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