Hogan Lake – Site 1

Hogan Lake
Map Courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest Access Point: Opeongo (Access #11)
Distance To Access Point:  36.2 KM (1½-2 Day’s Travel. Depends on the winds on Opeongo)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Medium (It’s a long distance, but it’s mostly paddling with a couple big portages thrown in.)
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: September, 2018

I really, really liked this campsite. It’s an island site, much like the famous Shangri-La site on Catfish Lake. And, like the Shangri-La site, this one requires a bit of climbing to get up to the firepit and tent areas. If there’s a slight downside it’s that there isn’t a ton of great, flat space for tents. However, as long as you’re not too picky, you can find spots that work, and once you do you’ll be happy because this is a great site to stay on (provided you don’t pitch your tent on a pile of poop).

Terrain: Definitely sloped. The climb up from the water is steep enough that someone’s built steps into the side of the hill. The ground underfoot is very clear, so no worries about tripping over exposed roots or anything like that, but there are very few spots on the site that I’d call flat. Regardless of where you’re going, you’re probably going to be either climbing or descending, and that can be a pain in the ass if you’ve just finished a long day complete with a long portage (like, for example, the Big Crow to Hogan portage).

Canoe Landing: There’s a wide, rocky beach fronting the west side of the site that’s perfect for pulling up. There are no hidden underwater obstructions (at least none that I hit) and someone has built a small rock jetty sticking out from the beach if you want a dry step stone to get out of the boat.

Fire Pit: The fire pit’s in good shape. The fire pit area is built on one of the relatively flat parts of the site and there’s plenty of seating around the pit in the form of log benches.

Tent Sites: There’s plenty of clear ground on this site. Unfortunately, a lot of that clear ground is on some kind of an angle or another. It’s not the end of the world; we were able to find at least two relatively decent spots to pitch our tents, but it could be a challenge if you’ve got multiple large tents (there’s also a third spot in a patch of grass down by the canoe landing that looked doable in a pinch). Oh, yeah, make sure you’re not pitching your tent on a pile of semi-frozen human poop.

Swimability: Super swimmable. The underwater terrain is rocky, yes, but not bad on the feet regardless. It’s a really nice spot to wade in and the views from the beach of the west end of Hogan make a great backdrop for a dip. There’s a small island nearby with its own little beach that would be fun to swim between on a hot day.

Thunderbox: The Thunderbox is in pretty decent shape. It’s down a path towards the middle of the island and is somehow both well hidden from view but also gives you a nice view while you’re using it. I don’t know how that works, but trust me, it’s true.

The fire pit area. Unsanctioned bathroom zone is in the background.

Accessories: There are a few decent log benches around the fire pit, as well as a solidly built counter slung between two nearby trees. The site’s grill is a standup affair that would be good for resting a pot on, but would be terrible for cooking food directly. There are stairs built into the side of the hill to help get from the canoe landing to the site, and, as I mentioned earlier, a nice little rock jetty to help with loading/unloading.

Views: From the beach you’ve got great views to the western shore of Hogan and down into Crow Bay. The tree cover is there, but not oppressive, and from the top of the site you’ve got a minimally obstructed view further north and east down Hogan. The morning views are particularly nice as the little island just south of the one the site is on reflects the rising sun and ends up looking like something out of a postcard (or … uh … instagram post for all you kids out there).

Notes: I really liked this site. Probably one of my top five sites I’ve stayed on (I say that too much. At this point, I’ve got like Eight sites in my top five). This would be a great spot to put down roots for a day or two and do some exploring. There are some impressive cliffs just east of the site on Hogan, and Jeff’s Map shows some historic sites nearby as well.

Related Trip Report: Into the Wind Part Two – Homeward from Hogan

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