Catfish Lake – Site 11

Catfish Lake
Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

I stayed on this site in August, 2017. I arrived at the site with about ten minutes of daylight left and, I’ll admit, if I’d had a bit more time it it wouldn’t have been my first choice. It wouldn’t have been my second choice either. It probably would have fit in somewhere between my 8th and 9th choices, but I would have secretly wondered the entire time if maybe the 9th choice would have been better. The site itself is laid out well enough, there’re decent amenities and some of the levelest tent sites I’ve ever seen, but it’s also right smack in the middle of a pretty swampy area, which means bugs. So many bugs. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Canoe Landing: Really good. The approach is from the north and is a wide, flat stone beach. Very easy to pull your canoe up on and load/unload. The landing is a bit of a walk from the actual site. You climb a slight hill then hike back a bit before you get to where you’re actually setting up. Someone has built a fire pit on the beach, and I actually spent a minute looking at a very small cleared area beside the canoe landing and wondering if that was all there was to the site. So, yeah, make sure to follow the path that leads away from the landing.

Terrain: This is a low lying island in the middle of a pretty swampy area. The good news is the ground is very flat and easy to navigate. The bad news is that the surrounding swamp grass/lily pads and, I dunno, bug factories, make for a buggy site.

Very level spots for pitching a tent.

Tent Sites: Amazing. Someone has taken the time to build two perfectly level tent pads, both big enough to hold larger tents if necessary. Aside from these pads, the site is pretty level anyway, so you could probably pitch quite a few tents if you were so inclined. Maybe one specifically for the bugs.

Fire Pit: Well built. It’s just a circle of rocks, but man, what a circle. There’s a grill onsite that rates a 3/5 on the “I wouldn’t put anything that’s going in my stomach on that” scale, but it is still solid enough to support a pot or a pan above the fire if necessary.

Accessories: There are a couple of tables that had seen better days. Then they’d seen marginal days. Then they’d seen their last days. Now they kind of exist in that in between place where you can tell they were once meant to be useful, but are too rotten too burn and too flimsy to hold anything. Fortunately, there’s also an awesome, huge, log bench that works as a counter/food prep area as well.

Swimability: Not so hot. As I mentioned above, you’re basically in the middle of a very shallow, very weedy area. You have to paddle through a line of lily pads to get to the site, and I hate swimming in lily pads. Mostly because I’m not a frog.

Kinda looks like a cursed chest from a video game.

Thunderbox: In good shape. In between the the site and the canoe landing, but far enough away from both that you’ve got privacy. No views to speak of, but at least that means no one’s got a view of you.

Views: Actually, a pretty decent view northeast from the canoe landing area. The site is hemmed in on all sides by trees, although you can see between them to the water to the west, south and east. Which, basically, means you’ve got a 360 view of the swarms as they descend.

Drawbacks: The bugs. Also the location. This is actually a really good site, but the location takes it from a 9 to a 5, maybe less.

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