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
47 thoughts on “J. Albert Bauer Provincial Park”
I first thought you were at the park now. Then I read it was in July.
If only. It would nice to be on holiday and to enjoy those warm summer days again. I’m a bit behind in my postings as I’m still writing up our adventures from the summer.
I am always anxious when I see a wide path at first fading away to a narrow track. Am I at the right place? Will they ever find my body? And those dang mosquitoes ruin a perfectly good summer. Ice Cream seems like a good solution. Thanks for sharing. Allan
Right!? The wide path in the beginning was very misleading as it didn’t take long for it to narrow to the point where we were questioning whether this was an actual trail. We’re still counting it as a visit to a new park though and we’ve crossed if off on our Ontario Parks Challenge. The ice cream afterwards was a great reward for our efforts. Thanks for reading. Linda
I can’t imagine what a large ice cream would have looked like, as well as being too big to eat I’m certain mine would have melted long before then. It seemed a good plan to turn round and call for ice creams rather than embarking on some bush walking!
No kidding. Even the small ice cream cone was a lot to get through before it melted. It sure was delicious though and way more enjoyable than being bothered by mosquitoes while out on the trail!
The cones look so good! I would turn around too, especially because of the mosquitoes, no thank you!
It’s always nice to treat yourself while on holidays after all. It was a nice reward after a failed attempt of trying to find the proper trail at the park.
Aren’t we lucky that there are these generous people who donate their land for public use? I hesitate venturing into the bush nowaday because of ticks and the possibility of contracting lyme disease, but other than that, it looks like a nice place for a quick injection of nature.
That ice cream though…I want some!
For sure. It is pretty incredible that people donate their land for conservation purposes and for all to enjoy. I know what you mean about being wary to hike in the bush. Ticks are a real cause for concern these days. I usually hike in pants with my socks tucked over for that very reason. You can never be too careful. Even though we’re still not sure whether what we hiked along can be considered a real trail, the ice cream afterwards made it all worthwhile.
Your ice cream looks like a delicious way to end a trip!
To say we were disappointed by this park would be a bit of an understatement, but the ice cream afterwards made up for it. Besides, if we never took this detour to explore this park, we would never have stopped for ice cream since it was along the drive.
Fact: not all parks are going to be great, but glad you got something good in the end
That’s for sure. But hey, you have to visit the not so great parks to appreciate how awesome the good ones are. At the end of the day, a lot of it also depends on the weather and who you’re with 🙂
That is true indeed!
How can I not comment on the ice cream cone. I wonder how you can suck it so fast to avoid the ice cream melting and falling out, that is a performance, too.
It’s hard to believe that these ice cream cones were only a small. When I was younger we used to bite the bottom of the cone, which somehow only made things worse in terms of dealing with melting ice cream. Thankfully we got to enjoy our cones while sitting in our air conditioned car.
Good thing you turned around. Didn’t sound very appealing especially at peak mosquito buffet season!
I think I’ve been to the Kawartha Dairy that you are referring to. Their ice creams are the best. So so good! You can buy them in the GTA through Costco and even some Chinese supermarkets. We love the prelaine and cream flavour but all of them are fantastic really. And yes, very generous portions!
Neither of us had any interest in wading deeper into the bush and into mosquito and tick territory. We came, we saw, we left, and we got ice cream. Kawartha Dairy is so good and it’s a real treat whenever we’re up near the Kawarthas. I didn’t realize that you can buy it at Costco. That sounds dangerous!
Good thing you do a lot of walking to burn off the ice cream. 😂
We haven’t been nearly as active this fall and it’s starting to show!! Thankfully it’s sweater weather, but once this new year rolls around, we need to come up with a new challenge to stay in shape!
Did I mention Costco sells Kawartha ice cream?
You sure did. Don’t remind me. I think we’re actually going to Costco this weekend! 🙂
Costco trips are fun… and also dangerous! Good luck!!!
Don’t I know it! It was good to stock up on some essentials, as well as some Christmas stuff. Christmas will be here before we know it! Hope you had a good weekend.
That’s awesome that landowners bequeathed the land for a park! And that ice cream wow, what a huge serving for a ‘small’. I love how you make the best of things – mosquitos and all. 😄
It is pretty amazing that this family donated their land to the province for all to enjoy, rather than it being used for future development, especially since the area is located close to a few lakes and in prime cottage country. It’s too bad that the trails aren’t maintained though. We’re still not even sure if what we were hiking along was even a real trail. Either way, it was well worth the detour for us to explore as it meant we got to pass by Kawartha Dairy and pick up some ice cream. I’m also still questioning whether those cones were actually small!
Beautiful park and I love that it’s meant only for hiking or skiing. I don’t do bushwhacking any more either, with or without becoming part of a mosquito banquet. Those ice creams look delicious but my, they’re big!
I like that there are wilderness parks or parks that are meant for day-use only too. It’s a great way to conserve the land and to minimize the impact of us humans. We’re still not sure whether what we hiked along was a real trail, but we’re still counting it as a new park that we visited. Eating the ice cream afterwards was a real treat and made it well worth the detour to check this park out. It’s hard to believe that those ice cream cones were only a small!
You deserved those ice cream cones! Great post, but one important detail: what kind of ice cream was that on the right? Blueberry? So important, I know…;-)
I like to think that we deserved those ice cream cones too. They certainly made it well worth the effort to check this park out, even though the trail was sketchy and it turned into a mosquito festival. The ice cream cone on the right was birthday cake flavoured, so it had a lot of different sweet flavours. It was pretty delicious.
Oh, those decisions … when hiking on a nice open path that suddenly changes into a narrow not-so-much used path … do you continue or do you turn around? I think you’ve made the right decision – and even a better one were those ice-creams … YUMMY!!
I completely agree. I couldn’t find much information online about the trails in this park, except that they aren’t maintained. Since I wasn’t about to test out our navigation or survival skills, I think we made the right decision to turn around too. I have no complaints about visiting this park (except for a few mosquito bites) otherwise we would have never passed by the ice cream place.
Ice cream is the best way to end a day like that
For sure. Even though the trail was sketchy, it was well worth the detour otherwise we never would have passed by that ice cream place.
I love that last photo! As any outdoors-lover will attest, hiking (or for that matter, any outdoor adventure) and eating go hand-in-hand. I love the post-hike snack/treat almost as much as the hike. Cheers and have a nice weekend 🙂 Aiva
It’s always nice to treat yourself while on holiday. And I don’t feel nearly as guilty indulging on my sweet tooth after a day of hiking. I’d say it was well deserved! Have a wonderful weekend as well. Linda
They don’t cheap out on the icecream!
No, they certainly don’t. If we knew how big a small sized cone was, we probably would have just shared. I’m glad we didn’t order a larger size though!! It was very delicious and probably the best ice cream we had all summer.
It’s funny how the small joys in life can create such large and lasting memories.
For sure 🙂
Hiking and ice cream , Sweet Happiness! Thanks 🙏
It’s the perfect combination! Even though the trail was a dud, the ice cream more than made up for it.
I like the idea of a semi-wilderness area, not to be developed further. The ice cream cones are fabulous!! Yum!
Same. I think it’s great that there are certain parks that are designated as a wilderness park. It’s a good way to minimize the impact of us humans and to focus more on conservation and creating a safe space for the wildlife. The ice cream cones afterwards made this little detour very worthwhile.
Ok, you could probably guess which was my favorite photo…the ice cream! LOL
The hike itself was disappointing, but the ice cream cone was amaaaazing. It’s always nice to treat yourself while on holidays, especially after a hike.