Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021
Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is located in Muskoka on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. It offers camping, a variety of recreational activities on the water including boating, canoeing, fishing and swimming, and a few short trails for hiking.
After spending the morning in Awenda Provincial Park, we arrived at Six Mile Lake shortly before 1:30p.m. We planned to make a detour here to hike along the short trails in the park and eat some lunch. We decided to get the hiking over and done with first.
The trail system consists of three short interconnecting trails, which form a larger loop. The trailhead is located in the Maple Campground by site #161 and #163. As we were driving through the campground, signs of all the rain from yesterday was still clearly visible. Some of the campsites were even flooded. I’m glad we weren’t camping here tonight! We were a bit worried about what the conditions were like on the trail.
We started off along the Living Edge Trail (1km). The trail winds over rocky granite outcrops and passes a wetland. The trail itself is well marked, but the ground was quite wet and muddy in areas. This should be no surprise as it’s located close to the marsh and it looked like the the swamp was starting to reclaim the trail.
We contemplated turning around, but then we reached the junction for the Marsh Trail (1km). Weren’t we already hiking along the Marsh Trail?! The conditions on this trail were even worse. I give it a 5/5 in terms of mosquitoes, 4/5 in terms of flooding and 1/5 in terms of enjoyment. Maybe we should have eaten that lunch first.
The Marsh Trail connects with the David Milne Trail (0.5km). The trail is named after David Milne in an effort to recognize his contributions to Canadian Art. Although his work was often overshadowed by the Group of Seven during his early career, Milne is now recognized as one of Canada’s foremost artists.
The trail connects back up with the Living Edge Trail and the conditions become even worse (if that’s even possible). At one point, the trail winds close to the campground. We decided to risk it and cut our way through the swampy bush to get back to the road. We then walked along the road back to the trailhead where we parked. The road itself was also in pretty rough shape from all the rain and many of the campsites along this stretch were flooded and muddy. We could only imagine how much worse it would have been if we had stayed on the trail.
Afterwards we drove to one of the beach areas, which didn’t look the greatest. We instead drove to an empty campsite (that wasn’t flooded) and ate our lunch there. The campsite at least overlooked the water and provided a nice view of the lake.
We were happy to leave and move on to a (hopefully) better park.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here