Algonquin & Beyond

Littledoe Lake Map & Overview

Littledoe Lake is one of the most travelled backcountry lakes in Algonquin Park. It’s part of a cluster of very popular lakes north of the Canoe Lake Access Point (#5). It also happens to be connected to four other lakes, meaning it sees plenty of people passing through during their canoe trips. With 14 backcountry campsites on the lake, it can also get pretty busy, especially during the peak summer months.

Despite its high-traffic and limited privacy, Littledoe Lake is a very pretty lake. After your first visit to the lake, it will be obvious why it appeals to many people. The campsites are nice, the scenery is beautiful, and it’s easily accessible from an access point. Most people will access Littledoe Lake from Canoe Lake, which takes only 3 hours (give or take), with just one short, easy, 240m portage. Many people will also include Littledoe Lake as part of their itinerary while doing longer loops in the area.

Littledoe Lake tends to attract people that are new to backcountry camping, who are looking for a beautiful lake that’s easy to get to. That’s not to say that experienced campers won’t be found on Littledoe Lake, but generally speaking, it’s part of many beginner-friendly canoe routes.

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

Campsites on Littledoe Lake

The campsites on Littledoe Lake, for the most part, are pretty nice. There are 14 campsites in total, and just like any other lake of that size, some campsites will be nicer than others. Many of the campsites have rocky shorelines among the long peninsulas that give the lake its characteristic look. Even the campsites towards the narrows of Little Oxtongue River are pretty nice, even though they are tucked away from the main body of the lake.

If you’re looking for aesthetic campsites, you’ll be happy with the selection on Littledoe Lake. But there are two separate things worth noting about camping on Littledoe Lake. First, Littledoe Lake is extremely popular, and very few of the campsites will offer privacy from the number of people paddling through the lake on a daily basis. Second, Littledoe Lake is part of a cluster of lakes in the area that has a higher rate of nuisance bear encounters. You shouldn’t be afraid of bears in Algonquin Park, but if you’re camping on Littledoe Lake, just know that the odds of encountering a bear will be higher compared to other areas of the park. Many of the campsites even have a cable hung between the trees, by park staff, as an official place to hang your food.

For detailed written descriptions and photos for campsites on Littledoe Lake, you can view my Campsite Reports 👇

Paddling On Littledoe Lake

Littledoe Lake is in the most popular area of Algonquin Park’s backcountry, among the cluster of lakes north of Canoe Lake Access Point. Littledoe Lake happens to be quite central among those cluster of popular lakes. Plus, Littledoe Lake connects to four other lakes, Burnt Island Lake, Bluejay Lake, Tom Thomson Lake, and Tepee Lake. All of this together means that Littledoe Lake gets a ton of traffic, with many people paddling by on a daily basis.

When paddling on Littledoe Lake, you’re likely to encounter several other people, whether they’re also paddling on the water, or setup at one of the 14 backcountry campsites. The lake itself is very pretty, with its most notable features being the long jutting peninsulas sticking out at various points throughout the lake. During the fall season, you’ll get a nice glimpse of the maple foliage along the shorelines of Littledoe Lake, which complement the rocky shorelines quite nicely.

In my opinion, it’s one of the prettier lakes in the area to paddle through.

Portaging To Littledoe Lake

As far as backcountry lakes go, Littledoe Lake is a very easy lake to access. There are four lakes that connect to Littledoe Lake, and only one of them is connected with a portage.

Burnt Island Lake is the only connecting lake with a portage. The approximately 1.3 kilometre portage has one steep incline near the middle, but is otherwise an easy portage, despite its length.

Two of the other connecting lakes are Tom Thomson Lake and Bluejay Lake. If you were coming from either of those directions, even though they connect to Littledoe Lake without any portages, there would still be a number of portages on your route before you got to those lakes.

The last connecting lake is Tepee Lake via Little Oxtongue River. This is in the direction of the Canoe Lake Access Point, and to get from the access point into Littledoe Lake only requires one portage. The very flat, easy, 240m “highway” portage. Many people will do a there-and-back to Littledoe Lake with the 240m portage being the only portage of the trip.

Littledoe Lake Trip Reports

Most of my time spent on Littledoe Lake has been brief. I’ve paddled through quickly just to reach the next lake on my journey. During my first weeklong solo trip, “The Trip of Six Islands”, Littledoe Lake greeted me with beautiful fall colours on my final day of the trip. I paddled from Bluejay Lake, across Littledoe Lake, and then south towards Tepee Lake. A pair of loons kept me company beside my canoe as I watched the occupants of Littledoe Lake start their morning routines.

But my encounter with Littledoe Lake during “The Trip of Six Islands” did not last very long. There has been only one trip where I actually spent time on the lake, stopping to check out some of the campsites. It was during an ice-out trip in 2022, appropriately titled “My First Ice Out Canoe Trip in Algonquin Park (Kind Of)”.

The Verdict... Camp or Skip?

Littledoe Lake is an easy “skip” for me. I’ve really enjoyed the few times that I’ve paddled on Littledoe Lake, but I would not treat it as an overnight destination. Its central location nearby the popular Canoe Lake Access Point results in Littledoe Lake being extremely high-traffic. Plus, Littledoe Lake, along with some of its neighbouring lakes, are known for having a higher rate of nuisance bears. I’m not afraid of bears in Algonquin Park, but I travel with my dog (dogs and bears don’t mix well), and if I had the choice between a lake known for nuisance bears, or another lake… well, I’d choose the other lake.

Many of the campsites on Littledoe Lake are attractive, and I can understand how the lake would appeal to other people. But for me, personally, there is nothing that would compel me to camp on Littledoe Lake. Algonquin Park is massive, and there are many other areas I would rather explore.

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