Cedar Lake – Site 31

Cedar Lake
Map Courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

I stayed on this site in August, 2017. I chose this site specifically for its proximity to the Brent access point. I was meeting some buddies at Brent and I wanted something easy to get to and from as they were arriving late. This is the first site west of the access point on the north shore, and it did not disappoint. It’s a decent little spot no more than a ten minute paddle (or 15 minute walk) from the access point, but that doesn’t feel like you’re giving up on privacy by staying there.

Canoe Landing/Terrain: The canoe landing is a small, pebble beach. Very easy to pull up to and load/unload from. The site is fairly level, with a very small rise from the beach up to the rest of the site. It’s also a fairly compact site, everything is within twenty feet of the fire pit. Despite its compactness, it doesn’t feel cramped.

Tent sites: I counted four spots that would work pretty well. Two up behind the fire pit that would be good for any sized tent. A third, small, spot just between the fire pit and the beach. This would give a great view of the water, but is probably best used as a place to cook and prepare food instead of as a tent site. There’s a fourth, semi-secret spot that I didn’t notice until my second day on the site. It’s off to the right when looking up at the site from the water, and is surrounded by a circle of pine trees. It feels like it would be very cosy and would work well for anyone hanging a tarp or a hammock tent.

That. That is a fire pit.

Fire Pit: Good enough. It’s just a circle of rocks, nothing fancy. There’s a grill on site that I’d give a 2/5 on the “I’m not putting anything that’s going in my stomach on that thing” scale. One thing about fires, I guess because of its proximity to the access point, the woods around the site were pretty picked over for firewood (they were also soaked from all the rain we’d been having, so what was there was pretty damp). Might be a good idea to do some shore gathering on your way there.

Accessories: A couple of rough log benches, one that can be used as an ok counter. There’s also a short pole tacked between two trees just up from the beach. Gets a good breeze and decent afternoon sun, making for a good clothes rack. My favourite thing about this site wouldn’t necessarily be an accessory, but there’s a spot between the fire pit and the beach where three pine trees grow close together, making a perfectly sheltered spot to sit and watch the water. It rained just as I finished setting up, and kept going all night, but I was able to sit in that spot and watch the rain over the water without getting too wet until it got dark.

Swimability: Very. The beach is a great, gradual walk in. Underwater is rocky though, so maybe wear some shoes as the footing isn’t perfect.

A genuine Algonquin Thunderhouse!

Thunderboxhouse: This site doesn’t have a thunder box, it has a thunder house. Given that this must be a fairly well used site, it’s actually in pretty good condition (although the door is no longer, strictly speaking, attached to it).

Views: Really good. You’re looking northwest down cedar and get a good view of both the sunset and any weather coming in. While I was there it was intermittently rainy, and I got to watch the squalls and clouds pouring over the western hills and moving across the water.

Drawbacks: None, really. It’s a smaller site, and it’s definitely not a true backcountry site, but for what it is, it does its job well.

Notes: You can walk to Brent from this site. There’s a path past the thunderhouse that goes off into the woods. Follow it (the last twenty feet will feel like it’s pretty much disappeared) and it will take you out behind some nearby cottages. From there you can walk along a gravel road into Brent, if you’re so inclined. (FYI: The people in the cottage next to the site are really nice and really friendly. I stopped and had a quick chat with them and they invited me in for dinner within about 30 seconds, despite the fact that I hadn’t showered in four days and must have smelled like an escaped lab monkey.)

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Related Trip Reports:
The Brent Crawl – Part three: Stumbling Towards Brent




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