Closest Access Point: Kiosk (Access Point #29)
Distance To Access Point: 12 KM (2-3 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: May, 2019
This is a compact, westward facing site that doesn’t really stand out except for its view. The site is perfectly serviceable, and you could do wors than setting up here for the night, but there isn’t much about it that stands out to me either (again, except for the view).
Terrain: Ground cover is a mix of dirt, grass and dead leaves. While the site is free from obstacles, there is a slope leading up to, and encompassing, the fire pit area. The path up from the canoe landing has a few rocks sticking up out of the dirt, so keep an eye out when you’re carrying your gear up. Once you get behind the fire pit area the ground flattens out (somewhat) and that’s where the majority of the tent spots are.
Canoe Landing: This is a decent landing. The shoreline is soft and mucky but free from obstruction. There are, however, a few underwater rocks leading up to the landing that might be a problem with lower water levels. Keep in mind that, judging by the number of plants sticking out of the water when I was there, the actual landing may be quite a few feet further out than it looks like in my pictures.
Fire Pit: The fire pit is nothing special. In fact, it’s the opposite of special. It’s unspecial. Basically, it’s a fire pit in the sense that any circle of rocks can theoretically be a fire pit, but beyond that it doesn’t have much going for it. The good news is, all you need to be able to do with a fire pit is build a fire in it, and I am confident that it will live up to that (very low) standard. That being said, if there’s a strong east blowing wind you may have to build yourself a bit of a windbreak as the firepit area is quite exposed.
Swimability: I didn’t swim here, but it looks pretty swimmable. It’s a gradual drop into the water from what I could see, with lots of clear shoreline to search for a good spot to slip in.
Tent Sites: Room for two or three tents, although none of the sites were that spectacular as far as I’m concerned. The site closest to the fire pit is kind of slopey. The ones back in the woods are flatter, but also weirdly close to the thunderbox, so do with that what you will.
Thunderbox: This is a nice thunderbox. It’s not that far from the site, and really not that far from one of the best tent sites, but depending on how well you know your tripping partners, maybe that’s not an issue. Otherwise, it’s tucked away in its own little circle of trees and looks to be a decent enough option when the time comes.
Accessories: A couple of log … I hesitate to call them benches. Basically, there are two disintegrating logs on the ground near the fire pit. If you want to call them benches, go ahead. Otherwise, make sure to bring your camp chair.
Views: Really nice view westward down Manitou. There’s pretty dense tree cover looking in every other direction, but the view down the lake makes up for it.
Notes: Of the two sites on Pine Island, I’d probably prefer Site 8 to stay on, but Site 7 for the views and swimming. Hopefully, you can snag the island on a day when both sites are free and just use them both since they’re fairly close together.