Workshops / Workshops / Algonquin Backcountry Adventure: Cameras & Canoes
For the 4th year in a row, Helen is excited to partner with Algonquin Outfitters to offer nautre-lovers an unforgettable photography adventure in Algonquin Park: a day in the backcountry in a canoe with your camera!
Slip into your canoe and glide quietly down one of the park's interior creeks that's best known for wildlife viewing. We'll photograph whatever Mother Nature puts on our path, but this workshop is timed specifically for two main events -- moose feeding on aquatic vegetation, and the appearance of golden calves. Spend a day on the water, surrounded by gorgeous scenery, as you paddle past beaver lodges, marshy grasses, and among the lilies, soaking in all of Mother Nature's goodness as you go. We may capture a cow moose feeding at the water's edge while her calf looks on from the shore, or a tender moment between mum and baby. We may capture a bull wading in water and gorging on lilies, and listen to the call of loons and watch as they hunt for food. This trip is suitable for all nature-lovers and anyone looking for a unique experience off the beaten path.
Canoe, paddle, PFD (lifejacket), & safety kit
Algonquin Outfitters' water taxi to the mouth of the creek
Brown bag lunch by The Mad Musher
(wrap, juice box, piece of fruit)
Individualized in-field photography instruction and back-of-camera critique, as required
What's Not Included:
Transportation to/from Algonquin Outfitter's Opeongo Store
Items for your personal comfort, including snacks, hydration & personal protective equipment (PPE)
$445 +HST per person
Payment is due in full upon booking, and is non-refundable.
"8 hours of paddling went by so quickly - an amazing tour. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
5:30 a.m. - Meet at Algonquin Outfitters' (AO) Opeongo Store in Algonquin Park. Full details will be emailed to you prior to the workshop
6:00 a.m. - Water taxi ride to the mouth of the creek
6:20 a.m. - Unload the water taxi, load up our canoes with our gear, take a quick pit stop, then launch our canoes & set out along the creek
We'll explore the backcountry by canoe until the water taxi picks us up again, with brief stops on shore for bathroom & lunch breaks
3:30 p.m. - Meet the water taxi and head back to the Opeongo Store
4:00 p.m. - Workshop Conclusion
Watch this video for a taste of this incredible adventure!
What to Expect:
A fun day in Algonquin's interior! We'll be spending a lot of time on the water, but the pace will be slow & leisurely.
You will be paddling your own canoe, which will likely be shared with another participant. Your gear will be in the canoe with you, so you're able to stop at any point to take photos.
The probability of wildlife (we can never guarantee that part).
Individualized photography instruction and back-of-camera critique from Helen, as required.
A mix of photography & paddling skill levels - you will most likely be paired up in a canoe with another participant.
Adventure rain or shine! Some of the best photo opportunities happen during poor weather, but please come prepared with rain gear for you and your camera.
Biting bugs -- yes, it's Algonquin in spring! A bug jacket and bug spray are mandatory for this adventure. We spend most of our time on the water, which limits our exposure to them.
We will stop and head ashore for bathroom breaks, but will be on the water as possible. There are no "washroom facilities", so please be prepared (mentally & physically) to go "al fresco" and use a tree -- and pack out all garbage, including used toilet paper.
When we arrive at the mouth of the creek, we will be unloading onto a small island. You will be required to hop off the boat onto an uneven rock face - your feet may get wet. We'd advise you to bring a small towel to dry your feet, wear wool socks, and bring a spare pair of socks.
Register today for Friday, june 2
Register today for Sunday, june 4
"Such an amazing day... the beauty of Algonquin, of being on the water, and being with like-spirited company... it couldn't be better."
"The backcountry workshop was fantastic. It was simply wonderful enjoying a remote area of Algonquin Park by canoe. The beautiful sights and sounds of nature was calming, relaxing, and awe inspiring. Having my camera to capture the gorgeous landscape and exciting moments when wildlife was spotted seemed like an added bonus to the whole experience."
"Learning new information about settings - I ended getting a much higher percentage of great shots."
"Thank you again Helen for such a special day yesterday. Your thoughtful and well executed itinerary combined with your knowledge, experience and ability allowed me to experience Algonquin Park in a way I could never have done otherwise. I love the reel you put on Instagram, and I sent it to my kids so they could see that Mom had a good day. Although they are far from National Geographic quality, I am absolutely delighted with my photos."
While this workshop is designed to be reasonably accessible, there's a fair degree of exertion involved and participants must be comfortable performing these activities during a full day, as there will be no option to leave the workshop early. We have a scheduled water taxi service and are unable to call to change our pick-up time. Activities include, but are not limited to: paddling a canoe for hours at a time (sitting or kneeling), climbing into and out of a canoe & speedboat from various surfaces (including a dock, a beach, a rocky island, and uneven, wet, sandy and muddy ground, as well as swampy or spongy surfaces, and shallow water), lifting your camera gear and personal items into and out of a moving boat, pulling your canoe out of the water onto shore for breaks and to cross beaver dams, and putting it back in the water after. Your feet will get wet. It is your responsibility to know your limits and pace yourself accordingly.
Worried about the bugs? Don't be!
Because we're heading into the interior in the height of "bug season", I want to make sure you're properly prepared. That means having a bug jacket and bug spray. But... when we're on the water, which is where we'll be spending most of the day, the bugs typically don't bother us. They're at their worst when we head ashore for bathroom breaks, so I'd encourage you to watch this video to see what I do to help keep the bugs at bay.
About Helen E. Grose - Your Guide & Instructor!
Helen is a professional photographer who lives in the heart of Muskoka an hour away from Algonquin Park's West Gate. She first fell in love with Algonquin Park in high school -- during a canoe trip with girls from each grade. Her school's motto, "Mens sana in corpore sano" (a healthy mind in a healthy body), was ingrained in her, as she participated in these yearly
canoe trips, as well as dog-sled expeditions in winter. Now, she spends as much time in the park as possible -- hiking trails with her dogs, exploring with her camera, and leading & teaching clients, who will hopefully come away with a new, or renewed passion for Algonquin and all its incredible wildlife residents.
Helen's images have been published around the globe and she's often been described as an animal whisperer. Currently, Helen teaches nature and landscape photography at Georgian College and prides herself on using simple, easy to understand language.
During this adventure, Helen will touch on ethics in wildlife photography, as it’s an important part of any authentic encounter. While every effort is made to find wildlife to photograph, there are many factors outside our control and, therefore, no guarantees are made.
About Algonquin Provincial Park
Originally established as "Algonquin National Park of Ontario" in 1893, Algonquin Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Due to a movement to create a true national parks system in 1913, its name was changed to what it's known as today, Algonquin Provincial Park. The park covers approximately 7,653 square kilometres of land between northern and southern Ontario. Roughly a 3.5 hour drive north of Toronto, a 3 hour drive west of Ottawa, and a 3 hour drive south-east of Sudbury, Algonquin Park is easily accessible to a large population, making it a favourite playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The mix of coniferous and deciduous forests found within the park's boundaries make it home to a diverse number of flora and fauna. As a result, Algonquin is one of the most well-researched parks in the country. Algonquin Park has a rich history, which includes logging, railway and, of course, the arts as a favourite subject - and place of death - of the famed Tom Thompson.
About Algonquin Outfitters
Since 1961, Algonquin Outfitters has been providing high-quality Algonquin Park backcountry adventures for the entire family. They specialize in all-inclusive guided canoe trips, lightweight canoe rentals and camping packages designed to suit a wide variety of needs and preferences.
Algonquin Outfitters’ family of retail stores in Algonquin Park, Muskoka and Haliburton Highlands has a wide range of retail equipment to fuel your adventure, including technical clothing, outerwear and casual wear, road and mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks, camping gear, wakeboards, waterskis and much more.
Let their experienced and knowledgeable staff help outfit your adventure in the great outdoors today!