My eight year old daughter and I flew from Vancouver Island (where there are no moose) to Ottawa for a week of Canada Day festivities, with a three day trip to Algonquin Park in the middle with the specific goal of seeing moose, our favourite animal, which neither of us had ever seen aside from one that I'd seen briefly in Quebec when I was a child. As we were coming across the country, travelling light, we couldn't camp, so rather than an overnight canoe trip, I did some research and determined a guided canoe day trip with Algonquin Outfitters was our best bet. Thankfully, on our way to meet our guide at the Opeongo Lake store at 6:45 AM, we saw a beautiful cow moose in a wooded marsh, and took some beautiful photos. The pressure was off! However, I can't say enough wonderful things about our guided trip through the marshy creek at the end of Opeongo Lake. We went in to two canoes, with our guide Emily in one canoe with another guest, and my daughter and me in a second canoe (I'm very experienced). After a 20 minute ride across the lake in a water taxi (motor boat with canoes on top), we entered the marshy creek. We paddled for about 90 minutes, seeing no moose, but Emily pointed out turtles, hawks, and we saw countless active beaver lodges. On our way back to the meet-up point, we saw something far up creek, and we all thought it might be another large beaver lodge, until we saw it move, and up out of the marsh came a large set of antlers. We paddled like Olympians to get close, and we ended up viewing this huge bull moose from about 50 meters away for about five minutes. For my daughter and me, it was a dream come true to see a bull moose, in a marsh, eating lily pads, two days before Canada Day. Emily knew where the moose might be, and got us to that spot. It was perfect. It really could not have been a more perfect trip. If your time is limited, or you're not an expert paddler, and if you want to put yourself in the best position to see moose, definitely do a guided day trip with Algonquin Outfitters. Emily helped create memories that will truly last a lifetime.
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