We put in at Canoe Lake which was extremely busy on a Saturday afternoon. We had lunch at the access point and I couldn't get over the number of canoes in the water. While we ate, there were never fewer than a dozen canoes visible on the water at once. At one point we were able to count eighteen canoes in the water. There was a time I might have been discouraged by such a large crowd. I might have liked to enjoy the peace and quiet that would come with an empty lake. In recent years my perspective has changed a great deal. I was ecstatic to see so many people. It means that people (and lots of them) are getting out there doing the things that I love doing. We saw young families, university students, couples, seniors all out in canoes and kayaks. Some were out for the first time, others were bringing friends and family out for the first time and still others were on their way to much quieter lakes. Rather than being frustrated at the crowds, I had a huge smile on my face the entire time. I hope more people take some time to explore this great park.
|Ready to Launch From Canoe Lake|
|Tom Thomson Cairn|
|Off He Goes! Looks Like the Girls Are at a Parade.|
We made very good time in our paddling. We managed to pass a few groups also headed to Burnt Island Lake. This would prove beneficial later as all the sites on the lake were booked that night and it was getting late. Getting ahead of a few groups would make it easier to find a site.
Along the portage from Little Joe Lake to Baby Joe Lake we met a couple with adult children who were on their first canoe trip. Great to see!
After arriving on Burnt Island Lake we spent some time paddling in and out of different bays looking for a site that was available. We eventually found a vacant site which turned out to be great. It had a nice spot for landing the canoe, a good swimming spot and was quite flat. The only downside is that there was another site very close by. It started drizzling shortly after we arrived so we set up the tent and the rain stopped. After a tough day of paddling we were all very hungry which made our simple pita pizzas seem extra delicious. The kids had a great time playing on the spacious site. As we settled in for the night it began to rain a little. The pitter patter of rain drop on the tent made for a great sound track to fall asleep to.
|Home For the Night|
|Favourite Camp 'Chore': Tending the Stick Stove|
|Little Island on Burnt Island Lake|
We setup our site, went for a swim, did some paddling as well as some relaxing. It was a great day.
|Campsite on Little Doe Lake|
|Looking Out Over Little Doe|
|Lots of Lily Pads|
|Beaver Dam En Route to Tom Thomson|
The paddle across Canoe Lake was interesting. There still wasn't any wind and the lake was as flat as glass. It was beautiful and there were far fewer boats on the water than when we had left. What a great way to end the trip. When we arrived at the access point we discovered that it was 4:30, which was much later than we had anticipated. We loaded our stuff up and headed for home. Before we got to Highway 60 the kids were asking if we could come back. A good sign that we had a successful trip.