Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: May 2021
Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is located along Lake St. Peter in Hastings County. It’s a relatively small park that offers car camping at 65 campsites, features two sandy beaches for swimming and boating and has two hiking trails through the forest.
Most provincial parks in Ontario officially opened yesterday. We pulled into Lake St. Peter just after 10:30a.m and stopped at the Park Office to pick up a visitor’s guide and buy a park crest. Unfortunately because of the revised rules around the stay-at-home order, only essential items can be purchased in person. Doesn’t the government know that my obsession to collect all the park crests is essential!?
We hopped back in the car and parked across from the Park Office. After covering ourselves with a layer of bug spray and sunscreen (just in case), we walked down to the beach to check it out. The beach has a nice sandy shore and a shallow swimming area that was marked off by buoys. Too bad the water was too cold.
There are two hiking trails at Lake St. Peter and both originate from the trailhead located on the other side of the Park Office from where we parked. The trails are connected to form a longer loop. Shortly after starting there’s a helpful map of the trails located along the path.
We first hiked along the Lookout Trail (2.5km, rated strenuous), which leads up (key word being up) through the forest to a scenic lookout of the surrounding area including Lake St. Peter and Kettle Pond. We’re glad we visited during the spring before the leaves could obstruct the views.
Shortly after the scenic lookout there is a junction. We kept to the left to then hike along the Cabin Trail (4km, rated strenuous). Those that have had enough of the rough conditions on trail can opt out by turning right to finish the loop around the Lookout Trail.
Both trails are signed with blue markers with a hiker symbol. The paths are narrow and neither looked very well used. Granted it’s still early in the season. But if it weren’t for the trail markers there was no way we could have navigated these trails.
The Cabin Trail was in worse shape than the Lookout Trail. It’s reputed to pass by the remains of “Ole Joe’s” cabin, but it wasn’t clear where this was. Perhaps we were too busy looking down at the path to ensure we didn’t trip over any rocks, roots or fallen branches. The Cabin Trail connects back with the Lookout Trail. We followed the remaining part of the loop through the forest and along the shore of Kettle Pond.
The trail then leads to the main road. We followed this for a couple hundred metres back to the parking area. By the time we wrapped up our hike darker clouds were rolling in, which was a good sign for us to head back to the cabin.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here