Closest Access Point: Canoe Lake (Access Point #5)
Distance To Access Point: 6.5KM (1 – 1.5 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: June, 2021
This is a decent site. It’s built at the bottom of a fairly steep hill and is longer than it is wide. There’s enough room for a bigger group, although the proximity to some wet, grassy areas to the south could make for a bad bug situation in the spring.
Terrain: The site itself is quite flat. That said, the flat area is only a thin strip at the bottom of large hill. There’s a path that leads up the hill that, eventually, gets you to a flat area at the top of the rise. You could put a tent up here if you really wanted to get away from it all, but mostly it looks like this area is used for winter camping as I found the remains of a fire pit up top. The ground cover of the site itself is a mix of dirt, pine needles and a few roots sticking up as minor tripping hazards.
Canoe Landing: The site is barely above the waterline, meaning the canoe landing is a relatively easy in and out. There’s a small bump sticking out from the site that is a great spot to pull the canoe up. This also means that the rest of your boat is more or less parallel to the shore, so loading/unloading is easy. The underwater approach is sandy without any significant obstacles to navigate.
Fire Pit: The focal point of the site and very close to the water. It’s well built, with high walls on all sides that should provide decent protection from the wind. This is a good thing, since the pit is completely exposed to any onshore breeze.
Swimability: The sandy bottom would make for a decent spot to wade out. That being said, we’re not talking about pure beach here. It’s a mix of sand and other gunk, which is never my favourite for wading through. Water shoes would be a good idea here. (As with all Joe Lake sites, don’t forget to check out the Joe Lake Cliffs on the western side of Joe’s big island for some cliff jumping while you’re here).
Tent Sites: Room for two or three regular sized tents. The ground around the obvious tent pads is flat enough and relatively clear of roots and rocks.
Thunderbox: Remember that path up the hill? I followed it because I assumed it would be the path to the thunderbox. It is not. The thunderbox is actually a fair distance away, down a path that leads out the south end of the site (through some pretty grassy/marshy areas). The box is in okay shape, but the bugs on the path leading into it were horrendous when I was there.
Accessories: A couple of really good benches around the fire pit and that’s about it. There’s a good sized flat rock nearby that could work as a food prep table as well.
Views: This site is very open. There are no trees or bushes between it and the water around the main part of the site. This means you’ve got a really nice view west and northwest to Joe’s big island and the channel to Tepee.
Notes: I liked this site. I’d put it squarely middle of the pack as far as Joe’s sites go. It’s not site 2, but it’s also no site 6.