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How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

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Asheville, North...
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How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

My girlfriend and are planning a week-long trip to Canada from June 6 - 12. I would really like to go to Algonquin. However, I am wondering how bad the black flies and mosquitoes are during that time. I have heard that early June is supposed to be pretty bad, but I am wondering if they would be so bad as to make it not worth the trip. If we used a reasonable amount of bug spray, not talking about a DEET shower, would we be able to comfortably canoe, hike, sit around a fire, etc? This is a last trip before we part ways for a few months, and I dont want the bugs to a big downer. If they would be unbearable during this time, do you have any recommendations of places in southern Ontario that would not have so many bugs during this week?

Also, how early should one make reservations for a tent site on highway 60 or an interior spot during the above week?

Huntsville, Canada
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1. Re: How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

Q: "My girlfriend and are planning a week-long trip to Canada from June 6 - 12. I would really like to go to Algonquin. However, I am wondering how bad the black flies and mosquitoes are during that time."

Yep that's pretty much the peek of Blackfly season. I suggest investing in a BugJacket, (http://www.bugshirt.com/). The best thing about bug season is the fact that less people venture into the park so often you can get the feeling that you are the only one around for miles. Well other than a few million blackflys. :-)

From the Algonquin Outfitters website (http://www.algonquinoutfitters.com)

Black flies are a notorious biting insect found in the cold, clean water of northern regions, including Algonquin Park. They generally hatch a couple of weeks after ice-out, helped along by warm spring weather, early spring flowers and dropping water levels. The good news is that they don't bite for the first few days, even though they are quite annoying. Several days later they start looking for their blood meal. The best defenses against black flies are physical barriers (like bug hats and bug jackets), potent repellents (despite the controversy about toxicity, DEET is still the most effective) and a good sense of humour. If you don't mind the bugs, late May and early June canoe trips offer warm days, cool nights, reasonable water levels and the chance to have Algonquin Park pretty much to yourself. Late May and June is probably the best time to see moose. With aquatic plants growing and the bugs driving them out of the deep woods, moose tend to favour pond and stream edges, where they are easily seen from a canoe. Visitors from the U.S. should note that the third weekend in May is a holiday weekend in Canada.

For more Black Fly information, the Maine Nature News has some excellent information and FAQs on black flies. We wholeheartedly agree with the comments expressed by editor Robin Follette (at the top of the linked page). Substitute "Algonquin Park" for "Maine" and the philosophy expressed will work up here. (mainenature.org/blackfly/blackflyinfo.html)

Q: "Also, how early should one make reservations for a tent site on highway 60 or an interior spot during the above week?"

You can make reservations up to 5 months in advance. The earlier the better, as campsites book up, specially on long weekends in the summer, or anytime in the month of Aug.

The Official Algonquin Park website information on Campgrounds is located here: www.algonquinpark.on.ca/campcan/corridor.html

Reservation information is located here: www.algonquinpark.on.ca/geninfo/reserve.html

You can also make a reservation by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) Daily 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST

I would suggest you take a look at the map before you call as they will want to know where you will want to stay.

You can find the map to campgrounds here: www.algonquinpark.on.ca/maps/corridor_map.pdf

You can also book a campground at the park it self if your not going on a long weekend and haven't planed in advanced. Making a reservation in advance is always better though.

A non-refundable reservation fee is charged when you make your reservation. Reservations may be made by telephone or online up to 8:00 p.m. on your day of arrival. Reservations can be made 5 months before your arrival date.

Cheers

Edited: 21 May 2010, 12:23
Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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2. Re: How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

It depends on the year, but there are likely to be blackflies and misquitoes. I spend 3 days near Algonquin in mid June and the black flies were terrible. We either stayed in the cottage or ran down the hill to get in the water, I could not imagine having spent that time in a tent, cooking or using an outhouse. We rarely go up now in June..

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

Hi Soccersmitty55,

Welcome to the ALGONQUIN PARK TRAVEL FORUM.

I don’t head off to the “back country” (of which I consider Algonquin part) any more in May & June, the bugs just can be brutal… they can even eat you a live in the middle of the day… and they only get worse at night.

You might want to read my recent post on *Mosquito Season* in the OTTAWA TRAVEL FORUM = tripadvisor.ca/…26289878 paying particular attention to DARLENE-O’s Reply (# 2) she lives in the Algonquin Park area.

As for Southern Ontario… it will be “somewhat” better … BUT to be perfectly honest, June is BUG SEASON and it doesn’t really matter where you camp, they will be there… how bad will depend on the conditions… both the weather we’ve had / are having… and whether the campsite has a lot of evergreens (bugs seem to love evergreens especially cedars) and how close you are to the water etc. I personally gave up camping in May and June long ago, as it just wasn’t any fun… the bugs truly made it miserable.

Even my backyard in Ottawa has enough bugs to drive me indoors after sunset in May & June.

Sorry, I don’t have better news.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Windsor, Canada
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76 posts
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4. Re: How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

Not finding them too bad during the day, but after the sun goes down, look out! Yikes! The little buggers seem to even like the bug spray this year!

5. Re: How bad are the black flies/misquitoes in early June?

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