Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Halfway Lake Provincial Park

From Halfway Lake

We spent last week at Halfway Lake Provincial Park, 90 kilometres north of Sudbury.  Halfway Lake is considered a natural environment park, and it is definitely on the more rustic side.  The last 40 kilometres of highway getting to the park winds through rocks, lakes and rivers.  We scared a large black bear off the highway just before we got to the park.

There are four hiking trails at Halfway Lake. One is rated as fairly easy, one moderate and two strenuous. We did the moderate hike, and I'd call it a little closer to strenuous myself. It was overgrown in places and quite hilly, but the view from the top was really nice.

Halfway Lake is the place to go if you want to canoe a lot. We were out every day, often at dusk, and the lakes in the park are beautiful at that time of day. We ran into so many beavers that I lost count. Most were slapping their tails on the water as we approached, making a huge splash.

From Halfway Lake

Halfway Lake had a "wind event" in 2002. It has been commonly called a tornado, but officially it was a downburst. The north end of the campground still shows the extent of the damage, with many large pine trees snapped in half about 40 feet up. The most damage can be seen from the hiking trails or the lakes, where the fallen trees were left as-is.

From Halfway Lake

We were hoping to see some moose on this trip, but we were unlucky.  We did see one other bear, unfortunately under the rear end of our trailer one evening.  Lots of herons, some hawks.  A couple of nights we heard wolves howling too, but they sounded pretty far off.

More photos here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/BernardsElmira/HalfwayLake

 

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:12 p.m.

    I guess you found the Echo Pond trail rough? I think people when they venture into the what you call "rustic" parks they expect too much from nature. Nature does not clear a special path for you to follow. As for moose, if the bugs are not bad enough they don't stand waiting for sight see'rs on the side of the road. Nor, do you want to see one on the road while you are travelling. Any local will tell you that as enough people have died. I could feel from you trip that you did not have a chance to really feel the park as our family has over the past 19 years. We have travelled from the edge of Manitoba and back and no park can even come close to meeting all expectations for all age groups. Did you forget to mention the over a mile long sandy beach? What about the homey park store and guided hikes and childrens programs. Your comments were noted, but your love for the park showed a lack of respect.

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  2. > I guess you found the Echo Pond trail rough?

    We hiked it with an eight-year-old and a five-year-old. For them, it was rough. It was also a warm, humid day. For an adult in good shape, it was fine. The park tabloid calls it "moderate to strenuous".

    > As for moose, if the bugs are not bad enough they don't stand waiting for sight see'rs on the side of the road.

    But if you read the description of the park on the Ontario Parks website, you may expect to see moose. All I'm saying is that we didn't stumble across any.


    > Nor, do you want to see one on the road while you are travelling. Any local will tell you that as enough people have died.

    In fact, someone hit a moose just north of the park while we were there, and died.


    > no park can even come close to meeting all expectations for all age groups.

    I agree.


    > Did you forget to mention the over a mile long sandy beach?

    Possibly, but nearly every park has a sandy beach.


    > What about the homey park store

    Every park has a homey park store.


    > guided hikes and childrens programs.

    We didn't do any guided hikes or programs, so I didn't feel I should make something up.


    > Your comments were noted, but your love for the park showed a lack of respect.

    You're either reading too much between the lines, or not enough.

    I would go back to Halfway Lake again, but there are other parks I would visit again sooner.

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  3. Anonymous2:50 p.m.

    I go on so many nature hikes and off route trails to know that the Echo Pond trail is nothing more than a deer passageway. I was sooo disappointed.. I mapped out this trail via net for a while. Good thing I didn't aim for the 8 hour excursion trail like I wanted. There was not much scenery except it looked as tho it was a place where trees go to die.The trail needs to be maintained and cleared on a regular basis. I have made many trails with just a snipper and a shovel, so , I do understand the labor and time required and believe me.. it doesn't take much effort. . Once in a long while I might see the lake through the trees. A trail should be wide enough for a 4wheeler to get through in case of emergency. Should have larger clearings for rest areas and relief from the mosquitoes. I walked and climbed through this trail for 45 minutes when there were no more markers and no clear path so we turned back. I am sorry I have nothing good to add about this trail but, if u want people to show some respect.. respect the avid hikers and fix the trail.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:27 a.m.

      I consider myself an avid hiker and would be pretty disappointed if all of the Northern Ontario trails I visited has enough room for a 4-wheeler... it would be too reminiscent of a Southern Ontario Conservation Area trail. That said, make sure you never try to take on Hawks Ridge if that is how you feel about Echo Pond.

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  4. Anonymous11:25 p.m.

    lol if it has the same type of views as echo pond.. I am not interested

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