Tom Thomson Lake – Site 5

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 set right at the narrows that lead from Tom Thomson into Bartlett. It’s a surprisingly large site, given how little of it you can see from the water. There’s a ton of space here, great for a large group.

Terrain: The site is flat and easy to get around. Tripping hazards are at a minimum and the ground cover is either bare earth or pine needles depending on where you are. There is very little elevation change from the canoe landing to the rest of the site. The site does front on the narrow creek-y bit between Tom Thomson and Bartlett, which means that there’s a lot of green stuff in the water and some damp ground near shore. My guess is that bugs could be a challenge here in peak bug season.

Canoe Landing: There’s a great little beach facing out to Tom Thomson that’s perfect for pulling your canoe up. Underwater approach is pretty much all sand, so no significant obstacles. Great spot to load and unload.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is back from Tom Thomson a bit but is still close to the water. That’s because it’s very close to the Tom/Bartlett narrows. This is good because it means you still get a water view, which I love, and bad because it means anyone paddling through these narrows (and lots of people paddle through these narrows) will be able to give you cooking tips as you’re frying your bacon. The pit itself is fine. Little more than a circle of rocks a couple of feet high, but it does the trick.

Swimability: Very swimmable. That beach I mentioned in the canoe landing section is a great spot to get in and out of the water. Would be really good for little kids.

Tent Sites: There’s a ton of flat space on this site. You could put up a half dozen tents and not feel crowded.

Thunderbox: The thunderbox is down a path out the back of the site. It looks new-ish, which makes sense. My guess is that this site, and by extension this thunderbox, sees a lot of use. Gross.

Accessories: There are a couple of logs beside the fire pit that are obviously meant to be used as benches but are really just logs. I’d bring a camp chair if you want some kind of comfortable seating for your visit. Someone has lashed up a bushcraft counter between two trees, but it looks pretty shaky. My guess is it won’t be there for that long.

Views: The site is pretty enclosed, except for the area near the narrows. You’ve got a good view of that stretch and an obstructed view of Tom Thomson from pretty much anywhere on the site. Down by the beach you’ve got a really nice view south across Tom.

Notes: I’d give this site a solid B+ to A-. It’s big, it’s well set up and it’s convenient. I don’t love the proximity to the Tom/Bartlett thruway and I’d like a bit better visibility out to the lake, but all in all it’s a solid spot to spend a couple of nights.

Related Trip Report: Tom Thomson Lake
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