Algonquin Park: Camping Trip Logs: 015 - Potter Lake Easter Weekend - Access Point #5
Trip Log: April 6 - 8, 2012 Potter Lake Easter Weekend.
With an unseasonably warm March and the earliest ice out ever seen for Algonquin Park, plans were made to go on an early April canoe trip. Markus started inquiring about a trip to Potter Lake and I said I’d be interested in going, as I always do. Once the word got out several others threw their hats in as well. In the end we had a mix of old and new friends totaling nine, but the trippers arrived and departed on various days around the Easter long weekend.
I had never been to Potter Lake but given its close proximity to an area I’ve always wanted to get to – Brule Lake – I was excited to head in.
April 6, 2012 - Canoe Lake to Potter Lake
I don’t know why he does it, but Markus insists on always being at the permit office when they open. Makes for more canoe time and further travels on the first day, but I am not a morning person! I managed to stick to my timetable and was on the road just past 5 AM so I could meet Markus at the Algonquin Park West Gate when it opened at 9 AM. The day looked like it would be a nice sunny early spring day.
When we arrived at Canoe Lake the day was still sunny with a moderate breeze coming down the length of the lake. We would be paddling into a headwind on our way up to Potter Creek. There was one other solo paddler preparing to head off, other than that the place was deserted.
About 1 PM we reached the only longish portage of the trip, 725m broken into a 60m to the road and a 665m along the road to Potter Lake. We took a few minutes here to eat some lunch and rest. There were a couple of spots along the 60m with big piles of snow still left. As we walked along the soft road with our first load we saw someone walking towards us, we thought it would be Glenn or Paul, the two guys we were to meet on Potter Lake. Turns out it was just Glenn, he had arrived the day before but had seen no one else yet. Paul was missing, but he was coming in with his sons which made us wonder if it was him at the Tepee Lake portage?
Glenn walked with us to the Potter Lake put in but continued on to the camp site using the road. Markus and I carried our gear down the steep embankment and paddled to the first camp site on the west shore where Glenn was. The wind was howling in our faces pretty good and it was a workout to reach this site. Glenn said he could barely make it paddling solo the day before.
But camp chores needed to get done. A tarp was strung to try and block some of the wind from blowing through the site. It wasn’t the most ideal site for early spring camping but the danger of paddling a windy and wavy lake when the water temperatures are just above freezing wasn’t worth trying for a better spot. A hunt for a bit of firewood also was done.
Well, now we could settle down to supper and drinks around the fire. Markus cooked up a couple of Licks burgers for each of us. Bizarrely we had a group of about 7 or 8 people come hiking down the road which was right behind our site, late teens I would guess. We didn’t see them again and have no idea where they were heading or what they were doing.
A very unusual spot to be seeing hikers, luckily there was a full outhouse and not just a thunderbox. You never know who’s going to go walking by, even when you are in the interior of Algonquin Park it seems. It quieted down, both traffic and wind wise, and we sat around the fire a bit before calling it a night.
Trip Log 015
Access Point #5
Potter Creek and waterfalls
Easter weekend trip with great spring weather and a visit to Brule Lake. This was the earliest spring trip ever taken, male mergansers were seen.
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