Closest Access Point: Canoe Lake (Access Point #5 )
Distance To Access Point: 11 KM (2 – 2.5 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: July, 2020
Baby Joe only has one site, and this is it. As far as sites go, it’s fine. There’s a fire pit, there’s a place to put your tent, there’s … well, that’s about it. This is a perfectly serviceable site, but Baby Joe is not a lake I’d really want to stay on. It’s shallow, small and smack dab in the middle of Algonquin’s highway 400. You’re going to have people paddling past at all hours. So even though you might look at this and think “hey, private lake”, it’s going to be everything but that in reality.
Terrain: This is a nice and flat site. The ground cover is fallen pine needles over bare earth. There aren’t many tripping hazards or random rockbergs sticking out. Pretty much the entire site is contained to one medium sized clearing. There’s a window in the shoreline coverage where you’ve got a decent view south, but otherwise it’s relatively enclosed by pines and brush.
Canoe Landing: There’s a small beachy landing big enough for one or two canoes at a time. It’s a great spot for loading and unloading though. Easy to pull up, not much in the way of underwater obstacles on the approach.
Fire Pit: It’s a pretty basic fire pit. Not much more than a circle of rocks.
Swimability: The gradual sandy bottom makes it easy to wade out, but Baby Joe as a whole is pretty shallow and a bit weedy in places. Not my ideal spot for swimming, but you could do worse.
Tent Sites: You can fit two or three tents on this site. They’ll all be pretty close to each other, and close to the fire pit/sitting area, but the ground is nice and flat.
Thunderbox: I didn’t check out this thunderbox because there was a tangle of trees down along the path to the thunderbox and I really didn’t feel like pushing through the brush to find it.
Accessories: Not much in the way of accessories. A couple of log benches around the fire pit and that’s pretty much it.
Views: As I mentioned before, this is a fairly enclosed site so you don’t have a ton of visibility to the lake, particularly looking north to the Burnt Island portage. The views you do get south are nice, but again, Baby Joe is fairly small so it’s not like it’s a panoramic vista or anything.
Notes: This is a fine site if you need a place to stay for the night, but definitely not something I’d make a destination for more than one night.
Related Trip Report: Burnt Island Lake
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