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, 2021
This is a large site on Tom Thomson’s north shore. It’s one of the first you see on your right as you come in from Little Doe and it’s either really great or not great at all, depending on the situation. The thing with this site is that it’s directly beside Tom Thomson Lake – Site 4. Like, you’ll be able to smell the bacon on their campfire and hear every word of their conversation. If you’re camping beside people you don’t know, this is a pain. If you’re part of a large group, this is awesome. Booking two permits, and then getting to Tom Thomson in time to snag both sites, is a great way to spread out and still stay close. If you’re not part of a large group, there are other options I’d take over this one. Lots of other options.
Terrain: This site is built on a hill. If you’re using it for auxiliary tent space and doing most of your campsite stuff over on site 4, it’s fine. If you’re on this site only, get ready for a leg workout. The only flat areas are those that are around the fire pit and the tent pads. Otherwise, it’s very uneven. The site is dotted with tall pines and feels very open.
Canoe Landing: There are three spots you can pull your canoe up to the shore. None are great, none are terrible. In each case you’re pulling up to a slab of rock. At one of them you can wedge the bow of your boat up on shore a bit, at the other two you’re pulling in beside the sloping rock and loading from there. The underwater terrain is pretty rocky. If water levels are low my bet is that there’d be plenty of opportunities to scrape the bottom of your boat pulling in and out.
Fire Pit: The fire pit is pretty nice. It’s a big one, well built with a great view of the lake. On a windy day it might be a bit exposed (judging by the number of blown over trees, this site gets absolutely slammed in a wind storm).
Swimability: Not great. Remember those underwater rocks I mentioned in the canoe landing section? Well, they don’t magically disappear when you want to go for a swim. Water shoes are a must here as you’ll be picking your way across a bunch of (relatively pointy) rocks on your way into the deeper water. We also ran across an absolute ton of leeches here. I don’t know if this is a regular thing or if it was the annual Tom Thomson leech convention, but they were definitely out and they were partying.
Tent Sites: There are four or five spots you can put a tent. One is big enough for a six man tent, the others are probably better for something smaller. One is also right on the side of a small cliff, so make sure you point your door the right direction if you don’t want a nasty surprise during a midnight bathroom break.
Thunderbox: At the end of a short path out the top of the site. The thunderbox is in pretty good shape. Looks to be fairly new and well looked after. It’s a busy site though, so I expect it sees a lot of use. I also noticed that someone had used it as their garbage disposal recently, there were a ton of plastic bags and other garbage floating in it (don’t do this. Pack all your garbage out).
Accessories: The benches built around the fire pit are pretty impressive. Big, solid log monsters that look like it would take a tornado to shift them. Otherwise, the only unusual features of this site are all the trees that have been blown over.
Views: Really good view out to Tom Thomson from pretty much anywhere on the site.
Notes: Like I said off the top, this is a fine site for a big group. If you’re on your own, and especially if there’s already someone on site 4, I’d move on.
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