Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2020
There are over 250,000 lakes in Ontario, which collectively contain around 20% of the world’s freshwater supply. With all those lakes, I guess someone ran out of ideas of what to name them all because apparently eight of them are called Windy Lake. But there is only one Windy Lake Provincial Park.
After spending yesterday at Awenda Provincial Park, we drove 4 hours to get to Windy Lake Provincial Park, the second stop on our second Northern Ontario road trip this summer. Windy Lake is a relatively small park with 100 campsites, but boasts of having one of the best recreational beach areas in the entire Sudbury region.
We arrived at the park around 6:30p.m, checked in and picked up our permit. We managed to reserve a site (#W6) in one of the seven walk-in campsites located on the shores of Windy Lake. In addition to the nice views of the lake, these campsites are also in a radio-free area.
The weather forecast was calling for 15 to 20mm of rain this evening and overnight. So when we arrived at our campsite, we quickly set up our tent and started a fire to make dinner. It lightly sprinkled on and off while we made and ate dinner, so as soon as we finished eating, we drove to the comfort station to brush our teeth and then went to bed.
It rained all throughout the night. There is also a railroad nearby and we could hear the train roar by at various times throughout the night. The next morning we drove to the picnic area, which had a covered section, to make breakfast and eat on a dry picnic table.
Afterwards we drove to Halfway Lake Provincial Park, which is 30 minutes north of Windy Lake, to spend the morning hiking.
We returned to Windy Lake at 2:45p.m. By this time the clouds had cleared and we were greeted by blues skies and sun. We decided to hike along the single trail in the park – the Transition Trail (3km round trip, rated easy). We parked at the picnic area and followed the yellow markers through the forest. The trail was once the rim of a huge crater made by a large meteorite that impacted the earth nearly 2 billion years ago. Today it is a lush forest home to many trees, other plants and animals.
We’re not too sure about the easy rating of the trail as there were rolling hills and some steep sections. It should come as no surprise that after finishing up our hike, we headed over to the beach to go swimming. Windy Lake features a 1.5km sandy shore. The swimming area is buoyed off and is quite shallow. The water was refreshing and felt wonderful after a day of hiking.
We returned to our campsite around 4:30p.m and started a fire to make dinner. It became obvious as to why the lake was named Windy Lake. But hey, at least there were no bugs. We went to bed relatively early as we planned to drive to Pancake Bay Provincial Park the next morning.
26 thoughts on “Windy Lake Provincial Park”
It looks very nice location, and I also like the photo with your tent. 🙂
We were lucky that we snagged one of the walk-in campsites close by the lake. You had to walk your gear in, but the parking lot was maybe 150m from the site, so it wasn’t too bad. It certainly was a nice place to go camping. Thanks for reading and commenting.
That’s an interesting trivia about how much freshwater Ontario supplies to the world! Didn’t know that. And what a cool place of hike – a crater. Well add this to the list of places to potentially check out next summer!
Windy Lake is a relatively small park, but the beach area was really nice. It wasn’t very busy, which was surprising since it’s located close to Sudbury. It apparently is more popular in the winter and offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing.
Snowshoeing sounds like a fun activity we are going to have to try this winter! Ditto ice fishing!
I’ve been looking into which provincial parks are open in the winter and what types of activities they offer. There isn’t much else to do these days and winter is coming, so I’m just trying to plan ahead. Maybe I’ll give ice fishing a try too. Haha.
My spouse did ice fishing once. It looks and sounds fun. It’s great you are trying to find ways to keep busy and also stay positive during these challenging times!
Haha yah. We’ve all had to adapt and try to be more creative to keep ourselves entertained!
Yay. Wind and rain…..in a tent. You had to figure there was a good reason for the name. Looks like a great campsite, though. All too often, even the tent sites are packed in and not very private. Stay well. Allan
The nice thing about the wind is that it helps dry everything off. We didn’t mind so much as it also kept those pesky mosquitoes away. The walk-in sites here were clustered pretty close together, but offered more privacy than many of the regular campsites. We were lucky that none of our neighbours were particularly loud. I guess it helped that we were also in a radio-free zone, which is my favourite zone to camp in. Take care.
I had to laugh when you wrote we got a camp site by the river because my first thought was “it’s going to be windy”! That beach looks amazing.
It was a bit problematic cooking dinner over the fire, but it helped keep all the bugs away. There aren’t a whole lot of activities in Windy Lake in the summer, but the beach certainly was the main attraction.
You’ve really enjoyed Ontario’s parks this summer. It’s wonderful to see all this green nature and so well prepared to receive visitors. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve visited more Ontario parks this summer than in all my other years of living here combined. It truly makes me appreciate that we have so many provincial parks. They’ve been a wonderful place to escape to during the pandemic, get some fresh air, and just enjoy nature. Thanks for reading.
I often wonder about the ratings of trails myself amid our are hiking adventures in the Rockies right now. Have you been?
One of the things that we discovered on our Northern Ontario road trip was that the trail ratings weren’t very consistent across the Ontario parks. There aren’t many mountains here, but some of the trail conditions can be tough if the path is narrow, the ground uneven and there are lots of rocks to maneuver over and around. I imagine that the hiking is phenomenal in the Rockies. I’ve only been to the Rockies on the Canadian side (like Banff and Jasper), but haven’t visited them south of the border. Looking forward to reading about your adventures there.
Looks like a good place for an overnight camp and hike. The best part – no bugs! And that lake looks like such a treat after a hike. 🙂
One of the reasons we came here was because we were able to reserve one of the walk-in sites by the lake. As an added bonus, these sites also happen to be in a radio-free zone. Even though it was windy, it was glorious not having to worry about the mosquitoes.
Another beautiful natural spot, even if you did have to endure a bit of rain. But even that is interesting.
I’d rather it rain overnight than during the day! It was an interesting place to camp. The sites were a bit too close together for my liking, but they were in a radio-free zone, so it was quiet.
I agree about night rain, and I also need quiet at night. Except for crickets, I suppose.
Same. We usually always try to reserve a site in the radio-free zone if the campground has one. Some campgrounds even have a radio-free AND pet-free zone. It’s great.
I had no idea. How thoughtful of Park owners to create and manage these zones.
I try not to tell people that a trail is easy or hard because it really is one person’s opinion of what is easy or hard. I always love your photos.
Thanks for your kind words. That’s a good point regarding trail ratings. The trail ratings in Ontario’s provincial parks aren’t always consistent, so it can be a bit misleading. It’s all relative. And yes, very subjective.