Closest Access Point: Canoe Lake (Access Point #5)
Distance To Access Point: 13 KM (2.5 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: July, 2021
This is the only site on Bartlett’s northwest side. It’s up a bit of a hill from the water, but is spacious enough once you make the climb. I’d stay here over site 1 or 2. I didn’t get a chance to visit it because it was taken, but site 3 looks like the best option on the lake FWIW.
Terrain: There are three levels to this site. There’s the shoreline level, the site proper level where you’ll find the fire pit and a couple of tent pads and the thunderbox level. Each of these is a bit of a climb from the one below it. Each level is, uh, level enough and easy to navigate, but be prepared for a leg workout if you stay here.
Canoe Landing: The shoreline sort of just melds into the water, which makes for a decent spot to load/unload. The hill starts almost immediately, so it’s tough to ram the bow up on shore, but pulling up parallel works well. There was little in the way of underwater obstruction or hazard on the approach.
Fire Pit: It’s a decent, if basic, pit. When I was there it was just a circle of big-ish rocks in the middle of a pine needle clearing. The view down to the lake is semi-obstructed.
Swimming: Bartlett wouldn’t be high on my list of places to swim. The entire lake feels kind of shallow and weedy, even in the places where it isn’t. That said, it’s easy enough to get in and out of the water from this site. But be prepared for weeds and lily pads, because you’re going to be swimming with them both.
Tent Sites: Two decent tent pads that would be big enough for a medium/large sized tent. There’s a third spot closer to the fire pit that would work as well as long as you’re not worried about sparks landing on your fly.
Accessories: Not much in the way of added extras. The log “benches” look like they’ve been there since the Carter administration. On the plus side, there’s enough moss growing on one of them that it could double as a cushion.
Thunderbox: Seems like a relatively new thunderbox, and one that hasn’t had much use to boot. Fair warning, the box is the highest point on the site. You’ll be walking up and down a hill every time you need to use it. So maybe skip the chili.
Views: Tree cover along the shoreline is moderately dense and consistent. As a result you’ve got semi-obstructed views south and east from a lot of the site, but no really great views anywhere.
Notes: This site is fine. I’d stay here on a busy weekend when Tom Thomson is full and someone else has already grabbed site 3. Otherwise, it would probably be pretty far down the list in the area (For example, I can think of about 7 sites on Tom Thomson I’d rather stay at).
Related Trip Report: Tom Thomson Lake
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