Hike #24: Swan Lake Trail

Distance hiked: 1.5km
Location: Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: June 27, 2020

One benefit of the pandemic is that we’ve been spending more time exploring our home province of Ontario. We took a week off from work and planned a nine day road trip around part of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior, an area of the province that neither of us have visited. Our first stop on our itinerary: Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Grundy Lake offers a range of activities, including hiking. There are three relatively short trails that weave their way through different habitats in the park, including wetlands, forests and rocky overcrops. Our favourite of these trails was the Swan Lake Trail (1.5km loop, rated moderate to difficult).

The trail is well marked with yellow blazes on trees and rocks. It winds through a protected nature reserve and features lovely views of wetlands and rocky ridges. It also features a wide array of bugs: mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies and horse flies.

We arrived at the trailhead bright and early shortly after 8:00a.m. We were the first people to hit the trail, which was great as I didn’t have to worry about other people obstructing my views (or pictures), but that also meant that we were the only fresh blood on the trail … and the bugs seemed hungry.

The path first follows along a short boardwalk through a marshy area.

From there the trail hugs the shoreline of Swan Lake. We followed the yellow markers through the forest and along large granite slabs and boulders.

We always snickered at people who wore bug hats, but we sure were wishing we had picked some up prior to this trip. Luckily it was still cool outside and I wore a hoodie during this hike so I was able to cover my ears.

The path leads around another marshy lake and follows along a series of rocky ridges before looping back to the parking lot.

Despite constantly being harassed by the bugs, it was a pretty nice hike with lovely scenery. It was a great way to start the day at Grundy Lake and on our provincial parks road trip around the Ontario portion of Lake Superior.


My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here

20 thoughts on “Hike #24: Swan Lake Trail

  1. kagould17 says:

    As Canadians, I guess we all know what it means to be driven “buggie”. We tried the pull over mesh head protection once, but it was too cheap, allowing some bugs to get in and feast while our heads were trapped. Not great. Stay well and keep hiking. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Ha, yes, we’re certainly no strangers to biting insects. We contemplated buying mesh hats prior to our trip, but figured insect repellent would suffice. Sounds like your experience with the mesh hats didn’t turn out so well. But hey, I’d rather take hiking with bugs over hiking in the rain. Take care.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I find boggy, marshy areas are so beautiful … even though they tend to attract all the bugs imaginable. The trail around Swan Lake was easily my favourite hike in Grundy Lake Provincial Park and I would highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. Just apply lots of insect repellent beforehand.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Agreed. Since we’ve lived in Ontario for most of our lives, we tend to take it for granted. This has been the first year where we’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring our home province. Turns out there are lots of great trails and excellent scenery here. And to think, I likely never would have ventured out to some areas of Ontario if it weren’t for the pandemic. You’re certainly right, makes you appreciate what we have and be thankful that we can enjoy it.

  2. Janet says:

    The bug hats work wonders. I’ve only had to wear it once (it was actually just a net not a full-on hat) and it helped tremendously. I always carry one but rarely wear it.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      In retrospect we totally should have picked up a bug hat prior to our trip. We knew the bugs were going to be bad since we were going early in the summer. And when we finally realized having one of these hats would have been fantastic, we couldn’t find them anywhere. Lesson learned.

  3. Oh, the Places We See says:

    I love your hikes, but I must admit I feel like a sloth sitting in front of my computer when you’re out enjoying nature. Thanks for posting. And thanks for making me appreciate all the beauty in the world — even the beauty I haven’t seen before.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We certainly have had a lot more free time to go hiking these days because of the pandemic. Makes me appreciate the beautiful landscape we have in our own backyard here in Ontario. Thanks for reading.

      • Oh, the Places We See says:

        Hiking is huge in our area since we have beautiful trails and streams in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. And people feel safe being outside. I wonder how it will be this winter if we’re still under quarantine and the cold weather hits. Ugghhh

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