 2008, due to the removal of the small dam on the lake. Despite this, the fishing still seemed pretty good, at least for bass. The paddles out were beautiful on Moore Lake. Here are some photos:


There are a few very nice trails at Samuel de Champlain, but I think we spent so much time kayaking, that our hiking time ran out pretty quickly! I ended up hiking two of the trails. The first was the 2.5 km Kag Trail, rated as moderate with a few steep climbs. It was much the same as I remembered it in 2008 – beautiful! Here are some photos:


I also hiked the short Wabashkiki Trail. It`s a pretty little trail that winds its way around a peninsula on Moore Lake.


Our stay at Champlain was so nice. We enjoyed many campfires, beautiful, starry skies, a fish fry, hikes, so many trips out kayaking and some very nice time together. Our site was great, the weather magnificient. We found waterfalls and enjoyed beautiful scenery. Samuel de Champlain is one of our favourite parks to visit. It`s quiet, clean and there is so much to do. I could never begin to put all of the photos I`d like to on this page. If you`d like to see more, you can click on the link below to visit my Picasa page:

Also, here`s the link to the Ontario Parks page for Samuel de Champlain:

This park is worth the visit if you`re looking for a nice, quiet, clean park with lots to do. We used the laundry and shower facilities while here and they were clean and well maintained. Although busy, the park was very quiet and well patrolled. The hiking trails were nice and the fishing was decent. Moore Lake has a deep spot towards the far end, but it`s near the marshes at that end where you`ll likely catch the bass. The waterfalls are yours to find, but I`ll give you some tips on the fishing.  Follow the Mattawa River towards The Gut and fish the rock slides along the way. There is a slide further down towards The Gut that yields some pickerel and some nice bass. The water depth of the Mattawa is very deep. Our fish finders were marking well over one hundred feet near and inside The Gut. The scenery along the river is breathtaking. Take some time to really enjoy it. After we have visited some new parks, in a few years, I am sure we`ll be back here again.





Samuel De Champlain was not our original destination for our 2008 holidays. We had planned on going back to Lake Superior for two weeks. We changed our mind late in the booking season and could only find a site at this park and Driftwood. There were only a few sites left, but this one looked the nicest. Indeed, it was! At the back of the site was a short path that led to the beautiful Mattawa River. Most mornings we took our coffee and camp chairs and sat watching the river. Here are some pics:


The entire time we were camped at Champlain, we kept busy. One of the first trails we hiked at Samuel De Champlain was the Kag Trail. What a beautiful trail!


Next on our list of things to do was a hike at Eau Claire Gorge. The Amable Du Fond River flows through a beautiful gorge and ultimately into Moore Lake at Champlain. The hike was memorable for Nikki and I, we were stung by something ferocious and man did it hurt!! She was stung on the arm and myself, I was stung on the nose beside my eye. Fortunately, we were on our way back to the car, the hike being finished. My face was swollen pretty good by the time we made it to our next stop, Kiosk Lake in Algonquin! Here’s some pics of Eau Claire and the gorge:


Our day trip to Kiosk Lake in Northern Algonquin remains a favorite. Despite my swollen face, I felt fine, so we went with the plan of paddling this lake after we hiked Eau Claire Gorge. The lake was beautiful with a unique “bird” island of which I’ll post a picture. We pulled up at a remote campsite and had a shore lunch while Dave fished and caught a beautiful bass. Most importantly – I was introduced to a “thunder box” for the first time. Here are some pics:


There is camping at Kiosk Lake in Algonquin, but no hydro sites. At Samuel De Champlain, there are two easily accessible lakes – Moore Lake and Long Lake. We spent a day kayaking on Long Lake, here are some pics:


Another trail we hiked while camped at Samuel De Champlain was the Etienne Trail. There are three loops to this trail, we did the “History” loop. Here are some pics:


We kayaked and fished at Moore Lake as well. Dave caught a nice pickerel and I took some pictures of a cool snapping turtle.


The laundry facilities were broken during our stay here, so we drove into Mattawa to a laundromat. We visited the museum and did a little sight seeing while there:


Our last night at the park, a large storm system rolled through dumping lots of rain. We never realized while we slept just how much rain until we went to retrieve our boats from the boat launch. Check it out:


Samuel De Champlain remains one of my most favorite parks and Dave’s most favorite so far. The park was nicely kept up and regularly patrolled. We landed here on a long weekend to start our holidays and the park was quiet. There was lots here at the park to do, including rafting down the Mattawa rapids! The first night here, Katie and I went to the visitor centre to watch an interpretive program on wolves. Afterwards, we accompanied the parks person an a wolf howl. During our stay, we attended more interpretive programs and booked the “Voyageur Tour” for our last day. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the flooding. This park is definitely a park we plan on returning to. Here are some links:


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