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9/02/2017 9:43 am  #1


Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

Just an overview of a recent short family trip to Maple Leaf Lake South...

I stayed at the north end years back, but never explored the trails and sites on the south side. We got to the side trails/sites shortly after noon on the 28th, and checked out the eastern sites first. We then made our way to the 3 western sites which we hoped would be more appealing, and found 2 out of 3 occupied. We settled on the available middle site. The site was very well-used (no surprise there), but mostly clean, and graced by large trees including three towering dead pines (yikes!). There wasn't really any view of the lake from the main site area, but this was compensated by a nice rock jutting into the lake where the 3 of us could sit and relax.

Later in the afternoon, a discouraged hiker (with family in tow) spoke with us and couldn't figure out how all 3 sites on this section were occupied as when he had entered there were only 3 reservations including himself. It wasn't asked for, but I showed him my permit anyway for everyone's benefit as I was empathetic to his situation. There was a tent staked at the far site of the lake with apparently no one around. We never saw or heard anyone else passing through or any activity from that site during the evening, so the whole situation was odd to say the least.

The Monday went by fairly quickly with a combination of setting up and foraging firewood a little ways off from the site. I sawed up a fair bit of maple with the intent of leaving some wood for the next campers - I know how great it feels on the occasion where wood is left by previous occupants! There were lots of good food hanging options, which was a plus. After cutting up the wood, I went for a swim and remarked how cold the water was for this time of year. This comment didn't encourage my wife or daughter to join in the swim... The temperature felt more like early June instead of late August, but it felt good nonetheless. After dinner and a small campfire, we went early to bed. The weather was a pleasant mix of sun and clouds, and the same would hold true for the next day. The overnight temps remained in the low double digits, which made for a comfortable sleep.

The night was very quiet, save for an owl heard in the distance. Tuesday morning came with the sounds of loons and a red squirrel dropping pine cones from the neighbouring trees. The squirrel chattered and barked quite a bit once we were up, and didn't seem to mind staring at us and eating a few metres from where we were having our own breakfast. Surprisingly, there were no chipmunks around, which made the food situation easier. We decided to take a day hike to Little Hardy Creek and have lunch by the small falls/rapids. Along the way, I scoped out and found the decommissioned campsite on South Leach Lake. The firepit there is still intact, along with a bench and neighbouring thunderbox that are mostly rotted away now. I am curious as to how long it has been decommissioned (does anyone reading this know?) The rest of the day was spent relaxing back at our site again, another solo swim, and rounded off by a campfire. There was a little more noise activity during the night, likely from the resident squirrel and possibly a rabbit that we had seen a few times as well.

Wednesday morning was incredibly sunny and still, and the lake produced a fantastic mirror image of the surrounding landscape. The hike back to the car was pleasant, and we popped by Ragged Falls on the way out of the park - it was my daughter's first visit there, and she was understandably impressed by it! I find it always a bittersweet experience leaving the park and almost immediately look forward to a 'next time'. I'm sure this is a common sentiment!

Cheers,

Rich
 

 

9/02/2017 3:57 pm  #2


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

Hi Rich, thank you for the nice report! I have found memories of Maple Leaf Lake from an overnight trek I took with my wife's nephew back in 2015.

I feel badly for the hiker who had the issue with the campsite. That would be very disappointing when you've got a family in tow.

I have two nights booked on Provoking Lake in a couple of weeks for my solo hike, but have just come back from a visit to a doctor who advised me not to go into the Park alone until he can find out more about an issue facing me. Won't know more until the first week of October. A report like yours helps give me my fix.

Tracy

Last edited by Blobsquatch (9/02/2017 3:57 pm)

 

9/03/2017 10:39 am  #3


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

Hey Tracy,
Sorry to hear about your foiled plans - I hope everything gets sorted out well for you and that you can hit the trails again soon enough!
All the best,
Rich
 

     Thread Starter
 

9/03/2017 10:08 pm  #4


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

Thanks, Rich!

 

9/18/2017 9:17 am  #5


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

hiker72 wrote:

There was a tent staked at the far site of the lake with apparently no one around. We never saw or heard anyone else passing through or any activity from that site during the evening, so the whole situation was odd to say the least. 

Rich, I was just there this weekend and the same thing happened with the same lack of activity on the most-western site. Was it a light green dome tent to the left of the trail on approach? I didn't get too close but now wondering if it's abandoned.

Last edited by spicol (9/18/2017 12:27 pm)

 

9/18/2017 2:37 pm  #6


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

Hi Spicol,

Yes, that definitely sounds like the tent! I'm thinking of putting a call in to the main office based on this new information - what do you think?

(update - I just tried calling but couldn't get through - it's 4:00 now, so I sent an email about this)

Rich

Last edited by hiker72 (9/18/2017 3:03 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

9/18/2017 5:14 pm  #7


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

I remember some years back seeing what appeared to be an abandoned tent up there. Can't recall anything about the size or description but remembered thinking it was some local trying to establish a "permanent reservation" for his frequent and likely undocumented trips in.

 


Dave
 

9/18/2017 6:34 pm  #8


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

hiker72 wrote:

Hi Spicol,

Yes, that definitely sounds like the tent! I'm thinking of putting a call in to the main office based on this new information - what do you think?

(update - I just tried calling but couldn't get through - it's 4:00 now, so I sent an email about this)

Rich

Yes, I think it's great you did that. I didn't think anything about it at the time other than the person might have been on a day hike but after reading your post on my return it added up. Given that the site seemed to have nothing else on it at all, I don't think it was something tragic or anything but I suppose that's a possibility too. Best to have them check it out.

 

9/20/2017 8:37 pm  #9


Re: Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30

in my few years backpacking along the Algonquin trails I have encountered a few that have said they would be going to a lake they have not reserved.  they explained that they wanted to travel further than what they accounted for or they weren't happy with what was left at their destination  or they couldn't travel any further. I don't think that they really get the impact they are having on other folks who have walked the trail that day to a destination.  know your limits and stay within it...especially for those of us who have booked a site.

 

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