Distance hiked: 6km
Location: Halfway Lake Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: August 9, 2020
Halfway Lake Provincial Park is named after Halfway Lake, which marked the halfway point between the main logging area and the railway line back in the early 1900s when this area was used as a logging camp.
We camped the previous night at Windy Lake Provincial Park where it rained pretty much all throughout the night. We decided to spend the morning hiking at Halfway Lake. After checking in at the park office to get a map of the trails, we set off to hike along the Echo Pond Trail.
At the trailhead there is an interpretive sign to indicate the many forces that have changed the landscape in the park, including a forest fire in 2007 along the western shore of Halfway Lake and a tornado in 2002 that went through the area around Raven Lake and Echo Pond.
To get to the trailhead for Echo Pond, we first had to hike along the Moose Ridge Trail (2km, rated moderate), which follows along the shore of Raven Lake before heading up over a small glacial ridge. The trail is well marked by a series of red markers on the trees, but the path was quite rugged and narrow.
Everything was still damp from all the rain we received the previous night, so some of the rocks and roots were a bit slippery.
The path then leads to a junction, which marks the trailhead for Echo Pond Trail (6km, rated moderate). There is even a map here to assist with navigation.
The trail is signed with yellow markers with a heron symbol, some of which indicate the distance already traveled every kilometre. The path itself is even narrower and there are lots of rocks and roots to hop over, on and around.
The trail passes by the trailhead for Hawk Ridge Trail (15km, rated difficult) which we initially planned to hike, but decided to skip it because (a) the park ranger mentioned it might be in rough shape and (b) we were concerned that it would be even more challenging because everything was still wet. Hard pass.
Along the way we spotted an old thunder box next to the trail complete with a toilet seat. Also a hard pass.
The trail continues to follow along the shore of Raven Lake.
The path then leads over part of a steeper ridge system before heading to the west shore of Echo Pond. Near the end of the trail, there’s a lookout tower with a viewing platform that provides a nice view overlooking the forest and Echo Pond.
The trail loops back with the Moose Ridge Trail for the last stretch and eventually leads to the parking lot. In total it took us 1.5 hours to complete the hike.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here