Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021
J. Albert Bauer Provincial Park is located east of Huntsville in the Muskoka region. It is a day-use park with no existing facilities and minimal activities. The park is bordered by four lakes, some of which extend within the park boundaries. The park website indicated that there are several non-maintained trails that are suitable for hiking or portaging to access the adjacent lakes.
After visiting Oxtongue Ragged-River Falls we made another detour to check out J. Albert Bauer since it was nearby. We turned off Highway 60 and travelled down Highway 8 for about 10 kilometres. While we saw a sign for the park, it wasn’t abundantly clear where to park and access any of the trails.
We also passed another sign that contained a map of the area and provided more information about how the park was formed. The land was bequeathed to the Ontario Heritage Foundation by the Bauer family. By request of the original landowner, the park is to be subject to low intensity day-use for nature appreciation only and is not to be highly developed in the future.
We continued driving along the gravel road as there were a few cars driving in the opposite direction, so we figured that seemed promising. We came to a large clearing with a huge parking lot. But turns out these people were all visiting the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, which is a private forest with many trails for hiking and biking that are open to the public. While this place looked popular, we were here to visit J. Albert Bauer. So we turned around.
We drove back to one of the boundary signs and found an opening into the forest and what looked like a trail. Good enough.
The path started off wide and it looked somewhat used, but not enough as the mosquitoes seemed super excited to see new visitors. We followed the trail for about 10 minutes until the path progressively became rougher and narrower. We had to climb over a couple of fallen trees. We then reached a point where we’d have to start wading deeper through the bush, which seemed like a good sign to just turn around as we had zero interest in bushwacking.
To reward ourselves for our effort, on the drive to Arrowhead Provincial Park, we stopped at Kawartha Dairy to pick up some Canadian ice cream. They even had a drive thru, which we definitely used since it was a hot one outside (28°C, felt like 32°C with the humidity) and we didn’t want our ice cream to melt. We ordered a small waffle cone each (birthday cake for me and wolf paw for K). It was so much ice cream and we could have easily shared one. We laughed about what a medium or large cone would have looked like.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here