Hike #51: Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Distance hiked: 7km
Location: Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, Ontario
Date: November 19, 2020

Located within the city of Sudbury, Lake Laurentian Conservation Area contains 13 trails that range in length from 625m to 10km that can be used for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is also a boat launch for canoes and kayaks.

We booked a heated cabin in Killarney Provincial Park for the next three nights and on the drive, we stopped in Sudbury to go for a hike at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. We arrived at the conservation area just before 1p.m and parked at the main parking area (P1). The weather was pleasant, the sun was shining and we were eager to stretch our legs.

We first hiked along the Point Trail (4.2km). The path is clearly marked with yellow markers. The first stretch involves a steep climb up to a rocky overcrop. Within the first few hundred metres the path leads to a viewing platform, which provides a panoramic view of the eastern part of Lake Laurentian.

The trail continues along the ridge, providing more fabulous views of the lake. We were lucky that we had such lovely weather (8°C) and blue skies. The terrain was a bit challenging though, but that could be because we’re no longer in the best of shape as we haven’t been doing as much hiking or just walking in general compared to the summer. Either way, there were lots of rocky outcrops to walk up, down and around.

The trail then descends through the forest and branches off into Loop 1 and Loop 2.

We first hiked along Loop 1, which weaves through an open meadow along the southern shore of the lake. Afterwards we completed Loop 2, which follows along the western part of the shore. We were surprised to see some ice on this part of the lake, but then again, it was mid-November. The beavers were also active on this part of the lake and bit down many of the birch trees near the shoreline.

On the return trip back to the parking lot, we followed the red markers for the Lake Laurentian Trail for a change of scenery. And it’s also shorter.

When we returned to our car we drove to the second parking area (P2) to hike along the Beaver Pond Loop (3km). In the winter this trail is open for snowshoeing, so it seemed like this would be a safe bet after hiking the Point Trail. And the start of the path seemed promising as it follows along a floating boardwalk over a wetland.

But then the path leads through the forest and things went downhill real fast. The path was really a swampy muddy mess. And we were wearing running shoes. Not great. The one benefit of hiking in the fall is that there are no leaves on the trees, so we could easily walk through the forest beside the path to avoid the brunt of the muddy puddles.

When we came across the junction where the Beaver Pond Loop meets up with the Moonlight Beach Trail, we followed the Moonlight Beach Trail instead as it was gravel and not flooded. We missed out on the scenic lookout of the Beaver Pond Loop, but we had no regrets.

We finished up hiking just before 3p.m. We then drove to pick up groceries before heading over to Killarney for the next three nights.


My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here

30 thoughts on “Hike #51: Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It certainly helped that we had such lovely blue skies in the background. It’s incredible how much difference the sun can make, especially late in the fall. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Despite all the muddy patches, it was a really nice conservation area. We especially enjoyed our hike along the Point Trail, which provided such great views of Lake Laurentian. Oh how I miss those beautiful fall nows that it’s winter. Take care.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      One of the benefits to hiking late in the fall is that the trails are usually pretty quiet. It was such a lovely day to go for a hike. And those views of Lake Laurentian were a real treat. I’d love to visit Finland someday. If this landscape reminds you of it, than I imagine I would enjoy hiking there. Take care.

  1. kagould17 says:

    Almost a bit sad we ran out of time to explore and hike in this area in 2018. You can see why the rocky area was such an attraction for mining by INCO. So glad some wilderness remains. Yes, even with good hiking boots, muddy tails are a pain. Thanks for sharing and stay well. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This conservation area was on my list of places to hike, but somehow we ran out of time on both road trips we took to Northern Ontario last summer. So when we booked a cabin at Killarney in mid-November, we made sure to make time to stop at Lake Laurentian. And yes, this area of Ontario is quite rocky. It was neat driving through Sudbury and seeing how some of the houses have been built on and around all the rocks. Take care.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. I’ve certainly had a lot of practice last year writing about all our various hikes. I went back the other day to read some of the earlier hikes from the challenge, and it’s funny to see how much improvement I’ve made when it comes to describing the trail and the history of the area. Only one left to go!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Yes, I remember your post about Lake Laurentian and how you hiked that one trail that featured one of Robert Munsch’s stories along the way. We only spent a few hours here, but I would love to do more hiking in this conservation area. There are so many good options for hiking trails. The mud is always an issue when hiking that time of the year when the ground isn’t completely frozen, so all the water gets trapped on top. No regrets though.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This was probably one of our last nice days of weather in 2020. Glad we were able to take advantage of it and go for a hike. The Point Trail featured such great views of Lake Laurentian throughout. It was easily one of our favourite hikes in the conservation area. Thanks for reading. Take care.

  2. Ab says:

    Ooh, nice! Will have to make a point of this as Killarney is definitely on our to visit places again this summer!

    Do you have a link for this rental cabin?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Killarney is easily one of my favourite places in Ontario. The campground is small, which is great as it’s usually quiet, but that means you usually have to book well in advance as the competition is fierce. We booked the cabin through the Ontario Parks reservation system online under roofed accommodations. I’ll be posting about Killarney next week and have included a few pictures of what the cabin looks like inside. The cabin is a bit more expensive than the yurts, but it’s more comfortable and retains the heat better. I would easily stay here again during the off-season.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I feel very fortunate to live in a place like Ontario, especially during the pandemic (minus the recent surge in COVID cases over the past couple of months), since we have access to so many provincial parks and conservation areas. I usually take where I live for granted, but this year I’ve had nothing but all the time in the world to explore more of what’s in my own backyard. Turns out, there’s quite a few awesome trails.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The pandemic pounds are real. We pretty much stopped hiking after completing the 52 Hike Challenge back in November and really let ourselves go over the holidays. We have since started up another challenge to help us exercise more. It’s tough with all these restrictions in place and the fact that it’s winter. But, I’m always much more motivated at the start of the year than at the end.

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