Trip Recap: Inaugural Canoe Trip

The Quiet Guiding Co.’s inaugural canoe trip was everything I hoped it would be: spectacular weather, manageable bugs, and most importantly, fabulous clients who really bought into what Quiet Guiding Co. is all about.

Inaugural canoe trip

Route Overview

If you’ve spent any time as a paddler in Killarney (or looking at forums and posts about canoeing in Killarney), the Bell – Balsam – David Lakes route is probably pretty familiar to you. Or the reverse, as the couple who took our picture at the put-in were doing. Loads of canoeists love to do it for the chance to hike Silver Peak in addition to reasonable portages.

For those of you who are new to Killarney or perhaps to this route, we put in at Bell Lake. We stayed on Bell / Three Mile Lake the first night, but probably could have pushed into Balsam Lake based on the group’s energy. On day two we paddled into Balsam Lake (one 30m portage) and then into David Lake (one 665m portage) before settling on a site for two nights. Then we paddled back out to Bell Lake on day four (two portages: one 200m and one 745m one).

Inaugural canoe trip route

Weather and Bugs

We enjoyed sunshine and temperatures ranging from 23°C to 27°C during the day and a consistent 20°C at night. The black flies were gone, thankfully. The deer and horseflies ran laps around us but weren’t super aggressive (yet). The mosquitoes were persistent. I watched a dragonfly catch and eat a deer fly on our base camp day, so thank you dragon fly.

Inaugural canoe trip sunset
Photo credit: Kristen M.


Beyond the bugs, we spent time watching a snapping turtle swimming the shoreline of our David Lake campsite. We spotted a deer before our last portage back into Bell Lake (note: that was the first time I’ve seen a deer on one of my Killarney trips. Bears? Sure! Deer, my very first.). We squealed at the cuteness overload of a mama merganser and her EIGHT trailing babies. Eight! We fell asleep to loons calling, barred owls hooting, and bullfrogs barking.

The Soft Stuff

Before we took off, I worried whether or not I’d be able to create the space I wanted to on trip. I needn’t have worried. The women on this trip understood the value of self-care and space. They balanced that with strength and humor on the portage trails and persistence as we looked for a campsite on a busy David Lake. My heart smiled throughout the entire trip.

inaugural canoe trip appetizer
Photo credit: Kristen M.

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Inaugural canoe trip