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9/06/2015 7:23 pm  #1


Ramona Lake

Did a quick trip around the western uplands first look and it was good overall.  Saw 3 moose along the trail which is somewhat rare in my experience. However, I won't be considering Ramona Lake again. The campsites are terrible and the lake is a glorified swampy pond. did get some indication of this a few days before the trip but it was too late to change   Live and learn.

 

9/07/2015 6:42 pm  #2


Re: Ramona Lake

We did the 3rd loop last weekend, (access from Rain Lake Rd) staying at Weed lake then Brown lake.  Here are our impressions of campsites that we saw along the way.  (Going counterclockwise once off the railbed.)
Rain Lake - first campsite was right on the trail, ie: no privacy from trail users, second campsite we didn't see because it was in use
Islet Lake - first campsite after the railway trestle was really nice.  Large site, fairly easy acess to water which looked to get deep fairly quickly, tree with rope swing along the edge.  Enough trees to ensure privacy, but could hear people talking along the trestle.  Next site down has the trail going right through it and the final 2 sites were really close to the trail.
Weed lake - stayed here for the night.  Nice site, but weedy/mucky shoreline.  No swimming here!  Is one rock to stand on to pump water.
Pincher Lake - stopped at the last site on South Pincher for a quick break, nice site, private, fairly large.  Water access okay.  Rocky shoreline, likely good for swimming. 
Tern Lake - didn't stop here
Gervais Lake - one site only, site was large and nice but close to a main trail intersection - not overly private.  Could see the trail and boardwalk from where we came.  Water access okay, didn't check shoreline for swimming though.
Brown Lake - 1st campsite right on the trail.  Moved on to the next one, which was fairly nice but you had to scale around a large pine tree to get to the water.  Rocky start to shoreline, good for getting water, but quickly turns to mucky bottom. 
Ishkuday - one campsite that was occupied. Just off the trail, so privacy not great.  Shoreline looked bog-like from what we could see.
 

 

9/07/2015 7:05 pm  #3


Re: Ramona Lake

Also did the 1st loop this long weekend.  Starting from Hwy 60, going clockwise we camped at  Maggie Lk (west) then Panther Lk.
Maple Leaf - took the side trail along the east side of the lake which has 4 campsites right along it.  Stopped at the 1st campsite which was nice, okay water access.  Next three sites were fairly close to each other and one was posted as closed.  The sidetrail brings you back out to the main trail again.
Maggie Lk - we were on the west side so we went west at the junction.  First 2 campsites were right on the main trail, no privacy here.  The 3rd and 4th sites are situated out on a peninsula.  One site has been posted as closed d/t a careless campfire getting out of control.  The other was occupied, however, it is super secluded and we had heard that it was a nice site.  Bit of a hike off the main trail to find out if it is taken though.  The 5th site we walked right by without seeing a side trail or any campsite marker for it.  Didn't realize this until we hit the 6th site.  Spoke with another camping group and they also did not see any signs of this campsite.  Stayed at the 6th site which is on the south west back bay.  Small site, easy water access.  Small to large rocks along the bottom which led out to a nice smooth rock area for swimming.  Did not see the other sites, except for the last one which the trail runs right through.
Norah Lk - stopped for a break here.  Very private, bit of a hike into the site.  Steep access to water, few rocks to stand on to get water, otherwise not very deep here.
Oak Lk - didn't go in
EU Lk - ick!  right on the trail and they put the site on a swampy pond off of the lake.  Would never stay here.
Panther Lk - 2 sites, only 1 is reservable.  Bit of a hike in.  Neither had great water access.  1st site was nice, but close to the portage (which I don't think gets a lot of use).  We chose the 2nd site,  which was smaller but by crossing a log you could get to a shrubby "island" that offered a nice deep jumping spot for swimming.  Had 3 otters at this site in the morning.
Ramona - didn't go in to see
Guskewau - stopped at the last site, really big but mostly on a downward slope to the lake.  Could see the next campsite from here.  Shoreline pretty shallow.
Hope these reviews are helpful to others.  Basically the larger lakes seemed to have nicer shorelines better for swimming, and the smaller lakes (while more secluded or limited to just 1 or 2 sites) have shallow/mucky shorelines.

 

9/07/2015 7:35 pm  #4


Re: Ramona Lake

Hey, you've been busy the last two weekends! Nicely done!

Re: Maggie Lake sites on the peninsula: I always thought there should be a way to indicate that the site is taken before you make the long trip off the main trail. An "occupied"/"available" sign with a changeable date? (Date because if someone forgets to switch it to "available" you'd still be able to see that the date was out of whack) When I was staying here, I put up a note in a ziploc bag on the guidepost at the intersection.

That secluded site is okay, but the view is a bit blocked. And there is a lot of downed timber next to the shore. If you look you can figure out a way to swim, but I've always been there in cold weather so never tried.

Thunder Lake: The nicest site on the trail is probably at Thunder Lake. Decent water access, not mucky, nice flat open tent pad area.
Clara Lake is alright, but not much privacy.
Susan Lake, one of the two sites was kind of swampy, the other better one is on top of a hill with difficult water access.

your post kind of makes me think that the whole Western Uplands Trail needs a rethink. Maybe reroute parts of the trail to new lakes and new campsites with better water access. A long term project unlikely to happen in the current budget-cutting world, but one can dream :-)

Last edited by LaLoche (9/07/2015 7:41 pm)

 

9/09/2015 8:02 am  #5


Re: Ramona Lake

We did the first and second loop on the first weekend in May and stayed at Susan Lake on night one and Clara Lake on night 2. We loved the higher site at Susan and had dinner at the nearby lookout spot. The night and next morning were both perfectly still, quiet and warm, making it one of our more memorable camping experiences. The lake was literally a mirror in the morning (I tried posting a pic, but the board won't let me as I haven't posted in this new forum yet).

We spent the second night at Clara Lake - I have camped here several times and really enjoy relaxing on the flat rocks by the water. Although it's near a portage, I have yet to encounter anyone passing through.

In addition to other sites reviewed on the previous posts in this thread, I have also camped at LIttle Hardy Lake and East End Lake. Little Hardy is a nice enough spot which is fairly private and has a sandy area at the point, although I have never tried swimming there. East End Lake is a shallower body of water and not overly appealing, but I find it to be a calm and relaxing place nonetheless. Unfortunately, a small fire that occured there a couple of years ago has scarred some of the site. 



 

 

9/13/2015 2:23 pm  #6


Re: Ramona Lake

I have done most of the same hikes also. First year did the bottom 2 loops staying on Clara the first Night and Redwing the second night. Second hike did the top loop area staying on weed lake, west otter law and brown. This year we stayed on Ramona and Maggie. I will say I much prefer the upper part  of the trail vs the south end ( quality of sites, lakes, etc...).   

Also did Highland trail this spring.  Trail was nice but sites had a lot of trash left behind .

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