The Meanest Link is a pretty extraordinary canoe route. Made in honour of the late Bill Swift Sr. who was nicknamed “Mean Dude” due to his gruff exterior personality, the Meanest Link has been attempted by only a hardy few.
“The Link” was dreamed up by Alex Hurley and Gordon Baker in the summer of 2004. The trip consists of four challenging canoe routes connecting the four Algonquin Outfitters stores serving Algonquin Park: Oxtongue Lake, Huntsville, Brent, on Cedar Lake, and Lake Opeongo. Meanest’s love of canoe tripping and numerous feats of endurance on the trail were legendary, so Gord and Alex felt that a canoe route linking Algonquin Park and Algonquin Outfitters would be an appropriate way to honour him. – Algonquin Outfitters website
Just this weekend, Kevin Callan, The Happy Camper, has taken on the challenge of the Meanest with his paddling partner Andy. But Kevin, who is no meanie, is just so happy to be on such a challenging (but rewarding!) expedition that he is thinking of it as a trip around Algonquin Park, because essentially, that is what the Meanest Link is. And what a trip it is too!
The route has 93 portages, ranging from 50 metres to five metres, all adding up to a lengthy 68 km….
And somewhere along that route, Kevin is hiding paddles for the Paddle In The Park Contest! Those paddles could be anywhere…
To follow Kevin’s progress on his trip around Algonquin Park see The Happy Camper on Facebook.