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біля Desert Lake, Ontàrio (Canada)
A mid summer 3 day canoe and hiking trip through Frontenac Provincial Park. The park is a beautiful place and we wanted to see some of the northern sections that are not easily accessed on day hikes. We started at the main entrance of the park where we confirmed our reservations and picked up our permits then launched our canoe right behind the office into South Otter Lake and our trip had begun!
Day One: Paddle through South Otter, North Otter, Rothwell Lake, over a beaver dam into Holleford Lake, quick haul over the road into Desert Lake, Mitchell Creek to Birch Lake and our destination for the day - campsite #7. About 3 hours of paddling (12 km) which gave us time for a hike later in the day.
Day Two: Birch Lake to Kingsford Lake, portage at the Kingsford Dam listed at 761 meters. Water levels were fairly high and while we hiked the gear the full length, the canoe and I put in about half way down to save some heavy lifting. Paddled through Devil Lake to Hardwood Bay and arrived at campsite #10. About 16 km distance and 4 hours of paddling/portaging for us on a fairly calm day.
Day Three: Retraced our paddle to Kingsford Dam (6 km) and left most of the gear with the canoe (tent, paddles, life jackets). Took a day pack and hiked about 14 km back to the main office and our car. With an early start and a beautiful day it took us about 5 hours.
We finished up by driving our car up to Kingsford Dam to retrieve our gear/canoe and then were on our way home. A great trip that had lots of flexibility (only one noticeable portage and only one vehicle is required) and exposed us to a large portion of the northern side of the park. Lots of wildlife, very few other people and loads of fun.
There wasn't quite enough water in our second culvert, Maxini was a real trooper (and was wearing the right foot wear) so she hopped out of the canoe (got her feet wet) but that was enough to get us moving and saved us unloading and scrambling over the road to the other side (which may be required at low water levels/late in the season).
Small lake with a couple of cottages on it.
Marshy on the east side of the lake, we had to pull over one beaver dam to get into Holleford (map and online info noted there were two dams).
You will have to lift over the road (25 meters?) but very little elevation change. There is a small resort here with cabins and tent trailers and stuff. Nice public dock to launch from and an opportunity to hit the convenience store for any last minute purchases.
Our campsite for the night. Four sites at this location (A,B,C,D) that share a privy/outhouse. Each unit has their own steel food storage bin, pad for your tent, picnic table and a fire ring. Pack your garbage out with you.
The Park property is on the east side of the lake and some cottages/homes elsewhere.
Take out on the right side about 50 meters before the dam. Portage is listed at 761 meters. We portaged the gear the entire distance and then came back for the canoe. I put in about halfway and scrapped over a few rocks as I followed the stream but managed to stay in the canoe. Water levels were fairly high. On the return portage we carried everything (including canoe) to the dam where we would return later after picking up the car.
Impressive site on Devil Lake and a highly visible waypoint for the return trip.
A nice campsite, same features as #7.
Park signage referred to this small lake a lot. It took me a long time to find it on my map.
One of the trail intersections, maps are available at the Park Office. The free map does not show the lakes and route that we paddled on our first day (a good portion is outside the boundaries of the park) but does show the campsites and all the trails.
Snack, swim, and a rest can be had here. It is just off the main trail. There is also a lookout located about 200-300 meters south of here (also just off the main trail) that gives you a great view of Birch Lake. One of the highlights of the trip.