Distance hiked: 4.5km
Location: Awenda Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: August 8, 2020
Awenda Provincial Park is located on a peninsula along the shores of Georgian Bay. It features several sandy beaches and a variety of easy to moderate hiking trails that range in length from 1km to 13km. In August we embarked on another Northern Ontario road trip, stopping first at Awenda Provincial Park. What better way to spend our first day than hiking and swimming, which are some of our favourite activities.
We arrived at Awenda the night before and camped here. We started our day off by hiking along the Wendat Trail. Wendat means “island dwellers” or “dwellers of the peninsula” and was named after the Iroquoian-speaking people who lived in this area between 1200 to 1650. Archaeologists believe that at least two historic Wendat villages were located in Awenda Provincial Park.
The Wendat Trail is wide, relatively flat and well marked. It passes through a forest, and features geological formations.
The trail loops around Kettle Lake and there are two viewing platforms along the way.
The lake is thought to be a kettle lake formed by the gradual melting of a large buried piece of ice left behind by retreating glaciers.
The trail also passes the foundations of the Brabant farmstead house and barn. Attempts to farm this area in the 1930s and 40s failed due to the quality (or lack thereof) of the sandy soil. Oliver Brabant and his wife Charlotte sold their property to Frederick William Grant, a Toronto lawyer and former Midland resident. Upon Grant’s death, his land was sold to Horace James Kettle. Kettle and his son harvested a variety of different trees, including maple, ash, beech and oak. The lake that the trail loops around is named after the Kettle family.
In 1963, the Ontario government purchased Kettle’s land, including the lake, making it the largest single land purchase for what has become Awenda Provincial Park.
We hiked counterclockwise along the loop. While the trail mostly passes through the forest, there is a small section near the end that crosses a marsh.
Overall it took us just over an hour to finish the trail. The best part of hiking later in the summer is that there were hardly any bugs.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here