Algonquin – Western Upland Trail


A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish. A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck.

Jen and Karl’s log of Algonquin trip. August 1998
Day 4: Backpacking Western Upland Trail

We slept very late this morning, although I had actually gotten up at 5:30 am. At that point, the mist covering the lake was so thick that I couldn’t see the other side. It looked like our campsite was at the edge of the world — a few feet past and there was nothing but white emptiness. I was awake enough to stay up to watch the sunrise bring the world into view, but I was so cold that the warmth of my sleeping bag beckoned me back to the tent. Except for the first day, this week has been unseasonably cold.

Breakfast was instant oatmeal, to which I’d added a few handfuls of raisins.

Shortly after breakfast we started backpacking on the Western Upland Trail. We headed west — toward Access Point 4. We found a portage trail (1700 meters) to Little McCraney Lake, so we followed that to its end. We had our lunch (cheese, bagels, peanut butter, and beef jerky) on a grassy spot overlooking the lake.

The hike was very nice with different types of scenery throughout — thick pine woods, mossy clearings, good views of lakes and ponds. Because we headed back to the camp immediately after the portage trail, our entire hike was just under 6 miles.

We needed a swim/bath when we returned. Three days without washing made us rather stinky! The water was very cold (and we could see our breath), so we just waded in and did our best with a washcloth and a bar of Ivory.

We spent the afternoon reading and watching skinny-dippers across the lake through the monocular!

Dinner was Mountain House freeze-dried beef stew and cheesecake in a bag for dessert.

Day 5: Rain Lake
We spent the morning at our campsite, then paddled for about an hour back to Access Point 4 and our truck.

The trip did its job of relaxing us in peaceful surroundings and the vastness of Algonquin took our minds off our now seemingly trivial troubles. We plan to head back to the Western Upland trail for backpacking a larger portion of it.

More information about Algonquin Provincial Park:

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