Planning your next adventure is sometimes almost as much fun at the adventure itself, and a little preparation goes a long way.
The following are some tips to aid you in planning a safe and enjoyable trip.
Canoe Tripping, Camping & Hiking Tips
- Always wear your Personal Floatation Device (PFD).
- Ensure your boat safety kit is complete - it’s the law.
- Do not drink and boat - arrive alive!
- Don’t go alone, always use the buddy system, especially when swimming.
- Dress appropriately, carry a first aid/survival kit, water, map, compass and whistle.
- Waterproof all your gear.
- Exercise caution during cold water seasons - avoid hypothermia.
- Take cover during storms, get off the water during lightning and high winds.
- If lost or injured, control and secure the situation, mark your location, plan for shelter and stay put until help arrives.
- Be Bear Wise.
- Backcountry trails have inherent risks – use at your own risk and skill level – trail ratings are guidelines only.
- Be aware of hunting seasons – wear blaze orange.
- Assess campsite conditions prior to set-up - assess potential hazard trees, drainage and fire pit location.
- Secure valuables.
- Use trails for designated use only.
- Caution should be exercised near cliffs, slippery slopes, foot bridges and dam structures year round.
- For all emergencies call 9-1-1 – know the trail head 9-1-1 road number and name address – be advised that area cellular phone service is not 100%.
Leave No Trace
The Trails Department is a proud partner of Leave No Trace Canada. We practice and support Leave No Trace skills and ethics and believe in the stewardship of Canada’s outdoor spaces. The following principles form the framework of the Trails Department’s backcountry etiquette messages:
1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Know the regulations and special areas of concern.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Use established portages and designated campsites.
- Do not alter or expand campsites.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Avoid cans and bottles.
- Pack it in, pack it out – leave no trace.
- Use campsite toilets, or bury at least 30m from water.
4. Leave What You Find
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- To capture your memories, take a picture.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Observe all fire restrictions. Use Camp Stove.
- Keep fires small, collect and burn dead and fallen wood.
- Drown your fire out with water before you leave.
6. Respect Wildlife
- Observe wildlife from a distance.
- Never feed animals.
- Keep your pets leashed.
- Store food rations and trash securely.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield right of way.
- Let nature’s sounds prevail. Minimize loud noises.
Tread Lightly! Principles for Responsible Recreation
Travel & Recreate with Minimum Impact
- Do not create new routes or expand existing trails
- Do not trample vegetation
- Avoid sensitive habitats like wetlands, bogs and streams.
Respect the Environment & the Rights of Others
- Yield to hikers.
- Personal watercraft users and boaters should be cautious around canoes and kayaks
- Comply with signage
- Always obtain permission to cross private land.
Educate Yourself, Plan & Prepare Before You Go
- Have the right information, maps and equipment to make your trip safe.
- Know which areas and routes are open and suitable for your type of recreation.
Allow for future use of the Outdoors, Leave It Better than You Found It
- Restore areas used to the most natural condition possible
Discover the Rewards of Responsible Recreation
- The ideal of the modern voyageur is to look back and see no evidence of his or her passing. If you achieve this ideal, you will be able to remember your trip with that extra satisfaction.
Trails Office (Haliburton Highlands Water Trails)
20130 Highway # 35 North
Township of Algonquin Highlands
1123 North Shore Road, Algonquin Highlands, ON K0M 1J1
Hours of Operation
May to August
Open 7 days a week
Sunday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
September to October
Open 7 days a week
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
November to April
Open 7 days a week (except public holidays)
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.