As a teenager, I spent many summers running around Algonquin Park
. I worked for four summers at a kids camp that bordered Ontario's oldest Provincial Park and guided tons of kids on its endless rivers and lakes. Some of best memories ever were during those four summers.
I loved that park so much that I used to have a canoe routes map pinned to the wall that I would stare at during the dark days of winter.
A whole pile of new memories came flooding back recently when I discovered a brand new map
developed by Jeffrey A. McMurtrie, a York University
student. Boy, has he done a fantastic job!
Jeffrey started working on the map back in August 2006 and developed it mainly because he because frustrated trying to navigate with some of the serious errors in the official map which had misplaced lakes or other lakes with too many bays listed. Jeffrey is also a bit of a history buff and felt that the maps could be a great place to outline some of the amazing cultural and natural history of Algonquin Park.
This map is different as it includes a couple of key features that have been removed the official canoe routes map including buildings and the many logging roads scattered throughout the park. There is extensive historical information all over the map including current and former ranger cabins, recent forest fires old lake names as well as sites of some of the infamous murders
in the park. Fisher people will also like the fact that the majority of the lakes are labeled with information on what you can expect to haul in on that $10 fishing rod you brought along.
Basically, there is more information then you could ever want or need.Downloading
it from his site is the preferred method (he is working on selling a printed version of the map) and it is available in a huge variety of formats including several size versions of the full map as well as an 84 page map book. If you are only going to a small area of the park, Jeffrey split the map up into 75 smaller maps that print directly to 8.5"x11" paper. Do you have access to a wide format printer? Grab the specific file that will print the map out in a giant poster (33" by 48"). For the tech geeks, you can download his original Adobe Illustrator file (110megs) if you want to make your own edits.
Finally, arm chair explorers can download the entire map as a flash document which allows you to zoom, pan and navigate throughout the park till you have traveled all 2000km of the interconnected canoe routes.
It's amazing and I don't know of any other park ever that has such a fantastic resource that is completely free to anybody who wants it.
More info: algonquinmap.com