Tom Thomson Lake – Site 1

img_8310Closest Access Point: Canoe Lake (Access Point 5 )
Distance To Access Point:  12.7 KM (3 hours)
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date of Visit: July, 2019

When we visited Tom Thomson pretty much every site that’s visible from where you enter into the lake from Little Doe was taken, except this one. There’s a reason for that. It’s not a terrible site, but it’s the first one you pass and your immediate thought is “I can do better”. And you can.

Terrain: The shoreline is a jumble of large rocks and it’s about a four foot slope up to the site. Once you’re on the site itself, it’s pretty level ground without too many exposed rockbergs or roots to trip you up. Ground cover is packed dirt and pine needles, with the occasional patch of bare rock.

Canoe Landing: I couldn’t find a very good canoe landing. We ended up jamming our canoe in among the rocks towards the northern end of the site, but that wasn’t ideal. I wouldn’t have wanted to be loading/unloading a full boat onto this site, that’s for sure. I walked along the shoreline looking for a better spot, and while there are a couple that would work about as well, there wasn’t anything that was obviously the best choice. The underwater approach isn’t great either, lots of submerged rocks and, at least when I was there, dead trees to get hung up on.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is pretty cool, mostly because it’s built against a large rock. Unfortunately, the rock is on the forest side, so it doesn’t act as a great windbreak, but it’s still neat. It’s like your own Algonquin fire place. Apart from that feature, it’s a pretty basic pit.

Tent Sites:  Room for two or three tents. The ground is fairly flat, lots of shelter from the surrounding trees.

Swimability: Not great. The best spot I found to swim is down a small path to the north of the site. It takes you to a large boulder, that you’ve got to kind of mountain goat around, but then you’re on the water and there’s a decent space to slip in. But it’s a lot of work. This definitely wouldn’t be my first choice for swimming on Tom Thomson (also, it’s just out of the narrows that leads to Little Doe, so it’s basically river water, with all the attendant green stuff and slimy footing that implies).

Thunderbox: Down a short path out the back of the site. The thunderbox was in pretty good condition and didn’t seem to have been too heavily used, probably because no one stays on this site.

Accessories: Apart from the fireplace rock, not much, unless you count the downed spruce lying across the middle of the site. On the plus side, there’s some ready made fire wood for you if you’ve got your saw.

Not a bad view, all things considered.

Views: The view directly in front of the site is the shore on the other side of the narrows that leads to Little Doe. There are a few trees growing along the shoreline, so it’s a partially obstructed view at that. If you go down to the shoreline you’ve actually got a nice view out into Tom Thomson and back down the narrows, but this isn’t a spot where you’d sit and watch the water for hours.

Notes: Like I said at the top, this is a fine site, but there are better options.

Related Trip Report: A Night On Tom Thomson
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