In Search of Esther’s Campsite
Every trip starts somewhere. We started a book on our trip in the spring of 2011. I bought the book at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre book store. It was the story of the the first female guide to work in Algonquin Park. The book tells a great deal about Esther’s life, you get a pretty good description of her, as well as her poetry , paintings and trip reports. It was more than I could get through. I’ve somehow become pretty much a non-reader. But I did get through 78 pages, and one of the things I gleaned was that Esther’s favourite

A journey to Esther Keyser’s favourite Campsite


  1. -Esther Keyser

  2. -Paddle Your Own Canoe

  3. -Published by

  4. -Friends of Algonquin Park

campsite was on Birch Point on Big Trout Lake. There’s a map in the book, showing exactly where that is.  Tess came up with the idea of doing a trip to see some of Esther’s favourite places. We decided that our next year’s trip would be to her favourite old haunts. Ralph Bice
Lake (Eagle Lake) , Misty White Trout, Big Trout.

        Over the winter we picked out a route. The plan was to make it as photogenic as possible. As soon as we’d decided on a route we sent out an email to see if any of our friends and sometimes travelling companions would be interested in coming with us. We ended up with John and Enid. We also took our dogs, Kenzie, Tipper and Dreamer. Dreamer had been left home on last year’s trip, but hadn’t eaten for two weeks while we were gone. Even though he’s 12 years old and not a spry as he used to be our vet advised us to take him this time. She said the two weeks without food at his age would be worse for him than anything that could happen to him on the trip. We aren’t so sure.


Esther-Trip-Photos-Pt-1    Information Page for this trip. Canoe-Lk_Big-Trout


        So we started the trip at Canoe lake stopping the first night at Joe Lake. The first day was a great canoe trip day. The weather was warm. We stayed on the campsite on the NorthWest shore of Joe Lake near the Gibraltar Rock Lookout. After dinner we climbed up to the lookout to take in the sunset.

It seemed like the perfect start to a trip. It was still early in April. We’d had an early spring so we thought we’d head out early if we had a favourable weather report. In the end, we didn’t have a favourable weather report but one of our group had made plans for the fall back week, so we were stuck with the early date. We decided to dress warm, take lots of layers and make the best of it. We brought coats for the dogs, down coats for ourselves and the cold weather sleeping bags.

Spring trip.

  1. -Canoe lake to Joe Lake

  2. -Joe lake to Sunbeam lake

  3. -Sunbeam to Burnt Island

  4. -Burnt Island to Otterslide

  5. -Otterslide to Big Trout.

  6. -return.

Summer Trip

  1. -Kearny to

  2. -Little Misty Lk to Misty Lk

  3. -To Timberwolf Lk

  4. -To White Trout Lk

  5. -to Queer Lk to Ralph Bice Lk

On the beach ready to go - Canoe Lake April  12, 2012

Lunch on the Portage- canoe lake to Joe Lake