Camp Pathfinder

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Camp Pathfinder
Pathfinder Canoe Dock.JPG
LocationCamp Pathfinder Island,
Source Lake,
Algonquin Provincial Park,
Ontario, Canada
Created1914 (1914)
Operated byMichael Sladden (director)

Camp Pathfinder is a boys' Summer camp in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. The camp is best known for its canoe tripping program. Pathfinder follows a tradition of using wood and canvas canoes. Several other camps in Algonquin and elsewhere follow a similar tradition of tripping with, building and restoring canvas canoes. Pathfinder's canoes are painted a distinctive bright red. The current director is Michael Sladden.


Camp Pathfinder was founded in 1914 by William Bennett and Franklin Gray. In 1922, the camp was sold to Herman J. "Chief" Norton, who became one of Pathfinder's most influential owners. Pathfinder was almost shut down or sold to the Ontario Provincial Government when the government told Norton the lease for the camp (and the others in the park as well) would not be renewed. The government later renewed the lease and the camp (and all the others in the park) remained in operation. Since then, owners or co-owners have included Frank J. Horton, Bill Swift, Roy Thrall, Mac Rand, Glen Arthurs, and Michael Sladden. Camp Pathfinder is located on Source Lake, in Algonquin Provincial Park, just more than a mile away from Highway 60. Source Lake is an access point to the Algonquin Park canoe route system. There are no campsites on Source Lake. There are, however, a few residential cabins and the camp itself on the lake.

The camp is located on an island in the lake, commonly referred to as Camp Pathfinder Island or "CPI". On the opening days of each session, the whole camp meets at the new Indian council ring, and a meeting introducing the camp session is held. This meeting, and other aspects of the camp, have a number of traditions. For example, there is a site believed be the grave of a First Nations man known as "Algonquin Joe", and it is traditional to put a fallen leaf on the site. The camp also features a ropes course and climbing walls.

Recently, the camp completed its 100th season.[1]

Canoe tripping[edit]

Pathfinder Canoe Portage
Map of Camp Pathfinder River Trips, 2015

Pathfinder has an extensive canoe tripping program. Trip duration and destination varies by age group of the campers on the trip. The youngest campers normally stay within the boundaries of Algonquin Park or very close to. The older campers (Otts or AA's) venture on longer and more challenging trips with varying destinations. Some trip destinations outside of Algonquin Park have included:


  1. ^ Brandon Kilijansk, " Camp Pathfinder’s golden anniversary" Archived 2014-05-06 at the Wayback Machine, Amherst Bee, April 16, 2014.
  • Rand, Mac (1995). Paddles Flashing in the Sun: The Stories of Pathfinder in Algonquin Park. West Seneca, NY: Pathfinder Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9649728-0-3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°33′56″N 78°38′35″W / 45.565626°N 78.643055°W / 45.565626; -78.643055