Poker Lake is a fantastic place to visit for a short and easy canoe trip. Located 28kms east of Bracebridge, Ontario, it's a two hour drive from the Greater Toronto Area. The portages are short and easy and the paddling is all smooth lake water. It was also a fantastic opportunity to take along my camera gear and pick up some more nature and landscape photos to add to my portfolio. The trip is a quick 16km loop. The scenery is beautiful and the route is easy. It is ideal for novice canoeists or for the experienced paddler who just wants a quick and relaxing weekend trip.
We purchased a map from Chrismar they map accurate and waterproof maps of many of the canoe routes in Ontario. These maps are affordable and pretty much bomb proof. The scenery around Poker Lake is very generic but still peaceful and beautiful. If you are searching for dramatic rocky backdrops you won't find it on Poker Lake. Instead you will find beautiful evening colours and lovely texture and shape in the mixed forest that surrounds this small lake.
There's lots of wildlife in the area including bears and moose. We had a female moose (Cow) and her calf come crashing through our site on their way to the lake. Everyone keeps asking me. No! I didn't have my camera on hand. I was cooking dinner. Sometimes the right moment just passes us by. If one wished to stay at a specific site and search for wildlife to shoot this would be an ideal setting. I didn't bring along my 100-400mm lens as we wanted to cover ground fairly quickly and that particular lens is fairly heavy. On this trip I took only by wide angle lens and a small 50mm prime lens.