Camping in Grundy Lake Provincial Park

 

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We visited the beautiful Grundy Lake Provincial Park in August 2014 and although we had another wet weekend it turned out to be one of my favourite parks.

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We had site number 143 in the Hemlock campground.  The site itself was pretty big and flat and had a little path through the woods at the back onto the main road which lead right to the nearby comfort station with showers and an electrical outlet for a hairdryer for those on a non-electric sites.

The park itself has several large lakes to choose from and the  ban on motor boats makes it a haven for swimming, fishing and canoeing, which just happen to be three of our favourite things to do :-)

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There is even a spot for cliff jumping which was a favourite activity for many of the kids in the park, in fact it looked like so much fun I’m tempted to have a go when we return in August 2015!

Despite Grundy being a busy park, it is so big that you are never far from a secluded, quiet spot if you want some peace.  We found two places only accessible from the water where we could paddle over to and stop for a spot of lunch and a swim or where I could read my book in peace while the boys went fishing

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While I always enjoyed our camping trips in the provincial parks we don’t usually plan on returning to any as there are so many new ones to discover.  Grundy Lake, however, was such a great spot for us that  we have already booked a return visit in a few months time.

 

For more of my campsite reviews click here

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Camping in Finlayson Point Provincial Park

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We spent 8 days in Finlayson Point Provincial Park, in Temagami in July 2014.

We had site number 108 and in my humble opinion this is the best part of the park.

This site is actually a pull-thru for trailers, not that you can see from the photo above, but we set it up so we were facing this view of the lake

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The site is flat on a very slight slope (not enough to be a bother), gravel base with electric hook up and the big bonus is that it is in a quiet loop right next to a new comfort station with showers which is only really used by the 10 or so sites around it.

The Park itself is surrounded on 3 sides by the beautiful and huge Lake Temagami which really is a boat lovers dream.  Nearby marinas rent boats and there are numerous docks throughout the park.

The town of Temagami is located about a kilometre from the park entrance and even though it is very small it has a grocery store, gas station, LCBO and a couple of chip trucks amongst other things.

Finlayson point is a great fishing spot and there are several places in the park to drop a line in, this one on the dock was our favourite.

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Lake Temagami is huge with literally hundred of miles of shoreline to explore but it is a busy lake with float planes taking off at regular intervals and lots of fishing boats buzzing around. Most days we left it until the evening to get the canoe and kayak out when the lake was much quieter and safer.

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While most leisure activities in Temagami take place in, on or around the lake we ventured outside the park to explore the town and surrounding area and came across a couple of things you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be visiting.

The first is the Fire Tower on top of Caribou Mountain.  Your reward for climbing to the top of the 100ft tower is a spectacular 360 degree view of up to 40km of beautiful forests and lakes.

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Red Squirrel Road is another interesting spot. This former logging road takes you over 20km off the beaten track into unspoilt forest and lakes.  Surrounded by crown land, this has become a popular spot for those who want to camp off the grid.  The road is not maintained so you need to be very careful but there are lots of spots to camp or drop in the canoe for a paddle.

The last Saturday of our visit was the 24th Annual Marten River Lumberjack Day which was a fun day out for our party of suburb dwellers!  With displays of blacksmithing, chainsaw carving  and  pretty much everything wood related it had activities for every member of our group.

 

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All in all Finlayson Point was well worth the 6+ hour drive from Toronto and with so much to see and do I’m sure we will return to explore again.

For more of my campsite reviews click here

 

Camping in Mew Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

By far the wettest  Canadian camping experience we have had to date was at Mew Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park in September 2013.

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To be honest the forecast said rain but we decided to be optimistic and go anyway. The forecast was spot on and boy, did it rain!

We had campsite number 95.  This site is in the radio and pet free campground and has no electricity but was extremely quiet and has access to the lake . The site was flat and huge, large enough for two families although it did have a little river running right through the middle but that was hardly surprising after 36 hours of rain straight!

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Not a bad spot for the morning cuppa!

The large, clean shower block was quite a way away but the vault toilet was close by.  Mew lake is not a very big campground and with the majority of the sites being without electrical hook up leads to a very tranquil feel to it.

With such atrocious weather it was hard to explore much of the campground itself but what we did see of it was lovely, calm, peaceful and pretty.

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Like most of campgrounds in Algonquin you are never far from a beautiful view or  a lovely place to hike. We were a little early to enjoy the height of the spectacular fall colours that Algonquin is known for but we did get to see a hint of what was to come.

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Not being much of a fan of the large, busy campgrounds, Mew Lake was an ideal park for us, a perfect little oasis of calm in the midst of  this popular provincial park.

For more campsite reviews, click here

Camping in Bon Echo Provincial Park

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I love Bon Echo Provincial Park and we had a fabulous long weekend there in June 2014.

We stayed on electric site 114 which is a huge corner site and although there are 10 mature pines right in the middle of it we still had room for our large tent, screen tent and truck. The toilet nearby is a flush loo which is always such a bonus and the comfort station with showers  was a two minute walk.

The site is so close to the beach we could carry the canoe straight from the site down a short slope and launch it straight into the lake.

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We spent our entire weekend out in the canoe paddling over to see the pictographs, exploring the lake and rivers and taking a swim, the water was lovely.  The only down side was that the pictographs are a big draw for people to visit and some of the people in motor boats were completely inconsiderate around the myriad of kayaks and canoes, they often passed by too close and too fast.

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Pictographs

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Bon Echo is a photographers dream, here are a few of my favourite snaps from the weekend;

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Bon Echo is teeming with wildlife,  as well as the usual chipmunks and squirrels,  we saw Turkey Vultures gliding on the thermals above the forest and we had a deer walk right through our site.

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The forest here is quite dense and I think most sites are full shade, so if you plan on visiting do yourself a favour and bring plenty of bug spray!

For more campsite reviews click here

Camping in Canisbay Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

I often review the campsites we stay at for a website called My Campsite Review, it’s a site I always use before I book a camping trip to get hints and tips on the best sites to choose so it’s only fair that I reciprocate by sharing my camping experiences with them.  Somehow I have managed to miss a few of our trips from the last couple of years both on mycampsitereview.com and on here so I’m going to have a bit of a recap over the next couple of weeks and post some of my reviews under the new Camping Reviews tab up there ^^^ at the top :-)

 

We stayed at Canisbay Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park in May 2013, in fact it was our first camping trip in Canada.

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We had Site 188  a large flat electric site, it was quite a trek to the showers but has a vault toilet right nearby. It has good privacy as the site is long and thin so we pitched the tent at the back, away from the road. Most sites in this campground are large and offer good privacy.

Being early in the season meant we didn’t get to enjoy the lake at it’s best but  it sure made for a pretty view,  in fact I had a bit of a revelation while standing on the beach looking out at this;

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The beach was lovely, albeit a bit small for such a large park but as were were there in May it wasn’t an issue for us.

The campground itself is quite big and ideally situated to explore the numerous hiking trails throughout Algonquin Provincial Park.

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Beaver Pond Hike

 

My favourite Silent Sunday photo

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May is an ideal time to spot migrating moose and we saw two, a young female and then this huge bull moose on Highway 60, close to the campground entrance.

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While I would be reluctant to visit Algonquin in the height of the season, due mainly to the popularity of the park, I enjoyed visiting it off season and would do so again.

Hello Bloggersphere!

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Helllloooooooo Bloggersphere and hello to all my lovely bloggy friends :-)

Oh how I have missed being here!

Firstly, thank you for your messages especially from the lovely Michelle Twin Mum and Kelloggsville, I was touched by your concern ladies, you are very sweet :-)

 

So what has kept me away from my blog for the last 5 months you might ask? Well I know you didn’t ask but I’m going to tell you anyway! ;-)

 

We took the plunge in October when Hubbie and I started working for ourselves. Our new Air Conditioning business and has taken up every single minute, every waking thought and every ounce of energy we have had for the last 5 months.

Starting a business as a relative newcomer to Canada has been challenging, not that we were ever under any illusion that it would be simple. It seems we have to work twice as hard to build trust and relationships. Good job neither of us are scared of hard work!

 

It has been very different starting up here than it was when we started our air conditioning company back in England in 2000. Social media is now an essential part of any start up, producing a professional looking website and having a presence on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is something we didn’t need to do last time.   I have to relearn almost everything I learned in England from terminology and business etiquette to taxes and accounting. Starting from scratch in an industry I thought I knew inside out has been harder than I anticipated.

The hard work has started to pay off though and I have a feeling this is going to be a really good year for us.

In other news, we have just gotten through a “record breaking cold February” and I couldn’t be happier that we might finally reach above zero temperatures next week, especially as the windchill right now is -20C! It’s way too early to be declaring Spring by any stretch of the imagination but there are little hints here and there that it won’t be too long. YAY!

So I’ll leave you with some wintery shots to make you shiver and a hope that it won’t be too long before I post again, fingers crossed :-)

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One tiny sliver of open water in Lake Ontario while the rest is frozen as far as the eye can see

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabet Photo – U is for Underwater

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One of the best things we ever bought for our youngest son was his Olympus waterproof camera and the truth of it is that I get as much enjoyment out of it as he does! Especially when it allows me to get underwater shots like the one above of a rather prehistoric looking snapping turtle that we met on holiday last year.

 

 

Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project by Charly at PODcast

This week U is for Underwater

 

Word of the Week – Plunge

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We have finally taken the plunge  and Hubbie has quit his job, from next week we will be officially working for ourselves.

It is a scary time and it has made our future uncertain yet again but I guess that is another example of how starting a new life in another country can keep you on your toes!  I feel a little like Eldest Son does in the photo above, bracing for impact, a little out of control maybe but trusting that the end result will be ok.

We’ve done it before, when we lived in England, so we’re under no illusions of the hard work and determination it will take to make this business successful but hopefully we have learned from the mistakes we made before and this time the journey will be easier.

Unfortunately this will mean my blogging will need to take a back seat while we get on our feet but I hope to be able to balance both eventually .  I guess that’s not a bad thing as it will allow me to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, there are so many brilliant linkys out there that have allowed me to try out my writing skills and explore my photography that I want to join them all but that’s just not possible.  From now on I’ll have to be more selective about what I post and try to only post when I have something important to say or a photo I’m particularly pleased with.

We have interesting times ahead to say the least, Hubbie will be much happier when he is in control of his work once again and I need to remember that when I go into full on panic mode as the worrier in me takes over!

Wish us luck!

 

The Reading Residence