Closest Access Point: Opeongo (Access Point 11)
Distance To Access Point: 27.5 KM (1 1/2 days paddling, 1/2 day with the water taxi)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Medium/Easy (Depends on if you’re paddling Opeongo or taking the water taxi).
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: September, 2018
This is a level, decent enough site on Little Crow that would do if you needed a place to stop for the night. I don’t know that I’d use it for any longer, mostly because I didn’t find Little Crow itself to be that appealing and I’m guessing there’s a fair amount of traffic that goes by as people make their way to and from Opeongo. It also seemed like this was a higher use site, so a later season visit might find it in rougher shape (although it was fine when we were there in early September).
Terrain: The firepit/tent/living area is flat and clear. Ground cover is dead pine needles and not much else. The site is dotted by individual pines, meaning you’ve got lots of space to string a clothesline or a hammock if you’re so inclined. The site proper is about 5-10 feet above the water. There’s a gradual path up along the shore from the canoe landing area. Not difficult to navigate, but you’ll be carrying your gear about 20-30 feet from the landing to the site itself.
Canoe Landing: The landing is on the southern end of the site. There’s a wide, sloping shelf of rock that provides a couple of spots to pull the canoe up. There wasn’t much in the way of underwater impediments to the approach, but it did take a small bit of balancing to get from the canoe to the rock ledge without upsetting the canoe. There’s space to pull the boat up if you’re just stopping for lunch (like we were) and sheltered, level bit just a bit further up behind some rocks if you want to park it more permanently.
Fire Pit: First of all, it’s a fire pit, not a garbage can. When we came through whoever had been there before decided to just leave all their garbage in the pit. Don’t do this. The pit itself is fine. It’s not much more than a circle of rocks, but it’s well protected from onshore breezes by a very large rock that sits between it and the water. This means that your view of the water from the fire pit is also somewhat protected (read: obstructed) but I guess you take the good with bad.
Swimability: Very swimmable. The canoe landing area doubles as a very nice place to slip in and out of the water. The slope of rock continues underwater, so you can wade in a bit. The westward exposure also means decent afternoon sun so you’d be able to dry off on one of the nearby ledges while watching other boats go by (and I guess they’d be watching you, too).
Tent Sites: There’s enough room near the fire pit for two or three smaller tents. The ground is very flat, so as long as you don’t mind proximity, this isn’t a bad spot for a bigger group. There’s also a secret, kind of rough, clearing near the canoe landing that could be used if you wanted a bit of privacy.
Thunderbox: This thunderbox looks so old it might be one of the park’s original thunderboxes. I’ll have to ask the Official Thunderbox Historian at the next meeting of the Outdoor Privies Appreciation Society. The moss on it is probably more decorative than structural, but I hope that at some point they get a new one in there, especially since I’m guessing it, like the site, is a high traffic spot.
Accessories: There are a couple of benches, a stand up grill and a plywood counter that someone’s put up between a couple of trees. That’s about it.
Views: A mix of semi-obstructed and unobstructed western views. All other directions are blocked out by tree coverage. There are a few pine trees growing along the edge of the site overlooking the lake. They don’t block the view completely, but you’re aware that they’re there. That said, there’s a nice, clear window to the lake on the southern half of the site and the views from the canoe landing and this window are quite good.
Notes: Like I said above, this is a decent enough site to stop on, but maybe not one I’d want to spend a ton of time visiting. There are nicer spots on Big Crow and Proulx (which are bigger lakes too).
Related Trip Report: Into the Wind Part Two: Homeward from Hogan
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