Manitou Lake – Site 8

Closest Access Point: Kiosk (Access Point #29 )
Distance To Access Point:  12KM (2-3 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: May, 2019

This is a great little site, especially if you’re looking for a place to get out of a cold spring rain. It’s got a decent amount of shelter without feeling enclosed, space for at least a couple of tents and is home to an extremely industrious woodpecker, for what that’s worth.

Terrain: Ground cover is a mix of dead pine needles and dirt. The site is flat, but it’s raised up from the water so you’ve got a bit of a climb to get from the canoe landing to the rest of the site. Fortunately some thoughtful Park employee has built a staircase from the canoe landing to the site, which will save you slipping on any wet terrain on the way up, unless you happen to step on the side of the staircase, which is extremely slippery. On the plus side, the bruise on my arm where I fell on it is almost gone.

Canoe Landing:  Not bad. The approach is decent with a couple of different spots where you can pull up and unload without too much difficulty. The shoreline is mostly gradually sloped rock, so watch your step as you get out if it’s been raining as the rocks can be slippery.

Fire Pit: The pit is in pretty decent shape. It’s just a circle of rocks in the middle of a pine needle strewn clearing, but it’s a well built circle of rocks and you can get a pretty good blaze going in it, even if it’s raining. There’s a grill that’s part of the pit that isn’t much to look at as far as putting food on it is concerned, but was a great support for a thick piece of tree trunk that I propped over it to act as a roof for our fire.

Swimability: I’d say pretty swimmable, although we didn’t do any swimming ourselves. The sloped rocks would make for a nice entrance to the water and there is quite a bit of shoreline available to slip in from.

Accessories: Not much. There are a couple of log benches around the fire pit and that’s really it.

Tent Sites: At least three decently flat sites, with a couple more spaces that would work almost as well. This is a great site if you’ve got a group with a bunch of tents, or if you’re a solo tripper who absolutely needs a different tent for each hour of the night.

Thunderbox: This is a great thunderbox. It’s a short walk away from rest of the site in a small ravine. The box is in great shape and the ravine is a good place to take a break and try to force the rain to stop through sheer force of will.

The view up Manitou the second morning

Views: This is a pretty enclosed site. You’re on the south side of an island with tree cover along a lot of the shoreline. There are windows that provide views west down Manotick, and you can see the water immediately in front of the site from pretty much everywhere, but the best way to get a good view here would be to go down to the canoe landing, which has an unobstructed view south (for what that’s worth) and west (which is much better. You could also sneak over to site 7 if it’s unoccupied, because the western view there is fantastic.

Notes: Not much to say about this beyond what’s already been said. I liked this site and I’d happily stay there again.

Related Trip Report: To Manitou And Back Again
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