Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park: Wolf Lake to Crab Lake with Young Kids (2 days / 10 km)

A beautiful camping view of Kawartha Highlands Crab Lake

This was a short introduction trip for my 8 and 9-year-olds. They’ve been backcountry in the past as passengers with my wife and me, but this was an opportunity to get them involved in more of the work and to carry a load while out in the woods and water. This was a slow-paced and relaxing trip with plenty of camp time and swimming, paddling and fishing in the water adjacent to the camp.

All in all, this was a pretty smooth trip and successful in getting the kids working without overwhelming them. A bit of a challenge on the paddle in, but once we got there we had the southeast arm of the lake all to ourselves to swim, fish and explore. 

Trip Completed: June 2021

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Wolf Lake Access, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Ending Point: Wolf Lake Access, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Total Distance: 10.4 km

Duration: 2 days + 2 rest days

Difficulty: Easy


This route takes place in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Mississauga and Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ (source). 

Maps & Resources

Map: Unlostify Kawartha Highlands (First Edition)

Campsite Reservations: Campsite reservations are required through the Ontario Parks Reservation Portal.

Permits: Print two copies: one for the car, one to carry (though nobody ever asked for one).

Outfitters & Shuttles

Outfitter: We rented a canoe from Kawartha Adventure Rentals, which included delivery to Wolf Lake access. They were very helpful and accommodated an early pickup on the last day, when we got in at 12:00 rather than 3:30 (to beat the incoming wind).

Shuttle: No shuttle needed. Parking is available at Wolf Lake Access. 

Trip Report


I worked out a menu in advance with the kids to try to get the buy-in of occasionally picky eaters and get them excited to help cook. 

Breakfasts: Day 1&3 - Oatm...

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