Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day Hike: Ganaraska Hiking Trail, Monck Rd to Goodoar Lakes

This is the hike Chris and I tried to do last year when the deer flies were so bad our hoods were completely covered in the little buggers like in some horror film.

This year, we figured heading out in early May would be bugs at all yet.  We were partially right.  There were black flies, but they weren't biting yet.

We parked at the Summerville Tract parking lot where there are cross country ski trails in the winter and headed up left the highway, past a swamp to where you can see the white trail flashes for the Ganaraska on the right. There's a sign there for the Pinery Compartment #14, White Pine, Red Pine.  The book said to follow the trail for 700m until it reached a forest road. The trail wasn't very well marked and we got lost following the instructions in the Ganaraska Trail Guide Book, but eventually figured it out.  It turned out if we'd gone a little further down the road to number 15 and followed that road in to where it ends, the trail crosses this road and the "forest road" is to the left.  

It was easy sailing for the next 1.6 km except for all the flooded spots we had to pick our way around.  At one point, on the right hand side of  the trail, there's this huge long rock covered in moss that looks like a military submarine.  Very cool.  

The forest road ends when it meets Corbin Lake...well the road doesn't end, but our part of it does.  Go to the right, up a rocky slope and you're back to narrow footpaths.  It's nice walking though, following along the shore of the lake.  We heard a big splash almost immediately and, embarrassingly, my first thought was "a Sasquatch is throwing rocks in the lake!" when it was just a beaver.  It could as easily have been a fish jumping.  I really need to stop watching those paranormal shows.

Normally, I guess the trail goes through a swampy section along the lake side, and maybe later in the year, it's passable, but with water levels so high, we ended up having to turn back after about 5 minutes.  Chris found a log near the spot where we saw the beavers (there were two of them) and we stopped to eat our lunch then headed back.

I have to admit, I was a little leery of continuing on after we lost the trail near the beginning.  We could still see cars going down the highway from where we were searching for trail flashes, but I kept thinking, what if this happens further away?  I was completely turned around, and of course we had no compass except on our phones (didn't think about them until later though.)  Chris is much better with direction than me, and at recognizing little landmarks so he wasn't worried at all.  Although this is in the Kawartha Section of the trail, it's not an easy stroll down side roads and along farm fields.  Be prepared and pay attention.  It's not as rugged as the Wilderness Section, but it's still much more remote than the rest of the Kawartha section, so precautions are a must.

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