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Published By Todd Lucier on January 9th, 2014 in Edge Insider
Winter dreams of Algonquin Park might be centred around the idea of living in a log cabin. Like many of the early park rangers, Tom Wattie, Algonquin Park ranger in the northwest part of Algonquin Park spent many lonely days tending the fire in his log cabin on North Tea Lake.
A few years ago, Tom’s grandson visited us and shared his grandfather’s diary. The entries looked something like this:
Jan 5: Buckd wood
Jan 6: Buckd wood
Jan 7: Buckd wood
Jan 8: Not feeling well
Jan 12: Buckd wood
Bucking wood – splitting and stacking fire wood to keep the cabin warm was perhaps the most important thing a semi-literate backcountry ranger did with his time.
Not only was the early life of a park ranger in Algonquin Park a solitary one (on the eye for wildlife and forest poachers and forest fires), it was also a difficult life. Looking after the basic needs of oneself largely meant keeping warm. Polar Vortexes are not unusual occurrences at Algonquin Park, winters here can be downright cold, regularly dipping into the -30’s in January.
Back in the day, a park ranger lived in a poorly insulated log cabin. Feeding the fire was more about survival than ambiance.
Today, guests at Northern Edge Algonquin can sleep soundly in a forest cabin and gather for meals and entertaining educational programs in a 120-year-old rebuilt log cabin on an Explorer’s Cabin package. More than just an Algonquin Park log cabin rental opportunity, guides and naturalists help keep the fire going and share stories and backcountry adventures on snow shoes and cross country skis.
Not only do guides feed the fire in the log cabin, but they stoke the wood fired sauna too! Guests at Northern Edge Algonquin, Algonquin Park’s solar powered nature retreat can experience the thrill of exposing themselves to a temperature range of over 100 degrees celsius (+80 or so in the sauna and down to -30 degrees outside).
Groups of 8 or more can arrange to rent the log cabin with fully catered meals and guided naturalist and adventure experiences on a schedule that meets their needs. Every year, educational groups and groups of friends join the award-winning team at the Edge for memorable Algonquin Park winter adventures.