We spent last week at Grundy Lake Provincial Park, near Sudbury. Grundy is one of my top parks - there is just so much to do. The weather was a little sketchy, with some rain and cool temperatures, but it didn't slow us down much.
We took a nice day-long trip on Pakeshkag Lake. The road from the campground to the lake is only about 3km, but it's narrow and rough. The lake itself is not large. At the end of the lake, there's a small waterfall to hump the canoe over into a smaller lake. For the adventurous, you can then drag the canoe through a tunnel under the railway tracks (or over, as the portage sign suggests - I highly recommend going under the tracks). Once you're on the other side, there's another waterfall to carry the canoe around, through a patch of poison ivy. But, if you make it that far, you're on a beautiful lake with a terrific rock to stop on for lunch and a swim.
We returned to Pakeshkag Lake later in the week, and went up a different creek, across the lake from the canoe launch. There was lots of moose evidence, but the threatening rain, fallen trees, beaver dams and strong wind turned us around early. Next time we'll wear bathing suits and lift the canoe over the dams to go farther upstream.
Several mornings we woke up early and went for a sunrise paddle on Gurd Lake.
Every morning we saw a family of six or seven otters in the same spot.
There were lots of loons swimming and flying around Gurd Lake at all times of the day. We ran into a group one morning.
On this trip we hiked all three of Grundy's trails, and a bonus one at the French River visitor's centre.
The Beaver Dam trail is the longest one in the park, with two loops. At the end of the far loop we stumbled on a nest of yellowjackets in some tree roots. Unfortunately, two of our party came out on the losing side of that encounter, including smallest daughter. She refused to let me carry her though, and walked it off all the way back to the car.
The girls and I returned to the Beaver Dam trail at sunset one evening, hoping to see some wildlife. We walked the trail to the first wetland lookout, and saw a buck with a decent set of antlers. He spooked when he saw us and ran into the forest before we could snap a photo.
The Gut Lake trail is the prettiest in the park. It runs along the lake opposite the jumping rocks. The first half of the trail is smooth granite, with a beautiful view along the lakeshore. The second half is forest with a wetland view.
At the French River visitor centre, about a five minute drive north of Grundy, we did the Recollet Falls trail. The trail is hilly and very "rocky and rooty" as the kids say. The falls themselves are neat to see though, and we arrived there at the same time a canoe group was starting their portage around the falls.