Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler - Triplog#14 - Mew Lake Campground - Day 2

Triplogs / Triplog#14 / Day 2

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Day 2 - Peck Lake Trail - Hardwood Lookout Trail - Whiskey Rapids Trail

It was a cloudy morning when we woke up. There was that late September dampness in the air. Imagine my disappointment, when I decided to make coffee, and I couldn't find the stove! Yup, I forgot to bring it. As a matter of fact, I forgot both stoves. No coffee, no eggs, no breakfast. 'JL' was not impressed. "Mr. Algonquin huh? Can't even remember to bring both stoves much less one of them". "Ooops", was the word of the day! We packed up our gear(minus the stoves), and decided instead of getting a cooking fire going in the fire pit, we'd just eat granola bars and water and hit the trails.

Peck Lake Trail

Exiting the campground, we headed west along highway 60. Our first stop was the Peck Lake Trail. The Peck Lake Trail is a 1.9km loop around the perimeter of the lake. If you manage to pick up a trail guide(don't forget to pay!), you'll realize that this trail is set up for the study of lake ecology. There is a lot that can be learned here, while taking the time to study the guide as you follow the trail. This trail is also low impact, great if you want to take children along. The are several sections of boardwalk, in which all of them were in good condition. It remained cloudy as we circled the lake, admiring the views of the colours here and there. There was very little in the way of human traffic, we only encountered some at the beginning and at the end of the trail. Once we completed the trail, 'JL' and I headed to Hardwood Lookout trail.

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  Remnants of a tree struck by Lightning(Peck Lake)


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                          Immature "Fly Agaric" - Poisonous


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                   Taking a stroll along the path at Peck Lake


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                        Autumn Colours surround Peck Lake


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              One of several boardwalks along the Peck Lake trail


Hardwood Lookout Trail

This trail is very short, it is a 0.8km loop. When we did this trail, it was very crowded and parking was tough to find. The trail itself deals with the ecology of Algonquin's hardwood forest.

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           JL studies the introduction to Hardwood Lookout Trail

Algonquin itself lies on a transition zone, between a southern deciduous forest type ecology, and on the east side of the park, a coniferous type ecology more commonly associated with Canada's north. 'The Friends of Algonquin Park', have produced a guide called, 'Trees of Algonquin Provincial Park'. This is part of their 'Big Book' series. A number of publications dealing with many fascinating aspects of The Park's ecology. 'The Trees of Algonquin Provincial Park', is a steal. At a mere $2.95, it contains a wealth of information and many great photographs identifying tree species. The beginning of the book, also briefly describes the origins of Algonquin's makeup and why we have two distinct forest types. This book is my personal favorite by The Friends of Algonquin Park, and is well worth the read.

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  Fortunately this was the only tree to exhibit graffiti


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  An example of regeneration in the Hardwood forest


The trail itself is another low impact one, although it does have some sections, where you do have to hike a bit over inclines. Near the end of the trail, with a beautiful view of Smoke lake in the background, stands a tribute to Douglas McDonald Hains. A gentlemen I know nothing about, but apparently many people did, as they sought to preserve his memory, in his efforts to protect Algonquin. Exiting Hardwood Lookout, We headed off to Whiskey Rapids Trail.

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      Hardwood Lookout trail - A tribute to Douglas McDonald Hains


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      A colour laden Smoke Lake - As seen from Hardwood Lookout

Whiskey Rapids Trail

This trail deals with river ecology in Algonquin Park.
We did pay for the trail guide, but did not study it at the time, as it was getting late in the day, and had an appointment to keep. With that in mind, we shortcut the trail to the rapids, going backwards along the loop. First post#10 then #9 and arriving at #8, the rapids themselves.

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     A fine walk in the forest - Near the end of Whiskey Rapids Trail


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                                       Whiskey Rapids

Being late September, I should've known better than to expect big rapids. As it was, I was surprised how low and insignificant the rapids appeared to be. The rapids are very small. At this point we doubled back to our car. The trail along this part of the loop, is great! Wide smooth and well worn paths. If you ever wanted to go for a walk in the forest, this is the place to be. There wasn't much autumn colours here, yet some of the ones we did see were vibrant. As we headed out of the park, I grew sad, at having to leave such a beautiful place. My sadness didn't last long, as the lure of The Park brought me back, 6 days later.

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            Portage to Tea Lake intersects Whiskey Rapids Trail


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         Some colours along Whiskey Rapids trail

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