Accessible Paradise

Noganosh Park's lakes and rivers is populated with monster pike and feisty bass

If you’re looking for a place to paddle, to camp among stout white pine, catch trophy bass and pike—and not drive endless hours to get there—then try Noganosh Lake Provincial Park. The 3,000-hectare protected area was formed in 2003 through Ontario’s Living Legacy initiative, and long before it became a park where I’d paddle, camp, and fish. It’s always offered a perfect place for me to escape busier areas like Algonquin to the east, Georgian Bay to the west, and the French River to the north.

Getting There Is Half the Fun

There are several ways to access Noganosh, including two public launches west of the town of Loring, but Tornados Resort and Pine Grove Resort are my preferred options. They’re just east of Fleming Landing, and for a small fee provide a secure place to park your vehicle. They’re also nice places to spend a night before or after your trip. At Tornadoes, you can even book a bush plane into Noganosh or countless other lakes in the area.

From either resort, you launch into the Pickerel River which is simply an extension of Kawigamong Lake—named after the steamboat that worked the area lakes in the early 1900s. Paddle west for 6 km before veering south at Long Island to the first of three short portages along Smoky Creek.

kevin callan northern pike
Kevin Callan hoists a chunky northern pike from the Noganosh Provincial Park area in Northeastern Ontario. (Photo credit: Kevin Callan)

Bass, Pike and Unlimited Exploration

Noganosh is an unmaintained provincial park—which basically means it’s a free place to explore. You can spend an entire week paddling and camping on the four lakes that connect to Smoky—Noganosh, Last, John, and Mud Lakes. All as beautiful as Smoky, and all populated with monster pike and feisty large and smallmouth bass. There’s a lot of water to explore, and many appealing islands and outcrops to camp on.

I find the trick for large smallmouth is to locate semi-hidden rocky shoals on Smoky and Noganosh Lakes, casting where other anglers haven’t even considered. My preference, however, is to fish John and Mud Lakes. Massive largemouth bass and pike lurk in the weeds, and they love grabbing surface lures.

No matter which lake you choose, you can dangle your line over the canoe gunwale anywhere amongst the wilds of Loring-Restoule Region and catch a fish. This chunk of lakes, rock, and pine is an absolute dreamscape.

About Kevin Callan

Kevin Callan is the author of fifteen books, including the bestselling The Happy Camper, and a popular series of paddling guides. He has been a key speaker at all the major outdoor events for over 25 years. Callan is also a frequent guest on radio and television and a regular contributor to Explore and CanoeRoots Magazine. He is a winner of several National Magazine Awards and film awards and was listed as one of the top 100 modern-day explorers by the Canadian Geographical Society. He was also made Patron Paddler for Paddle Canada.

Recommended Articles

3 Great Ontario Walleye Destinations

Karl of Extreme Angler recommends must do walleye lakes in Ontario.

5 Places to Shore Fish

Fish’n Canada shows you where to go shore fishing in Ontario.

Top 5 Musky Destinations in Ontario

The Musky Hunter shows you where to land the best musky in Ontario waters.

Ontario Brook Trout

Fish these 10 sweet spots.

Lake of the Woods

10 Facts You Didn't Know

Exclusive Video

How To Zero In On Lake Trout

Top 5 Flies for Smallmouth Bass

The inside scoop on bass flies from the hosts of The New Fly Fisher.

Top 10 Ice Fishing Lakes

Every kind of fish and experience—Ontario ice fishing is some of the best in the world.

5 Keys To Canadian Muskies

The fish of 10,000 casts; an elusive predator fish with legend and lore.

Hidden Musky Gems

The Musky Hunter shares 3 favourite musky hot spots across Ontario.

Fishing and Foraging

Add some fresh foods and forage to your fishing adventures!

Steelhead and Salmon of Northern Ontario

Ontario's north is home to tributaries of Lake Superior and Lake Huron—and many species of salmon and steelhead

Top 5 Baits for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

What baits do you use to target bass? Find out why these 5 are the best!

Steelhead of the Upper Ganaraska

Known to most trout and salmon anglers as one of Ontario’s most popular fishing destinations.

Wind, Cloud & Walleye

How Weather is Important to Walleye Anglers

Pike Aplenty

Fishing for Pike Has Been a Picnic in Northern Ontario This Fall Season

Musky Mayhem in the Kawarthas

Experience top notch musky fishing on Buckhorn Lake in the heart of the Kawarthas.

The Ontario Fall Crappie Hunt

Ontario's 400,000 lakes are home to a variety of fish species.

Fall Walleye

Using Chub, Bottom Bouncers and Beads

An Angler’s Perspective on Northern Ontario

Find Your Favourite Fishing Adventure in the North.