Radiant Lake – Site 4

Radiant Lake
Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

I visited this site at the end of August, 2017. It was one of my favourites from that summer, if not my favourite. It sits on a wide, sandy beach, with a fantastic view of the lake, great tent sites, a great fire pit area and some of the best swimming I’ve found in the Park. The only downside is that now that I’m telling everyone about it I’ll probably never get to stay there again. Hmm. I can’t have that. Ok, here’s the deal: by continuing to read, you are hereby agreeing to abdicate any claim or ownership of this site if ever I should come along while you are camping there. Or you could just invite me up for a drink around the fire. Whatever works.

Not bad, right?

Canoe Landing/Terrain: Beaches are at the very top of my hierarchy of canoe landing areas (active volcanic surfaces are at the bottom) and this beach is no exception. Easy access, easy to load/unload. You can’t really ask for more. The site is built into the side of a hill, so there is a little bit of up and down once you get off the beach. Probably the biggest climb would be to get to the thunderbox, which is at the top of the hill. Despite the elevation changes, the terrain is easy to navigate, so don’t let that scare you away.

Tent Sites: Someone has taken the time to cut two extremely level tent sites out of the side of the hill. The one I pitched on fit my solo tent with plenty of room to spare, and my buddy’s three man tent didn’t seem to overload the other one. Someone has even dug a small trench around the uphill side of each site, so that if it’s raining you’re not going to find yourself sleeping on top of a mini lake in the side of the hill. There is also a very flat, sandy space just east of the beach where you could easily put another tent. Then there’s the beach itself, which would support as many tents as you want, as long as you don’t mind getting sand in your tent (which is something I mind very much and is why I never sleep on beaches).

img_2751Fire Pit: This is a very well built fire pit. It’s protected from the wind on the lake side and is big enough that we were able to cook four foil wrapped sides of ribs in the coals. There’s a very good sitting area on the hill side of the pit, once again someone has flattened out the hillside to create ledges for sitting and watching the fire. I don’t know if we just got lucky with the wind, or if there’s some actual scientific thing to building a fire pit at the base of a hill, but we didn’t get smoke blown at us once the entire time we were there. It seemed like there was a consistent flow of air pushing the smoke towards the water. Science or magic, I’m not sure which.

Wine Pine

Accessories: There are a couple of log poles tied between trees near the fire pit that make for a handy drying rack. One end has a flat piece of plywood across it that also works as a small table/counter. This site is also home of the eastern Canadian wine pine, the park’s most valuable tree.

Thunderbox: Good enough. It’s up the hill from the site, well out of sight of the action. It was in pretty decent shape when we were there, but was showing some signs of heavy traffic.

Swimability: So. Effing. Swimmable. (You want more? Fine. The underwater beach goes on forever. You can walk out a really long distance before losing bottom. The sand is pretty much free of any obstacles, so you don’t have to worry too much about cutting yourself on a sharp rock or secret stick. It’s awesome).

Views: Phenomenal. The water is visible from all over the site. Tree coverage is predominately single pine trees that add to the view as opposed to obscuring it. You get a decent sunset to the west, and the view of the stars from the beach at night is out of this world (well, technically it’s the stars that are out of this world, but you get what I mean). Not much of an eastern view from the beach as there’s a small point that juts out, but the view east from the tip of that point is awesome.

Drawbacks: I dunno, you can’t go there year round?

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