Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2020
Halfway Lake Provincial Park is located near Sudbury. In the early 1900s, there was a logging camp on the shores of Halfway Lake, which was half way between the main logging area and the railway line where the logs were loaded for their trip to the sawmill. The park contains more than a dozen lakes, offers four hiking trails that weave through the different habitats in the park, and has a mix between front country camping (215 sites) and backcountry camping (10 interior sites that are accessible by canoe and 5 interior sites that are accessible by foot).
We camped at Windy Lake Provincial Park the previous night and planned to spend the morning hiking at Halfway Lake, which is located about 30 minutes from Windy Lake. We arrived at Halfway Lake just after 9a.m.
We checked in at the park office to ask about the trails and for a map of the park. Two of the trails, Hawk Ridge and Osprey Heights, were closed this season due to the pandemic. However, the park ranger indicated that that just meant that the trails were not maintained and we could still technically hike them. In fact, his friend hiked Osprey Heights a few weeks ago and indicated that the trail was in relatively good shape.
We first decided to hike along the two trails that were open, starting first with the Moose Ridge Trail (2km, rated moderate), which connects with the Echo Pond Trail to form a longer loop. Moose Ridge Trail 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.
The path then leads to a junction, which marks the trailhead for Echo Pond Trail (6km, rated moderate). 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 also passes by the trailhead for Hawk Ridge Trail (15km, rated difficult), but that seemed too intense even for us. We continued following along the shore of Raven Lake.
The path then leads up and 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 platform that provides a nice view overlooking Echo Pond.
The trail loops back with the Moose Ridge Trail and leads back to the parking lot. We finished hiking these two trails at around 11a.m and drove to an empty campsite to make an early lunch and strategize about what to do next.
We decided to hike along the Osprey Heights Trail (6km, rated moderate) even though it wasn’t maintained this season. The trailhead is located a few kilometres north of the park office on the east side of Highway 144. The trail weaves through the forest and gets down to business right away. There’s a series of wooden steps to help with the climb up the rocky hills of the Canadian Shield.
The trail is well signed with blue markers on the trees. The path continues to wind through the forest and along rocky outcrops, sometimes providing nice views along the edge of the cliff.
The trail eventually leads to Antrim Lake. There’s a viewing platform, complete with a picnic table, that provides a nice view overlooking the lake and surrounding area. We took a break here to eat a snack and enjoy the views. By this time the clouds were starting to clear.
The trail then loops back west, through the mossy forest and back to the parking lot. Despite the fact that the path wasn’t maintained this season, it was in pretty good shape. And we didn’t get lost.
When we finished up we drove down to the beach area to check it out. There’s a large sandy beach and buoyed swimming area. We contemplated going swimming, but decided to head back to our campground and go swimming at Windy Lake instead.
Hiking in Halfway Lake Provincial Park was a nice way to spend the morning.