Clover Lake – Site 1

clover lake numbered
Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest Access Point: Achray (Access #22)
Distance To Access Point:  15.3 KM (A full day’s travel)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Hard (creeks and low maintenance portages)
Maintenance Level: Low, but in good shape.
Date of Visit: Mid-May, 2018

I really liked this campsite. It’s got everything a tired tripper (and believe me, no matter how you get here you’ll be tired by the time you arrive) could ask for: good tent spots, fantastic swimming, beautiful exposed rock faces to catch the sun on, a good fire pit set up and, of course, a not-disgusting thunder box. It’s the perfect place to relax, enjoy a fire and watch the water after a long day.

Terrain: This site built at the top of a big old chunk of Canadian shield. This means there’s a bit of a climb up from the canoe landing to the firepit/tent area, but it’s not exactly a tough slope and the ground is clear and easy to traverse. You’re mostly walking on exposed rock at the front of the site, while the tent pads are built a bit further into the woods on a regular forest floor.

Canoe Landing: As is fitting for a site that’s built on a rock face, the underwater apprach is also dominated by rocks. You might smack into a couple as you approach, but it’s not going to be too much of an impediment. The best place to pull up your boat is around the south side of the point, facing a nearby island. It’s pretty easy to load/unload from here and once you’re done you can pull the boat up onto the gradual rock slope for the night.

IMG_4154Fire Pit: The fire pit is basic, but serves its purpose. The rock walls are fairly low, and the pit is very exposed to any oncoming wind, so if it’s a windy day you may have to try and build up a windbreak of some kind. Apart from that, it’s in a perfect spot. The pit is at the top of the rockface and overlooks Clover, making it a great spot to sit and watch the flames or the water.

Tent Sites: Two decent spots for medium sized tents. The closer spot is the better of the two, but both are reasonably flat and provide some protection from the elements in the form of surrounding tree cover.

Swimability: I was there about a week after ice out, so I didn’t do a ton of swimming. That being said, I did go in and in the middle of the summer this would be a fantastically swimmable site. The rock slope provides easy access to the water with multiple places where you can wade in to your knees then either wade further or jump. The rock face would also be a great place to lie out and catch some rays, if you were a character in an Archie comic and actually said things like “catch some rays”.

Welcome to the Thunder Dome

Thunderbox: Good enough. It was in pretty good shape and, thanks to Clover being kind of tough to get to, definitely not suffering from overuse. It’s also far enough from the site that there aren’t any privacy issues.

Accessories: Apart from a grill that gets a 2 out of 5 on the “I’m not putting anything that’s going in my stomach on that” scale, and a couple of basic log benches by the fire, none.

Views: Fantastic east facing view across Clover. Basically, you’ve got a 180 degree view of the lake from the fire pit and swimming area. And, if you feel like it, you can wander down to the canoe landing to kind of catch the sunset. The view from the tent sites is partially obstructed by the forest, but to my mind that’s a good thing because if cuts the wind. If you want views, just go sit by the fire. There are a couple of small evergreens nearby that enhance the view more than they obstruct it, and that’s about it.

Notes: I really liked this site. It’s definitely in my top 10 and probably in my top 5. Clover is a pain in the ass to get to no matter which way you’re coming, so there’s a good chance that this site will be available if you make it down there. I wouldn’t suggest it for large groups unless I’m forgetting about another tent spot, but if it’s just you and a couple of buddies, this would be a great spot to spend a day or two.

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Related Trip Reports:
Four Lakes to Clover
Tarn Lake and a Whole Lot of Walking

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