Algonquin & Beyond


Lake Name: Big Porcupine Lake

Number of Campsites: 16

Number of Permits Issued: 13

Closest Access Point: Smoke Lake (#6)

This Report: Campsite #1

Length of Stay: Day Visit

Date Visited: September 2023

Map of campsites on Big Porcupine Lake in Algonquin Park, updated for 2024
To purchase your own copy (physical & digital formats), visit Maps By Jeff

This is the type of campsite that draws your attention from far away. It has a massive, elevated rocky shoreline that’s clearly visible once you enter into that section of the lake. I really enjoy campsites with big rocky shorelines, but they often don’t have a good spot to land the canoe. This campsite thankfully had a tiny section of flat beach nestled at the corner of the shoreline. If water levels were higher, that tiny little section of beach probably wouldn’t exist. It was ok to leave my canoe unattended while scouting the site, but I wouldn’t feel confident leaving it there for an extended period of time, or if there was any wind blowing. But enough about the landing. The main site is situated up high, and there’s a rather steep climb to get there. There’s a huge fireplace with seating that’s way too far away from the actual fire pit (but I’m sure it can be moved, and by the time you’re reading this, it probably already has been). A couple meters away is a big area that could easily house two or three tents. The site is sheltered with some very tall and large trees, and even though they’ll block the daylight, they still allow the campsite to feel spacious. It’s like the equivalent of having 14ft ceilings at your home. The standout feature of this site, however, is the massive boulder on top of the already rocky and elevated shoreline. It sits just beside a secondary fire pit, out in the open. It has a large fallen tree as makeshift seating. I climbed to the top of the boulder with Elo and it offered a commanding view out onto the western shoreline of Big Porcupine Lake. It was exceptionally pretty. Knowing me, if I camped at this site, I probably would have squished my two-person tent behind the fallen tree, used the secondary fire pit, and likely wouldn’t have even gone into the main campsite other than to use the thunder box. I only wish this campsite had a better canoe landing. There was also one spotty bar of cell service at this campsite, if you care about that.

1) Follow Leave No Trace (LNT); leave the campsite in better condition than you found it!
2) The campsite numbering system (for backcountry canoeing) is not official from Ontario Parks. It is a community-based effort for easy referencing.
3) Reservations for backcountry canoeing are lake-specific, not campsite-specific. You do not reserve a specific campsite. Campsites are first-come-first-serve.
4) Only camp on lakes where you have a valid permit; do not camp off-permit.
5) Physical campsite features can change throughout the season (eg. water levels, leaf fall) and due to human intervention (eg. fire pit, seating).
6) To book a reservation, visit the Ontario Parks website:

Algonquin & Beyond is not affiliated with Algonquin Park or Ontario Parks.

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