Hilly Lake – Site 1

Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest Access Point:  Smoke Lake (Access Point #6)
Distance To Access Point:  14.4 KM (4 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Hard
Maintenance Level: Low
Date of Visit: August, 2021

This is a hard to get to site. You can come at it from Smoke Lake to the east or Park Lake to the west. Either way, it’s not a walk in the Park getting there. The Smoke Lake direction is more difficult, but both have their challenges. The site itself is actually better than I expected given its remoteness and the fact that I expect it’s pretty far down the Park’s improvement list. It’s not great, but it will do for a night.

Terrain: This is a very flat site. You pull up to a gravel beach and the ground barely rises from there as you follow a short trail back to the site. The site proper is clear of obstacles and ground cover is basically dirt. This is also a bit of a wet area. The shoreline is all grass and damp ground and I imagine the bugs would be a challenge earlier in the season.

Canoe Landing: There’s a wide gravelly beach that wraps around the small point where the site is located. You can pull up to one of two paths that lead into the site, one facing south and one facing west. Both landings are great. Free of obstacles in the underwater approach and easy to load/unload from.  The underwater slope is so gradual that you may need to wade out a bit before you can get your boat off bottom, but that’s about it.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is smack in the middle of the site. It’s nothing special, not much more than a circle of rocks. It’s a well built circle though, you can balance a grill nicely across its walls. The views from the fire pit out to the lake aren’t great. In fact, they’re pretty much non-existent.

Swimability: In theory the gradual beach-y bottom would make for a good spot to wade in, but there’s also a decent amount of green stuff floating in the water along the shore. That’s not ideal as far as swimming goes. To be honest, there are very few lakes along this stretch I’d want to swim in. Hilly is probably the best of the bunch (maybe second best, Greenwood is nice too), but that’s not saying much.

Tent Sites: There’s room for at least a couple of tents. Everything is in the same clearing, tent space, fire pit and benches, so you’ll be sleeping close to the action areas. Ground is nice and float.

Accessories: There’s a basic log bench beside the fire and a nice grill near the fire pit. Someone has also left behind a really nice fry pan/spatula/tongs set. Odds are they won’t be there by the time you’re going through (whoever you are who has decided that Hilly is the place to be for a night), but maybe they will be!

The thunderbox on Hilly.

Thunderbox: The thunderbox is down a short and clear path out the side of the site. It’s very new looking and hasn’t seen much use. About what you’d expect for a campsite that itself probably doesn’t see much use.

Views: The site proper is back in the woods, meaning you’re surrounded by trees and brush without much of a view out to the water. You’ve got a nice view across Hilly from the canoe landing area, but you’d have to specifically walk down there from the site if you want to enjoy that view.

Notes: This site was better than I expected. I wouldn’t want to stay on it for more than a night, but it would certainly do in a pinch.

The view from the site on Hilly.

Related Trip Report: Canoe Lake to Park Lake: A Walk Amongst The Raspberries
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