Algonquin & Beyond

Lake Louisa Map & Overview

Lake Louisa is a very popular lake in Algonquin Park, and for good reason. Visually, the lake is very beautiful. You can spend hours paddling around the lake and never tire of its views. The campsites on Lake Louisa—with more than 20 to choose from—are almost all top-notch as well. Personally, I don’t fish, but I’ve heard the fishing on Lake Louisa isn’t too bad either!

There is no easy way to get into Lake Louisa. The quickest option is to portage from Rock Lake into Lake Louisa, but there’s a 3 kilometre portage standing in your way like the final boss in a video game. This route will take approximately three hours of travel time, assuming you single-carry portages, and assuming you don’t get stuck in front of a headwind or needing to zig-zag your way across the lake searching for a vacant campsite.

There are a number of other entrances into Lake Louisa as well, but they’re all even farther away from an access point and will often be a two-day journey. The inaccessibility of Lake Louisa is what draws so many seasoned campers to the lake. The long portages do a great job of weeding out the type of campers that bring big coolers and heavy gear with them.

There are a number of canoe routes that incorporate Lake Louisa into the loop, but doing a there-and-back from Rock Lake is a popular option as well. Lake Louisa is a great choice no matter what type of trip you’re planning, from a weekend basecamp trip to a weeklong 100km route. Its central location makes it flexible to fit into almost any canoe route south of Highway 60.

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

Campsites on Lake Louisa

One of the reasons that Lake Louisa is so popular is because of its beautiful campsites. There are more than 20 campsites on the lake, and the vast majority of them are aesthetic campsites.

A typical campsite on Lake Louisa has a large rocky shoreline with a spacious interior and a well-built fire pit. There are some exceptions, but unless you’re arriving late in the day and you get last pick of campsites, you can expect to find something that you’ll be very happy to call home for the evening. Even if you happen to arrive late and get last pick, don’t worry, a bad campsite on Lake Louisa is still better than most campsites elsewhere in Algonquin Park.

I’m particularly fond of Campsite #3, Campsite #13, and Campsite #18 on Lake Louisa. But everyone has their own preferences when it comes to campsites, those are just the ones that I like the best on the lake.

I’ve been able to document almost every single campsite on Lake Louisa. For detailed written descriptions and photos of each campsite, you can view my Campsite Reports 👇

Paddling On Lake Louisa

Paddling on Lake Louisa sure is a treat. The lake is quite large and can take up to two hours to paddle from one end of the lake to the other. But honestly, two hours paddling on Lake Louisa isn’t all that bad. In those two hours you’ll be treated to beautiful landscapes with rolling hills in the distance, several islands scattered throughout the lake, and countless campsites with large chunks of rock dotting the shorelines.

Lake Louisa is a lake worth camping at for multiple nights, so that you can spend time during your off-days paddling around and exploring the lake. The perimeter of the shoreline isn’t the most wildlife-friendly habitat (eg. no shallow, marshy waters), but the lack of wildlife opportunities is more than made up for with the visual beauty of the lake’s surroundings. You can spend several hours circling the lake, venturing into its number of bays and inlets, and never tire of the views.

Due to its large size, Lake Louisa can get pretty choppy in windy conditions. The wind predominantly comes from the west, so make sure you check the forecast before heading out on your trip, and plan accordingly.

Portaging To Lake Louisa

Lake Louisa is in the belly of the region of Algonquin Park that’s south of Highway 60. You can portage into Lake Louisa five different ways.

First up is Rock Lake. Lake Louisa is only one portage away from Rock Lake. But don’t get too excited just yet, because that portage is 3 kilometres long. Thankfully, the portage is well-maintained and relatively flat, making it an easy travel, despite its length. The canoe landing on the Rock Lake side is a flat beach, while the canoe landing on the Lake Louisa side is a bit trickier to navigate with its large rocky shoreline.

The next option is the 2,880m portage from Florence Lake into Lake Louisa. There also happens to be a 1,730m portage also from Florence Lake into Lake Louisa, which gets used much more frequently. Who would want to portage 2,880m instead of 1,730m!? Well, the reason is because it takes you to the opposite side of Lake Louisa. But still, the 1,730m is the preferred choice. There’s a very steep incline right at the Lake Louisa end of the portage, but otherwise, it’s not too difficult.

Next is the 1,490m portage from North Grace Lake. There’s nothing overly challenging about this route, but the portage does have its fair share of ups-and-downs to make sure you break a sweat before you get to Lake Louisa.

Last is the 500m portage from Rod & Gun Lake. If you’re travelling from Rod & Gun Lake into Lake Louisa, you’ll be following a steady incline throughout the 500m. Thankfully it’s only 500m and not any longer! The canoe landings on both sides are both easily accessible; you won’t be treated to a large beach, but there are no impediments to landing and unloading your canoe. 

Lake Louisa Trip Reports

I haven’t actually kept track, but I have a feeling that Lake Louisa is one of the lakes that I’ve been to the most in Algonquin Park. I’ve paddled through the lake a number of times, and have camped on the lake a number of times as well.

The loop from Rock Lake through Pen Lake, Welcome Lake, and Lake Louisa is a staple canoe route that I’ve done on a handful of different occasions. I’ve also done a simple there-and-back from Rock Lake into Lake Louisa. In 2022, during my trip “The Big Dipper — 8 Days Alone in Algonquin” I took the less-travelled route from North Grace Lake into the west end of Lake Louisa via the 1,490m portage. I was fortunate to camp on one of the beautiful island campsites during that trip.

Feel free to check out my Trip Reports for more — there are a whole bunch that include Lake Louisa!

The Verdict... Camp or Skip?

A trip to Lake Louisa? Yes please! If you’ve read my Trip Reports or Campsite Reports, you’d probably already know the verdict for this one. I’ve been to Lake Louisa a number of times, and every time I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay. It’s a popular lake, and for good reason.

The only reason I don’t visit Lake Louisa even more often is because of the portaging required to access the lake. I travel solo and double-carry my portages, meaning the 3 kilometre portage from Rock Lake would turn into 9 kilometres, and the thought of that makes me shudder. Despite being not easy to access, Lake Louisa is a favourite among myself and many other campers. The verdict is an easy ‘camp’ for Lake Louisa.

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