Tom Thomson Lake – Site 17

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: 
Maintenance Level: 
Date of Visit: 
July, 2021:

This site is on Tom Thomson’s south shore. On the plus side, you don’t have a ton of neighbours. On the negative side, it’s a pretty narrow spot that also had a very large mud pit directly behind the fire pit. Not one of the best I’ve seen on Tom Thomson.

Terrain: The site is fronted by a couple of rock ledges. This makes for a bit of a rise from the water to the rest of the site. Nothing too challenging, it’s maybe six feet in elevation difference, but you do have to climb up and down every time you want to get in the canoe. The site itself is quite narrow. It’s laid out in a strip along the lake with about 10-12 feet of useable space from the front to the forest. The ground is uneven, with lots of rocks and places to step up or down, so you’ll want to watch your footing.

Canoe Landing: The rock ledge continues underwater. This means there isn’t really an ideal spot to wedge the bow of your canoe up on land. I pulled up parallel to the rock face and was able to ground the canoe against the rocks. This was fine for getting in and out without any bags. I think loading a canoe here might be a bit more of a challenge. It gets deep pretty quickly, so it’s not really a convenient spot to stand in the water and load/unload either.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is at the northern end of the site, right where you’d come up from the canoe landing. The good news is that the location gives the pit a really nice view out to Tom Thomson. The bad news is that the location also gives a really good view of the mud puddle directly behind the fire pit. I’m not saying that this area will always be damp, but this was the only part of the site that was still wet, so it likely is going to be damp longer. The pit itself is basic. A jumble of large rocks in a circle, not much more.

Tent Sites: I wasn’t blown away by the sleeping options. There is some decent, level ground to the south of the fire pit where you can put your tent. There’s also a spot hidden away in the cedars that works. However, you couldn’t put a large group on this site and, frankly, I probably wouldn’t want to be here with more than a couple of people.

Swimmability: The nice thing about the rock ledges that front the site is that they drop off quickly. I imagine this means you can do some jumping from the front of the site (I didn’t do this though, so check before you jump. That’s just a good rule of thumb, always check before you jump)..

Accessories: None, really. There’s a rotting log near the fire pit that I think is meant to be the site’s bench but, well, it’s a rotting log. There’s always that mud pit nearby if you want a spa day.

Views: The site looks north and west. The tree cover along the shoreline is sparse, so you’ve got good views out to Tom Thomson from most of the site, particularly the fire pit. I imagine this would also mean that the site is exposed to any oncoming wind, but when I was there it was dead calm so I can’t confirm that.

Notes: I wouldn’t stay here unless it was one of the last available sites on the lake. Given Tom Thomson’s popularity, that means there’s a better than zero chance you could end up here. The good news is it’s a workable site. Just not a great one.

Related Trip Report: Tom Thomson Lake
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