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Fireside Tales

Share Your Story

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about the camping experience is the conversations I have by the campfire with that one person always coughing from the smoke that seemingly follows them. Stuff of nostalgia.

So... I thought 'why not have a story contest?' That way we can have a bit of the experience during all the times we can't be in Algonquin.

It doesn't have to be a story about a super long or crazy trip, but even a tale of an afternoon in Algonquin would be wonderful. This way we'll end up with a collection of stories that anyone can read over next time they're longing for Algonquin :).

Read Week 1's Stories

Read Week 2's Stories

Read & Vote on Week 3's Stories


No contest would be complete about prizes, so I've decided to reward each weeks winner (determined by the number of votes the story gets) with a custom one-of-a-kind map of their favourite Algonquin lake - cut in wood! They'll take a couple of months to produce (they're each custom and hand-made,) so I wanted to give you something else as well... a lifetime subscription to my map. Every time I create a new Algonquin map I'll drop you a copy in the mail. Pretty awesome eh?

Win a Custom Cut-in-Wood Map +
My Algonquin Map - For a Lifetime


This is the last week of the contest. All entries must be submitted by 4pm on August 25th.

Just to make it clear, by entering this contest all I get is the right to share the story. I won't own it. I'm just looking to share it with the Algonquin community at large.

Even if you don't win, I'll be entering everyone who enters into a raffle at the end of the 4 weeks and choosing another name for another custom 'your favourite Algonquin lake cut-in-wood' map and lifetime subscription to the map.

Get writing, and be sure to let your friends know so they can share in the fun too :)

Here's My Story

Serendipity on Heart Attack Hill

Ever since I was 8 (when I took my first canoe trip,) I've always liked exploring new parts of Algonquin. I've always found it invigorating seeing what's around the next bend in the river.

This time I was exploring the northwest corner of the park. Not having any experience in the area I didn't know what to expect (I hadn't yet created my map).

As I was travelling south from Erables L towards Nadine L, I came upon a portage that seemed like any other. Yes, it was almost a kilometre long, but in the scheme of things that didn't sound too bad. Now I know what it has the name Heart Attack Hill.

For 700m the portage was straight uphill. Not uphill with some flat spots where you could rest, but uphill the whole way. In 30 degree heat.

95m of elevation gain later I was at the top.

You'd think that'd be a good thing, but descending the hill you just climbed at a 40 degree angle is surprisingly difficult should you not want to have a close encounter with the ground.

Unfortunately that wasn't the last portage for the day, so by the time I hit the last portage of the day I was exhausted and unbelievably hot - until I found a black pipe sticking out of the side of a hill midway though the last portage. Touching the water that trickled through it, it was ice cold. I'd found my first spring water!

As my canteens frosted up from the cold water I was refreshed and reinvigorated. What an amazing feeling. That one moment made the entire day worthwhile.

Image provided by Stephanie Wallace Photography. Some rights reserved.