Closest Access Point: Basin Lake (Access Point # 19)
Distance To Access Point: 0 KM (You’re already there!)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: June, 2021
Let me paint a word picture for you. You’re enjoying your first night in Algonquin Park. The tent is set up behind you. There’s a fire roaring in the fire pit. You pick up a fallen pine cone and, just because you can, toss it into the darkness. Somewhere in the distance, a loon calls. Except, that’s not a loon and it’s not in the distance. Turns out it’s the truck parked eight feet from your fire pit and the pine cone you just hucked set off its car alarm.
Ever wanted to stay in a parking lot?
Well, here’s your chance! It’s hard to tell where the parking for the Basin Lake access point ends and this site begins, but I suppose if you wanted to you could just look at it like the entire parking lot is your camping playground.
Terrain: Flat. It’s a parking lot. Ground cover is pine needles and dirt. There are quite a few roots sticking up out of the ground as well, but this is definitely a flat site.
Canoe Landing: The canoe landing is also the launch spot for the access point. As a result, it’s a decent enough landing. Probably not big enough to launch two trips at once, but given that there are only four bookable sites on Basin, you’re probably not going to be running into too many competing launches.
Fire Pit: It’s a haphazard circle of rocks in the middle of the site. It’s good enough for a fire, but don’t be expecting much else. The site is separated from the water by about fifty feet of trees, so you aren’t going to get much of a view while you’re roasting your marshmallows.
Swimability: The only spot I could see where you could go in for a swim is the canoe landing/access point put in. It’s a gradual walk in from here, but not ideal swimming conditions. The underwater terrain is a mix of sand and decomposing lake bottom stuff. TBH, as far as I could tell that’s the case for most of the sites on Basin Lake (the notable exception being site 2). Also, I understand that Basin is one of only two lakes in the Park that naturally supports pike. Nothing makes a swim fun like the nagging worry that at some point something is going to mistake one of your toes for a worm.
Tent Sites: The site is very flat. You can put a few tents here. Depending on how much of the parking lot you’re willing to colonize, I guess you could put more than a few. It’s also a great site for hammock tents. Plenty of tall, well spaced pines that would work very well.
Thunderbox: I didn’t actually check this one out. It’s down a small path out the right side of the site (when facing the site from the parking lot).
Accessories: A couple of really nicely built log benches. All the spare tires and gas you could ask for as long as you’ve got your siphoning pants on and tire iron handy.
Views: None, really. As I mentioned above, this site is about fifty feet back from the lake, with a bunch of pine in between you and the water. You can see flashes of water through the trees, but it’s not what I would call a view. If you wander down to the put in you can see up Basin Lake a bit. However, thanks to the way the east shore juts out, you can’t see the entire lake.
Notes: Don’t stay here. Seriously, this is the 5th worst site on this lake and only four permits are ever issued, max. You can do better.