Friday, 25 October 2013

{Weekend Hike} Kawartha Highlands

Today, to celebrate James and Joanna's reading break, we set out on a hike to Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. A relatively new park (not made a park until 2005, not opened till 2011), this park is mainly a canoeing/fishing/hunting backcountry park. Being the biggest park south of Algonquin, we had many areas to choose to explore. We finally settled on the east side of the park, taking Beaver Lake Road up to the park boundary and stopping at Bottle Lake. First stop however, was Gold Lake, a calm and beautiful part of the park:

After arriving at the Beaver Lake Access Point, we soon discovered that there are no maintained trails in the park. This didn't deter us, however, and we set out along the shore of Bottle Lake to blaze our own trail. A few things we saw along the way:

Signs of beavers hard at work
The sun shining through the trees
Bottle Lake
Bottle Lake
The lakeshore was very hilly and there was a lot of dead/rotting vegetation under our feet. 
Bottle Lake Narrows
Sometime around noon we got hungry and decided it was time to stop and "make camp". We were determined to build a fire and make our tea over it. It turned out quite well I would say! It was a lot of fun for me to be with two people who love being outside and are naturally adventurous. It makes me more adventurous and I learn so much from them! Mostly the talk consists of "nature-y" things where I sit slack jawed with the info going over my head.. but hey, we all need to be quiet and learn sometimes, right? Here we are preparing for lunch:

Starting the fire

James, being the woodsman that he is, fashioned an amazing "kettle hanger" (his own words), to set the kettle on to boil the water. It consisted of a "y-shaped" branch and long support stick on which to hang the apparatus, and a notched out stick where the kettle balanced. It really was an ingenious device and I wish I had a better picture to show you.

 After lunch we hiked back out to the car, and started to leave the park. We discovered another ATV/hunting trail and walked along that for about an hour. All in all, we had a great time discovering Kawartha Highlands! We decided that it is definitely more suited to canoeing and resolved to come back sometime in the spring/summer to try out the Kawartha camping experience. Can't wait to share that with you, when the time comes!

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