Mouse Lake – Site 1

Map Courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest Access Point: Kiosk (Access Point 29)
Distance To Access Point:  16.6 KM (4 – 5 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Medium (A few portages, a couple on the  longer side, nothing too challenging).
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: June, 2018

This is a nice enough site just across from the portage down to Club Lake. It shares a very nice beach with the site directly to its south and is, at least in early June, home to all the black flies in Algonquin Park.

Terrain: I want to describe this site as being both relatively flat and as having a slight rise. Which is confusing and not a great way to start off, but here we are. It’s a smaller site and the area around the fire pit (which is close to the shore) is relatively even. There’s a small rise away from the pit towards the tent spots, and you go up again if you’re looking for the Thunderbox. But on the whole it’s not like you’re climbing Mt. Everest. The path to the beach (and to the site to the south as well) is clear and easy to follow. The one thing to know is that it’s a pretty enclosed site. There’s a break in the trees where the canoe lands, but that’s about it. Otherwise, you don’t have much exposure to the lake.

Canoe Landing: There’s a pretty clearly defined break in the treeline that’s meant to be the canoe landing. It’s not the easiest spot for loading/unloading, but could be worse. There’s a big rock you can crouch on, assuming you don’t want to get your boots wet. The vegetation grows right up to the shoreline and the shoreline itself is rocky without a natural spot to pull the canoe up further onto land without scratching the heck out of the bottom of your boat. On the plus side, the underwater approach is pretty good. We didn’t see (or hit) any submerged obstacles coming in or out.

Fire Pit: Well built with a solid wall facing the prevailing wind. The pit is located close to the water, meaning you get a nice view of the sunset while you’re cooking your dinner. There are a couple of log benches sitting at right angles on the forest side of the fire and a handy grill that gets a 3 out of 5 on the “I’m not putting something that’s going in my stomach on that” scale.

Thunderbox: I don’t have a picture of it, but I remember it being a decent enough T-box, even if the bug activity meant I didn’t spend much time fully appreciating what it had to offer.

I think you can swim here.

Swimmability: Very swimmable. The beach just to the south is an easy walk and is by far the highlight of the site. The sandy bottom goes out a decent distance and I spent a decent amount of time submerged to my neck trying to avoid the bugs.

Accessories: The site comes with two solid log benches around the fire pit and a makeshift counter /table thing that seemed kind of shaky. It was good enough to spread our gear out on it, but you wouldn’t want to be doing any food prep on top. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s gone by now.

Tent Sites: At least two decently flat spots for tents. As I mentioned earlier, the site does seem to be on a small slope, but the tent spots are level enough that you don’t notice it.

Views: Really nice sunset view from the canoe landing and fire pit. Apart from that window, however, the site is pretty closed in by trees. This offers a degree of protection from the prevailing winds, but means that it can get kind of dim once you move away from the fire/kitchen area.

This is your view. Could be worse.

Notes: This is a fine site, not awesome, not bad. Without the nearby beach there wouldn’t be much to set it apart from other sites, but the beach is a pretty nice bonus. If you’re staying here in June make sure you’ve got enough bug gear. Like, bring all the bug gear.

Related Trip Report: Welcome to Kiosk: The Mouse Lake Swarm
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