Stewart Lake Loop Canoe Trip 2017
Following the success of prior father-daughter canoe trips with Sophie in 2012, 2013, and 2014, this year Sophie, Celeste and I paddled with Aaron and Genevieve on the Stewart Lake Loop, over half of which lies in Winnage Lake Provincial Park, near the Experimental Lakes in northwestern Ontario. Having canoed in the area previously, Aaron suggested this route, which was a perfect four-day trip for three girls and their dads on August 28-31, 2017.
photo: Genevieve and Sophie play a game of Freeze as Celeste watches and Aaron paddles on Stewart Lake on our first day.
We loaded our canoe onto the car roof on Monday morning (rented from Wilderness Supply) and drove east, stopping for lunch at Nite Hawk Cafe in West Hawk Lake. Access to Stewart Lake is via a short dirt road (less than 1 km long) south of Hwy 17, about 65 km east of Kenora. We were on the water shortly after 3:00 pm. The water level was sufficiently high to allow us to paddle through the first short portage from Stewart Lake directly to Lower Stewart Lake, where we camped our first night. We checked three potential campsites (one of which was occupied) before choosing our home for the night.
photo: The girls enjoyed swimming, dinner on our granite kitchen floor, and roasting marshmallows on the campfire, before being treated to a beautiful sunset over Lower Stewart Lake.
On Day 2 we had portages to Geejay Lake and Manomin Lake, where we camped. The kids' enthusiasm was awesome, carrying loaded packs on every portage (single carry on all except the last portage on Day 4) and volunteering to filter water and clean dishes at the campsite.
photo: Sophie, Genevieve, and Celeste filter water before leaving our campsite at Lower Stewart Lake.
On Day 3 we had one portage to Winnage Lake, where we camped on the beautiful beach on the northeast shore. On our final day (Day 4) we had one portage back to Stewart Lake, before returning to Winnipeg, with a stop for a late lunch (and beer) at the Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. taproom in Kenora (which we recommend).
photo: exploring the campsite on Manomin Lake on Day 2
We had sunshine, an amazing absence of bugs, and friendly winds. The kids had a great time, as did their dads. Thanks Aaron for coordinating a fun canoe trip for all five of us!
photo: As on previous canoe trips, the hammock was always popular at the campsite.
photo: Aaron returns from a solo paddle to fish near our campsite on Winnage Lake on Day 3.
photo: This beach campsite was amazing. There are three or four campsites along this stretch of beach, but we had the entire place to ourselves.

photo: All three girls enjoy the hammock together on our last morning. Although this photo is backlit, the air was hazier on our last day due to smoke from forest fires in northern Manitoba.
photo: Celeste drinks her morning hot chocolate before our last day in the canoe.
photo: We pack the canoe before paddling towards our last portage from Winnage Lake back to Stewart Lake on Day 4.
Return to Steph's Homepage