Cork Lake – Site 2

Cork Lake
Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps.

Welcome to my favourite campsite from summer, 2016. This site was damn near perfect. It’s located at in the southeasternmost corner of Cork, on a series of wide, flat ledges that provide a great view of the lake and the setting sun, as well as perfect jumping cliff(let)s. I don’t know why you’re even wasting your time reading this. Just go book a night on Cork. See for yourself. For those who need a bit more convincing, this review is going to cover basics like site accessibility, tent placement, swimability, fire pit and kitchen info, any hazards or risks in the area and the ever important Thunder Box update. Enjoy.

A view of the site from the landing

Canoe Landing: When facing the site from the water the landing we used is towards the left hand side of the site. There’s a small muddy bank you can pull up on, easy enough to get in and out but might be tight with a few canoes.

Tent Sites: Multiple decent sites. My favourite, and the one we used, is on a ledge overlooking the water. There are a number of surrounding trees that can be used to string up a tarp for extra protection if needed. (see the header photo for an idea of what this looks like)

A table, a fire pit, some benches. What more do you need?

Firepit: Very well maintained. Provides a good view of the lake while you’re cooking/enjoying life. There are a couple of small benches built into the rock wall that backstops the pit. When we stayed there the grill on site was a 2/5 on the “I wouldn’t put something that’s going in my stomach on that” scale. Definitely useable.

Accessories: A couple of very solidly constructed tables near the kitchen area.

Swim Area: Holy fuck the swimming is awesome. The ledges are great for jumping. Getting in and out of the water is easy; there’s a handy series of ledges almost like steps that rise out of the lake. The biggest drawback is that, if you’re me, you’ll jump in the water so many times you’ll end up with impacted sinuses cause you’re an old man and snore like a grizzly bear with sleep apnea.

Thunder Box: Serviceable. In the middle of a tangle of blowdown trees. We were there at the end of August and it wasn’t disgusting, which I consider a win. Not much of a view to speak of, which is probably a good thing because that means there isn’t much of a view of you either.

Looking south through the campsite. Firepit and kitchen area in the foreground, tent in background. Badass jumping cliffs everywhere.

Drawbacks: I don’t know, you’ll never want to leave? Proximity to the soul sucking hell march that is the Cork to Length Lake Portage? That’s pretty much all I can think of. Well, there is the whole trees falling over all over the place thing which is kind of sketchy. We heard two go down for no reason while we were camped there and there are a ton that seem to have just given up on life and fallen over. So, maybe watch where you put your tent.

Notes:  This is an excerpt from my post about the Barron Canyon trip that took me through Cork Lake. You can tell I liked it there:

“It’s a wide, flat site separated into a series of ledges almost like terraces. Toothpick straight pine trees dot the site, spaced just far enough apart that you can tie up a good tarp structure in a couple of places. We chose a spot on a small ledge about five feet above the water for our tent and rigged up a tarp above it as the forecast had been calling for heavy rain that night. I then spent the better part of the next hour jumping off the ledge in front of the tent, scaring the (seemed like hundreds of) fish that kept gathering in the water there. We ate dinner with our legs dangling over the ledges, watching the sun set over the western shore.”

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