Good news. A new company has launched a series of maps for Ontario paddlers. These maps are printed on a grease-, tear- and water-resistant FSC paper. This, of course, means they are not waterproof—but a good map case will easily solve that issue. Plus, these maps can be written on with a regular pen or pencil. I prefer it this way so I can scribble notes along my route choice.
The maps are highly detailed, at unusually large scales (scale 1:36,000, 1:18,000 and 1:16,000). Each shows campsite locations, portages, contour lines, navigation obstacles, trails and points of interest. They also are packaged in a folder system, so they can be tucked away on your bookshelf when not in use. That’s a big bonus to me. And each map folder comes with a separate note booklet and scale ruler.
There are three locations in the series so far: Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands, Haliburton Highlands Water Trails, and Wolf/Crab Lakes and area (part of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park).
Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands is the second-largest wilderness area in South Central Ontario, with a number of short paddle routes. It also contains the “wilderness” section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. Its landscape is made up of rolling rock outcrops capped with oak and pine, and several small lakes and ponds. There are two maps in the folder. One for the Wildlands East, The Big Loop (scale 1:36,000) and the second for Wildlands West, Black River (scale 1:36,000).
Haliburton Highlands Waterway Trail is set in central Ontario’s cottage country and has countless short canoe routes to explore. The landscape is similar to its neighbouring Algonquin Provincial Park and is an absolute gem for paddlers. There are two maps, one for the Poker Lake loop (scale 1:36,000) and another for the Frost Centre area (scale 1:18,000)
The Wolf/Crab Lakes are part of the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, located just north of Peterborough Ontario. This is a single map (scale 1:16,000) of two of the nicest lakes in the park. The route is a popular one, with only one short portage reaching scenic campsites.
The maps range from $14 to $18, depending on the number of maps in each folder. It would've been nicer to see a full map of the Kawartha Highlands Park rather than just Wolf and Crab Lakes, but all the maps are extremely detailed and cover some of my favourite places to paddle in central Ontario.