markinthepark seeking solitude

A quick trip to Barron Canyon Road

I was in Ottawa over the weekend and the weather was fantastic on Saturday. With nothing to do and Algonquin Park being only two hours away, I was eager to visit The Park. Grabbing my girlfriend and some water and a sub sandwich for each of us, we drove to Barron Canyon Road on the East side of Algonquin Park.


Driving up the road we noticed improvements had been made along the old crumbling stretch of road, several kilometres of freshly paved road made the drive a little easier. The new stretch of road did not last and it wasn’t long before we came to more crumbling highway and then the hard packed dirt road that leads eventually into The Park.

There was a few muddy sections and by the time we hit the 4km marker I cautiously turned around and drove back down the road till I found a suitable straight-line stretch to pull over and park. My vehicle is a small wagon with fourteen inch wheels and although the mud wasn’t bad, there were a few stretches that had me concerned. Surely, further along the road and especially in The Park the road conditions would grow worse?




So we never made it to The Park border and instead walked about 3 kilometres up the road, enjoying the exercise, weather and fresh air. As we walked the road a few vehicles from both directions passed us by. We noticed almost every vehicle was of a 4x4 type. Even a few quads rolled by us. Barron Canyon Road was busy this day!

I figure the temperature was around -5°C with no wind. Very pleasant walking conditions. We walked about 3 kilometres, came to a hunt cabin, ate our subs then turned around. Along the trip backed we spied a turnoff that vehicle had been parked at earlier. The vehicle was now gone and so we decided to visit the spot. It was a nice spot with our journey being cut short as the turnoff was washed out by flooding. Quad tracks on the other-side indicated travel wasn’t limited to everyone.




There was alot of beaver activity in the immediate area, with several trees having been gnawed down over the winter by beavers. Funny, I wasn’t even in The Park and I was seeing the best handiwork of beavers I had ever seen on her doorstep!



Snow depths in the bush were still nearly two feet deep in places, with a softened crust and ice on the lakes had softened up on the surface but it looked like there was a long way to go yet before ice-out. So far it seems to have been a cold spring. Sure there has been rain and now there seems to be lots of sun filled days coming but the temperatures, most especially the overnight lows are still quite low. Things don’t appear to be warming up to fast this year.



I had earlier submitted my ice-out prediction for Canoe Lake and wish I had waited, for I think the ice will go out much later this year (Later then last year’s record breaker). I think it will be another solid month before there is hope of open water for my canoe. Sigh....we shall see. Until then, little excursions like yesterdays help to quench the thirst if only for a few hours.




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