Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: January 2021
McRae Point Provincial Park is located on a small peninsula on Lake Simcoe. It’s quite popular in the summer and offers a large beach area for swimming and has boat launch facilities with access to the Trent Severn Waterway. There is also a single hiking trail in the park that circles McRae Point.
After spending the morning hiking in Bass Lake Provincial Park, we decided to hit up McRae Point Provincial Park since it’s located nearby. The park is technically non-operating in the winter and there are no facilities or services available. The main gate into the park is closed, but visitors can park just outside the entrance and walk in. We arrived at McRae Point just after 1p.m and parked along the side of the road near the main sign of the park.
There is a single trail in the park, the Water’s Edge Trail, which weaves through the forest, follows along the shores of Lake Simcoe and circles McRae Point. When we entered the park, we followed the direction of the blue sign with a symbol of a person walking as that seemed promising.
The start of the trail is located near the boat launch. We first walked down to the shore and looked out over the partially frozen lake. The one benefit to visiting the beach in the winter is that we had the place mostly all to ourselves.
The path is relatively flat and well signed with blue markers with a hiker symbol. The first stretch follows along the shore of the lake. Despite the fact that the park is closed in the winter, the snow along the trail was packed down with footprints.
We followed the markers through the forest to MacRae Point. Apparently this spot is known for its nice sunsets over Lake Simcoe. We wouldn’t know as it was dark and dreary outside. And we were visiting in the early afternoon.
From here we got a bit disoriented. We ended up backtracking and turned off at the junction to continue along the other part of the trail, however, this ended up looping back to McRae Point too.
We then somehow ended up at a road. According to google maps, this would eventually take us back to our car, so we walked along that. Turns out there’s a second part of the loop which we missed completely, that leads down to the beach area. Oh well, we’ll just have to save this for another day.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here