Closest Access Point: Kiosk (Access Point #29)
Distance To Access Point: 10 KM (2-3 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: May, 2019
This site is around the corner from the portage onto the Amable du Fond towards Kiosk. It’s a perfectly serviceable site, but probably wouldn’t crack the top 100 on my list of favourite sites to spend some time in Algonquin. It works well enough if it’s late in the day, you just want a place to rest and the beach site at the portage itself is already taken, but otherwise, there are better options on Manitou. (Also, the site isn’t exactly where it says it is on the maps. The map has it at the foot of a small bay when it’s actually a little further west along the shoreline).
Terrain: This is a relatively bumpy site. There are a few flat areas here and there, but for the most part it’s like the ground couldn’t decide what level it wanted to settle on. It doesn’t mean there’s a ton of elevation change (unless you’re going to use the Thunderbox, in which case there is a bit of a climb), but it’s definitely not super flat. The ground cover is mostly dead pine needles with some grass thrown in for variety.
Canoe Landing: Not bad. The shoreline is dominated by big chunks of rock that descend gradually into the water. There weren’t any significant underwater obstructions when we paddled up, but this was in mid May when water levels are at the highest.
Fire Pit: The kind of fire pit you’d expect to find on a lower maintenance campsite. It’s basically a circle of rocks in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by a couple of log “benches” that are really just logs. There’s a nice big rock just behind the firepit that should act as a windbreak if the wind happens to be coming directly from the south.
Swimability: Certainly swimmable (not that I did. It was mid May and freezing). The rocks provide lots of easy access to the water, although it may get a bit slippery so watch your footing. They have a south western exposure, so there should be plenty of sun to dry of in afterwards.
Tent Sites: The only flat spots on the site, but they’re definitely good enough to pitch a tent or two.
Thunderbox: The thunderbox is a ways back from the site, up a hill and in the middle of an open area. I’d say it’s nice and secluded, but there’s a cottage just around the bend up the shoreline so I guess you run the risk of someone deciding to go for a hike and stumbling into your clearing. Apart from that, it was in decent enough shape.
Accessories: Not much, just the log benches I mentioned earlier and some truly rusty grills.
Views: The views are quite nice, particularly from the swimming/canoe rocks. You’ve got great sight lines south and west down Manitou. There aren’t many trees in the way throughout the site, so you’ve got a nice view of the water from pretty much everywhere.
Notes: Like I said, this site is fine, but wouldn’t be my first choice.