Outdoor Pursuits

Image of canoes on the shorelines of  Killarney Provincial Park.Image of elevation marker.Image of campers atop a peak during a hike.Image of the Adirondack Mountains.

Outdoor Pursuits (OP) combines a eight-day canoe trip to Killarney Provincial Park (or Temagami area) with a seven-day hiking trip in the Adirondack High Peaks region of New York State. Students will have the opportunity in Killarney/Temagami to earn their Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) Canoe Tripping Level 1 certification. OP focuses on personal growth, respecting other people and the environments through which we travel.

This program aims to further develop camping and related safety skills, while fostering a deeper appreciation of environmental ethics. It offers an opportunity for students to advance their outdoor teaching and leadership skills as well as gain certification in outdoor activities.

It is recommended to take OP before OS due to the more technical moving water canoeing potion in OS. Both programs are to be taken before continuing on to our instructor level programs, WIC and KIC. Successful OP students will receive a grade 11 phys-ed credit (PAD305) in our outdoor classroom. 2024 cost $1100. 




Bus Schedules

"Barn Days" Bus Pick Ups
8:30 a.m.: Centennial PS
8:45 a.m. Elginburg & District PS
9 a.m.: Loughborough PS

"Barn Days" Bus Drop Offs
3:30 p.m.: Loughborough PS
3:45 p.m. Elginburg & District PS
4 p.m.: Centennial PS

Frequently Asked Questions

I've heard that the Adirondacks is the hardest trip Gould Lake does. Is this true?
The trip to the Adirondack Mountains is the only hiking trip the Gould Lake Outdoor Centre offers. This makes it much different from every other excursion but not necessarily harder. Routes are planned with individual groups in mind and routes can be changed from day to day. Climbing mountains can be physically challenging but also very rewarding; remember, you aren't climbing alone, you have a group to support you along the way!

What certifications do I get when I do OP?
During OP, you have the opportunity to complete the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) Canoe Tripping Level 1 certification. The requirements can be found on the ORCKA website.

What kind of shoes/boots do I need for the Adirondacks trip?
Hiking boots are necessary in the Adirondacks. They do not need to be mid or high cut but they should have good treads to avoid slipping on trails. Shoes with flat soles cannot be used.

I've heard there are lots of bears in the Adirondacks. Is this true?
Most parks around Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern United States do have a number of black bears in them. These bears are omnivores but they eat far more flora than fauna with blueberries as one of their favourite meals. We bring bear bangers and bear spray on trip to ensure we are protected against any encounters but these bears are only looking for our food and so we protect our food by placing it in "bear barrels" which they are unable to open.

What do I need to cross the border into the U.S.? 

Travel Insurance – we must have the name of the insuring company, the name of the policy holder, the policy number, and the emergency contact number of the insuring company

Proof of Citizenship Original or photocopy (must be eligible) of birth certificate, original Canadian Citizenship Card, or original passport (photocopies are unacceptable). 

3. Consent Form Must be completed, dated, and signed by student’s parent/guardian.

The 2023 boarder crossing document can be found here

What assignments do I have to complete before the course starts?

There is a Mental Health and Addictions assignment that is due the first "Barn Day" of the course. Details on the assignment can be found under the Assignments Tab.

I've heard that the lakes in Killarney are dead. Why?
Killarney is filled with beautiful topaz-coloured lakes. Unfortunately, the lakes have gained their amazing colour due in part to their lack of living matter. This is partially attributable to the very low pH levels (acidic) which are caused by both the geology of the region and the history of pollution from Sudbury's smokestacks. The lakes are slowly recovering, but it is a very long process.

Will I be canoeing in Killarney or Temagami?

Because Killarney is a provincial park, camping permits must be obtained in order to camp in the park. Permits have become more difficult to obtain in Killarney PP the last few years. If permits are not able to be obtained, students will conduct their canoe trip in the Temagami Wilderness Area.