Website: Ontario Parks or Elliot Lake Tourism
Camping Facilities: Backcountry (excellent car camping also available in the park)
Stargazing: Good on a clear night
Summary: Disorganized but easily accessible backcountry camping
Thoughts: I had been dreaming about backcountry camping in Mississagi for quite a while. It's a bit further than the backcountry crown jewels of Algonquin, Killarney or Temagami, but it was smaller and promised smaller crowds as a result of its distance. I finally had an opportunity to get in my boat and paddle out into the interior in the summer of 2015, exploring beyond the excellent car camping that's available in the park. Unfortunately, I must report that I was disappointed.
The first thing I should state is that Helenbar Lake and Semiwite Lake are beautiful lakes. Semiwite
|Well-marked trailhead from Semiwite Lake|
|A horrible campsite on Semiwite Lake|
In summary, this is a beautiful spot, and, given it's distance from major urban centres, there is a high likelihood that you'll find seclusion on scenic Helenbar. I sincerely doubt my experience was typical and I imagine you'll have the Helenbar site all to yourself if you book it. But if you're arriving late in the evening and a hiker has usurped your site, you're going to be mightily annoyed. So if you think a late arrival is a possibility, you might want to reconsider, or at least spend the first night in the excellent car camping area (I stress this because so much of the car campground is top notch). There are also other canoe camping options in the area that you might consider, but I can't speak to their quality. Good luck!
The best site on Semiwite
- also has a hiking trail cutting through it
|Moonrise over Semiwite Lake|