Barred Owl Lake – Site 1

Site Details

Closest Access Point:  Tim Lake, I think, but closest is relative here. This is about as interior as you can get. There are no close access points.
Distance to Access Point:  46 KM – 2 Full Days
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Hard. Like, no matter if you’re coming from Kiosk, North Tea or Tim it’s hard.
Maintenance Level: Low. Whatever is below Low.
Date Visited: May 2023

Map Courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

So, to start with, this is not a reservable campsite (nor are the sites on Nod Lake). There’s a campsite sign on the site, and you can find the sites on the official Park map, but if you go to reserve online you’re not going to find them. Why? Well, according to Unlostify’s new Algonquin map, the Park forgot to include them in the reservation service. Which I kind of love. The upshot is that there are a few campsites in this general vicinity that are guaranteed not to be booked if you find yourself in need of an emergency stopping spot. But would Barred Owl’s lone site be your emergency stopping spot of choice? Read on to find out (also, the answer is “no”).

Terrain: This site is built on a gently sloping hump of land poking out into Barred Owl. It’s overgrown and clearly sees little use. The gentle slope turns quickly into a less than gentle slope, leaving you with not that much in terms of a site footprint.

Canoe Landing: The site’s shoreline is a mix of mud and grass. There are plenty of spots to pull up, although you can’t guarantee you’ll keep your feet dry if it’s been a particularly rainy few days. Not too many underwater obstacles to worry about.

Fire Pit: Centrally located. This is a standard, and basic, interior low maintenance pit. That said, I liked the look of it when we were there. Someone had clearly taken a bit of time to build up the walls.

Tent Sites: Honestly, I don’t know where you’d want to put a tent on this site. The only level-ish area is directly beneath a massive pine tree (pictured in the back of this photo behind the fire pit area) that is bristling with branches just waiting to fall on you in the middle of the night. So your choices are rolling down the hill like a hotdog at a 7-11 or ending up flat as a pancake at the IHOP.

Thunder Box: The box is at the top of a steep hill, overlooking the other side of that same steep hill. Your legs aren’t quite hanging off into space, but it doesn’t feel far from it. Nice box though! I don’t think it’s seen a whole lot of use. And it’s got a great view.

View: Speaking of views, the view across Barred Owl is quite nice. Barred Owl is very small, but scenic. You’ve got a good view of the water from everywhere on the site.

Notes: Honestly, don’t stay here. The site in between Barred Owl and Nod (about a 10 second paddle away) is better.

Related Trip Report: Birchcliffe, The Nip and Some Hills

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