Tom Thomson Lake – Site 10

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Map courtesy of Jeff’s Maps

Closest 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

This is a great site that is surprisingly secluded and private feeling for such a busy lake. It’s got pretty much everything you can ask for in a place to spend a night or two: great swimming, great views, a good fire pit … the only slight drawback is the terrain, which isn’t ideal if you want to put up more than one or two small tents. Otherwise, it’s kinda perfect.

Terrain: Hilly. The site is built into the side of a hill and as a result flat ground is at a premium. That doesn’t mean it’s a 45 degree slope or anything like that, just that it’s kind of uneven in a lot of places. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not enough to make you have to watch your feet with every step, it’s just something to be aware of. You’ll be up and down the hill a bit, particularly if you have chili for dinner. Ground cover is mostly pine needles over hard packed dirt or rock. Here or there some roots stick out and there are a couple of rock minefields to watch out for.

Canoe Landing: Fantastic. The canoe landing is a decent sized sandy enclosure that doubles as a beach when we start talking about swimmability. There are a couple of underwater rocks to steer around, and, at least when I saw there, a gnarled old tree route sticking up smack dab in the centre of the approach, but it’s nothing to challenging to get around. 

Fire Pit: So, there appear to be two fire pits on this site, but I get the feeling only one is the official one, so I’m going to talk about that. It’s a pretty good pit. It’s got a high rock wall on the water side, which came in very handy as the onshore wind would have played havoc with our fire otherwise. 

Swimability: Really, really swimmable. My daughter’s favourite thing about this site was the swimming. There are multiple spots to slip in. There’s a beachy area, multiple rock areas to slip in or jump from and an awesome little island that’s the perfect distance away to swim to and from. Gross green stuff floating in the water is kept to a minimum too, so that’s a good thing.

Tent Sites: The only real drawback of this site. Because it is a hilly site, there aren’t a ton of level spots to pitch a tent. I counted two potential tent spaces and maybe a third if you squint and don’t mind sleeping on a serious slant. I wouldn’t use this site for big groups with multiple tents, but for one tent trips it’s kind of perfect. We pitched our tent on an open area near a ledge overlooking the water and I highly recommend that spot. Just remember that you’re three steps from an unexpected midnight swim if you wake up in the middle of the night and decide to leave the tent for any reason.

Thunderbox: Up a hill, away from the site. The box is in good enough shape, although it’s clearly been well used. The bugs were pretty bad up there, but I’m guessing that’s more a function of the time of year than it was the box itself.

Accessories: A couple of log benches with backrests, a nice stone table for food prep or, I dunno, playing backgammon.There’s also a plywood table directly beside the stone table. Tables for all!

Views: Really nice south and west views from pretty much everywhere on the site. The tree cover along shore isn’t very thick, so you’ve got a nicely unobstructed view to the water from most places. This also means there isn’t a lot of tree cover to the cut the wind if it’s blowing onshore, but we’re talking about views, not wind protection here. And the views are great.

Notes: Not much more to say beyond that I really enjoyed this site. Make sure you go for a swim and check out the nearby rock wall along the eastern shore. And if you happen to hear a bullfrog going crazy all night somewhere nearby, feel free to tell it to shut up. It didn’t work for us, but eventually the message will get through to it.

Related Trip Report: A Night On Tom Thomson
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