Length of stay: 2 days
Visited: March 2020
Travel options have been limited recently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (and rightfully so). Since we’ve been spending a lot of time in our apartment as of late, we decided to head up to the cabin for the weekend for a change of scenery. Located in the middle of the woods near Bon Echo Provincial Park, the cabin has been in K’s family for over a century. It is quite rustic and has no electricity or running water. It is the perfect place to escape from the city and reconnect with nature. And to self-isolate.
Day 1: The Drive to the Cabin
We initially planned to drive up to the cabin after work on Friday, but the temperature was expected to drop below -10°C overnight. Since it usually takes a few hours for the wood stove to fully warm up the cabin, we decided to drive up Saturday morning instead. We left Toronto around 8a.m. There was next to no traffic on the roads.
Along the way, we made a detour at the H.R. Frink Conservation Area to stretch our legs and cross off another hike from our 52 Hike Challenge. The conservation area offers close to 13km of trails through a variety of habitats, including forest and wetlands.
We hiked along the Boundary Trail (2.1km). From the parking lot, we followed the red blazes for a few hundred feet before meeting up with nearly a kilometre of boardwalk through a wetland.
From the boardwalk, the trail loops back through the forest. We continued along, following the red blazes through the woods.
Deeper into the forest, the path was covered in a solid sheet of ice. We made our way carefully over rocks and roots. This was preferable to the swampy areas we encountered shortly after. We (somehow) managed to keep our feet dry.
From the conservation area it was about an hour drive to get to the cabin. And because the road into the cabin is not maintained, we have to haul all our food, water and supplies in. It’s about a kilometre hike in or so. And while there is no snow in Toronto, there was a thick layer of icy snow on the ground up here, which made things a bit more challenging to lug our gear in.
It took us two trips to bring all our stuff in. After that we started a fire to warm up the cabin and heated up some soup to warm up our bellies. We then headed back out to do some work. We brought the chainsaw with us to cut some wood as we were running pretty low. But unfortunately, we couldn’t get the stupid thing started. Instead we just used the handsaw and axe and managed to cut a decent amount of branches from dead trees.
With a sizable amount of firewood, we headed back indoors to tend to the wood stove.
We made some tacos for dinner and played a couple rounds of pandemic (since it was obviously top of mind).
Day 2: The Drive From the Cabin
We woke up to another beautiful day outside. It was still quite chilly, but the sun was shining. We fried up some eggs for breakfast and lounged around by the wood stove. We played another two rounds of pandemic (one on easy mode, which we won; and another on medium mode, which we lost).
We collected some more firewood before cleaning up around the cabin. We left shortly after lunch time to head back to Toronto. We managed to make pretty good timing as there were hardly any cars out on the road.
It was nice to get away for the weekend, enjoy the outdoors, and still practice good social distancing.