Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021
Finlayson Point Provincial Park is located in Temagami, which is considered one of the gateways into Northern Ontario. The park is situated on a peninsula on Lake Temagami and offers a variety of water-based recreational activities such as canoeing, boating, fishing and swimming.
We fell in love with Northern Ontario when we visited (not once, but twice) last summer. Even though we’re fully vaccinated, we’ve been a bit hesitant to travel abroad. So we decided to return to Northern Ontario this year, except this time for longer. We also figured we’d share the experience with my mom and uncle who wanted to come along on the journey. So this begins our two-week adventure up north.
Day 1: The Fire Tower
We planned to hit the road bright and early since it was the Friday of the Labour Day long weekend and we had a long day of driving ahead of us to reach Finlayson Point. Except it took us two hours to consolidate our stuff and pack the two cars. This should give you some indication of how much stuff we packed. By the time we headed out, it was just after 9:30a.m.
Since we had a long day in the car, I planned a few detours along the way so we could stretch our legs. We first stopped at Arrowhead Provincial Park to eat some lunch, hike along Stubb’s Falls Trail (this time the trail thankfully wasn’t flooded) and see the Big Bend Lookout. We also stopped at Marten River Provincial Park briefly to explore the historic logging camp.
By the time we arrived at Finlayson Point, it was around 6:00p.m. But before checking in, we decided to visit the nearby Temagami Fire Tower, which is located about 5 minutes from the park. There’s a parking lot and interpretive centre close to the top of Caribou Mountain, which is located off of Highway 11. From there it’s a short walk to a viewing platform that overlooks the town of Temagami and part of Lake Temagami.
We then climbed to the top of the fire tower to get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The one benefit of visiting late in the day was that we were the only people here. Otherwise it would have been challenging to walk up and down the steps with people passing as the stairs were quite narrow, especially near the top of the tower.
This fire tower was restored in 1998. The original tower, which was built in 1910 and was 45 feet high, once stood a few metres to the east of the present tower. In the late 1930s, the tower was demolished and another, taller tower that was 85 feet was built in its place. Then in 1951, an even taller tower was built to replace the other one due to rusting. This one was 100 feet tall and was built out of steel by forest rangers.
We finally arrived at Finlayson Point. We checked in at the park office to collect our permit and set off to find our campsite.
We set up our tents then made dinner. We planned to make burgers on the BBQ, but it turns out the BBQ we bought needed a propane adapter. So instead we made croissant sandwiches, which is what we had for lunch. But we were hungry, so there was no complaining. Besides, if we were to have made those burgers, we likely would have had to eat in the dark.
Shortly after we finished eating, a group of noisy campers arrived at the site next to us. After making excessive noise for a couple of hours, we had had enough. We drove to the comfort station to get ready for bed and planned to stop at the park office to complain. Along the way we ran into a park ranger. Talk about good timing. I also asked for the ranger’s number just in case. I’ve had a few sleepless nights while camping already this year and didn’t want to take any chances.
The rangers came by, but the noise did not stop. After calling the ranger again at 12a.m and then at 1a.m, he told me there was nothing else he could do at this point. Needless to say, I was not impressed and started questioning why we still camp. This was not exactly a good way to start our trip.
Day 2: The Fog
We woke up early (just after 6a.m) from our loud neighbours … again (how are they even up this early!?). We figured we might as well burn off our anger by going for a walk to the comfort station. Along the way we visited the dock. It was overcast and there was some mist rolling off the lake, which looked beautiful.
Afterwards we walked to the two small sandy beaches at Finlayson Point, which are located close together.
We then walked back to our campsite to make a hot breakfast and pack up. We were ready to leave the noise behind and move onto the next park.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here
64 thoughts on “Finlayson Point Provincial Park”
I’m a little out of breath just looking at that walk up to the top of the fire tower.
After a day of mostly driving, it was nice to get some fresh air. The climb up made me feel a bit dizzy with the spiraling staircase and as you neared the top, you could even feel the tower sway a bit since it was really windy. But it was so worth it as the views were incredible.
Having that fire tower for its view is great! As for your noisy neighbors, perhaps they never went to sleep and simply partied-on through the night? 🙄
There are a few fire towers still left in Ontario and we’ve visited a handful of them this summer, but this was by far my favourite. The views from the top of the surrounding area were amazing; having loud neighbours at the campground not so much though. I’m surprised (and disappointed) that the park rangers didn’t do much to enforce the rules around excessive noise.
Thank you for your articles! I am quite enjoying them and taking notes for future trips.
I sympathize with the noisy campers situation. Once years ago in Algonquin we had the same situation and after the other campers were up and groggily about their breakfasts, but the noisy partiers were still passed out, a camper quietly pulled his car right up to the party tent and laid on his horn. You never saw a campsite clear out so fast. They threw everything into their car and headed out.
It didn’t stop the noise but good revenge and kept them from being there a second night.
Thanks for your lovely comment. I’m constantly amazed at the scenery in Ontario and how many awesome parks we have.
We have had our fair share of dealing with noisy neighbours this past year. While I’m all for more people trying to get outdoors and enjoy nature, I’ve not be a fan of the crowds, increased amounts of trash on the trails, and noise in the campgrounds. I think we’ll stick to camping in the off-season or backcountry next year. Either that or try to get revenge. That’s too funny. Glad they didn’t stay for the second night!
I am sorry your night was ruined by your neighbors. People can be so ignorant. 🙄
Totally. The thing that gets me is that the ranger came by their site three times to ask them to be quiet, and they didn’t even try to keep the noise down. I hope they at least got a fine for excessive noise because that was just ridiculous. It was a terrible start to our two week road trip, but I’m happy to say that we had no further issues with noise after our first night.
I am glad the rest of your trip went better. I would toss people like that out of camp grounds. They have no respect for others.
Agreed. I bet everyone in the campground had to suffer through their noise. People like that should be forced to leave. It just ruins the whole experience.
The beach looks very shallow, the view from the tower is really beautiful! I’m sorry that you guys had to deal with the rude jerks next door, it seems like the Rangers would have had them leave the campgrounds.
I love how erie the beach looked with all the fog. It looked like a nice place to go for a swim, but we weren’t keen on sticking around to find out. I’m surprised the rangers couldn’t do more (or anything really) to stop the noise. I guess perhaps the noisy campers were drinking and therefore the rangers couldn’t kick them out (as they couldn’t drive). Either way, I hope they were fined.
I love the Fire Tower photos. We have a Fire Tower near us that’s fun to climb, it makes us feel like we’re on the top of the world, when we look out over the tree tops. Sorry about the loud campers, I’m always curious why people come outdoors to ‘ruin nature’ with loud noises or ‘city activities’. Perhaps there’s a reason they do so that I don’t understand. I’ve always wanted to ask but was afraid of what might transpire. Maybe they’re trapped in tiny apartments and can’t make any noise at all in their daily life? I assumed when signs are posted in camping areas for no noise after 10 pm, that meant there would be consequences and after a warning or two, expulsion. Or if the ranger wanted to keep the peace, maybe offer to move them, or offer a quiet spot to you. There seems like there should be some solution.
We’ve seen a few fire towers in Ontario this summer, but this was the only one we could climb up. It’s neat to get a different perspective and view of the surrounding area. It definitely makes you feel like you’re at the top of the world.
I’ve wondered the same thing about why people come camping when they clearly don’t give a rip about nature or others. It was disappointing that the rangers couldn’t do anything about the noise, but even worse that the people didn’t even seem to care that they were being loud. Even though the ranger came to their site multiple times, they didn’t even try to keep it down.
Oh … that tower is quite high! I’m getting a little bit dizzy, but the views are beautiful! I love your early morning walk – the mist over the lake makes lovely photo’s!
Those noisy campers – it’s beyond me how these people can ruin a perfect good time out in nature 😬 … but hey, I’m looking forward reading more about this trip!
The further we got up the tower, the narrower the stairs became. The climb up definitely made me feel a bit dizzy, but the views were worth the effort. The fog the next morning was very pretty and going for a walk was the perfect way to snap out of being in a grumpy mood. I’m happy to say that we had no further issues with noisy neighbours for the remainder of our two week road trip.
We probably should have spent more time in Northern Ontario but we were anxious to get the the Maritimes. Looks beautiful. I can’t believe the ranger couldn’t do anything!
There never seems to be enough time to see it all. This just gives you an excuse to return someday. I’m surprised that the ranger wasn’t able to do much else about the noise either. What’s worse is that despite the ranger visiting their site multiple times, they didn’t even try to keep it down. How inconsiderate. I hope they at least gone fined for excessive noise.
That’s why we, and I think you guys, try to avoid those types of campsites. They ruin it for everyone.
Yup. We’re already anticipating that camping is going to be popular again next summer so we’re going to use this as an excuse to explore more of the backcountry in Ontario.
You guys have had some bad luck with camping neighbors this year. However, I am looking forward to learning more about northern Ontario; I confess to knowing nothing about it’s terrain or topography.
We probably had more issues with noisy neighbours this summer than in all the other years we’ve been camping combined. Camping has been super popular during the pandemic and the campgrounds were pretty much fully booked during the peak season. I guess some people just don’t understand proper camping etiquette (or have common sense). I think next year we’ll try to explore more of the backcountry or camp in the off-season to escape the crowds (and noise).
Thankfully we had no further issues with the noise during the remainder of our Northern Ontario road trip! It’s honestly my favourite area in Ontario and the scenery is just fantastic. Plus, it’s significantly less busy so you feel like you have it all to yourself.
Yeah, I think there are definitely a lot of people who are trying outdoors things for the first time and don’t know how to behave. We’ve seen it here in Colorado too and it’s frustrating.
Hopefully many of the newbie campers tried it once and realized it wasn’t for them. It was cut throat trying to even a book a site over any weekend in the summer. I just hope it doesn’t get worse.
That is impressive fog!
It’s funny how quickly the weather can change. The fog looked a bit spooky and eerie, but made for some interesting pictures.
Lovely photo’s especially the one in the mist. So annoying that you had noisy camping neighbours and that they didn’t think of others. I can’t understand people like that, it’s like when you go in a pub for a quiet drink and people at the next table are watching a video on their phones out loud!
Thanks, the fog definitely made for some neat pictures. I just don’t get how some people have no respect for others (or even their surroundings). I get that it was a long weekend, but not everyone wants to stay up late. It wasn’t the best way to start our road trip, but I’m happy to say we had no further issues with noise after this night. Glad to have put the worst behind us.
I am furious on your behalf about the noisy neighbors. There’s just no excuse. That said it looks gorgeous- and the fire tower is neat!
We’ve seen a few fire towers this summer and this one was by far our favourite and the only one we could climb. I think I’ve reached my limit with noisy campgrounds. I think we’ll stick to the backcountry or camp during the off-season next year. Either that or get a campervan!
Backcountry for the win!!! But a campervan sounds pretty great too….
I’ve been trying to convince K that we should get one! That way we don’t have to worry so much about the weather or noise.
Seems like a no brainer!! 😃
Right?! We were hoping to start doing some international travel next year, but that’s not looking promising with this new variant. So it looks like we might be stuck in Ontario again. All the more reason to camp in style with a campervan!
Absolutely right!! The new variant is definitely foiling all of our plans as well…… My posts are going to get less and less interesting with the same 5 places over and over 😂
At least you’re getting out of the house, even if you are returning to the same places, which is more than I can say for us! We’re hoping to head up to our cabin for the New Year and come up with a game plan (and a back-up plan) for how we want to use our vacation days in 2022.
So irritating that the ranger wouldn’t deal with the noisy neighbours! Some people are so inconsiderate and others apparently don’t want to do their jobs! Not that I didn’t know that before but it is one of the biggest reasons to avoid camping.
Great photos though, especially of the foggy morning.
In all the years we’ve gone camping, this summer was by far the worst in terms of noise. It’s definitely a huge turn-off and takes away from the whole experience. I don’t give up my warm comfortable bed to sleep in a tent for nothing. I don’t want to listen to someone being loud and obnoxious or their tacky music. I have a feeling we’re not going to be camping as much (or at least during the summer) next year.
These photos are stunning! Except for the noisy neighbors, this looks like one of the best parks yet. Did the fire tower shake or sway?
Thanks for your kind words. We’ve seen a few fire towers this summer, but this one was by far our favourite and the only one we could climb. The spiraling staircase narrowed towards the top and the lookout platform felt like it was swaying in the wild. It was well worth the effort as the views were beautiful.
Great views from the fire tower. So nice you were able to climb it. The misty morning shots are gorgeous. That ranger needs to grow a pair. If the noise policy is posted, the noisy campers should have been punted when they would not shut it down. They sound too ignorant to be campers. Cheers. Allan
Out of the few fire towers that we’ve seen this summer, this was the only one that we’ve been able to climb. I’m glad we visited later in the day and had the tower all to ourselves, otherwise it would have been impossible to social distance or even pass someone near the top.
I was very disappointed that the park ranger couldn’t do anything about the noise. I just don’t get how some people have no consideration for others. Thankfully we were only staying for the one night and didn’t have to put up with them again.
This fire tower is a reminder that Northern Ontario is under threat from forest fire. In And the Birds Rained Down, Jocelyne Saucier tells the story of these tragic events of the early 20th century, which are barely mentioned in the film based on the novel.
While the fire lookout towers are no longer in use, they provide a glimpse into the past of what life was like back in the day and how they dealt with fires. It seemed like a lonely job. While the fire towers are no longer in use, you’re right, Northern Ontario is still under threat from forest fires due to climate change. This past summer was especially bad.
I’m intrigued by this novel and am definitely going to look into it. Thanks for putting it on my radar.
Love the fire tower! Awesome views!!
It was a bit of a leg workout to climb all those stairs and the spiraling staircase made me feel a bit dizzy, but it was all worth it for the views!
We loved the fire tower, and your photos of the area are amazing! I can’t believe how e many unpleasant with noisy campers you’ve been having. It can really take the fun out of camping!
We’ve seen a few fire towers in Ontario this summer, but this one was by far our favourite. I’m glad we visited on our first day otherwise the views would have been obstructed by the fog. Don’t even get me started on dealing with noisy campgrounds. This summer was by far the worst and I don’t think either of us want to deal with the crowds or noise next year.
Wow, the views from the Fire Tower are nothing short of amazing, due to my fear of heights I would most likely avoid going up. We have many incredible Observation Decks & Towers in Latvia – some of them as high as 33m – and I’ve tried many times to give them a go but to no avail! And no begging or/and encouragements from my family and friends have ever helped! Thanks for sharing and have a good day, Linda 🙂 Aiva
The climb up the fire tower was definitely not for the faint of heart. It was a bit dizzying from the spiraling staircase and the viewing platform felt like it was swaying from the wind. Needless to stay, we didn’t stay at the top for long.
That’s too bad about your fear of heights. Perhaps someday you’ll be able to overcome it. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Take care. Linda
Hooray! We’re at the Northern Ontario Roadtrip part of your blog. 😊👍
This looked like a wonderful start to your trip and the fire tower sure looks like an intimidating climb up. But worth the view!
Seems like you keep encountering these annoying loud campers. You should start yelling loudly at sunrise and give them a taste of their medicine! 😆
A bbq hamburger on a campsite would be delicious right about now.
Look forward to reading about how your adventure unfolds!
Finally!! I’m a bit behind on writing about our travels. Or maybe I was saving the best for last! We’ve been to a few fire towers this year, but this was by far my favourite and the only one we could climb up. I’m glad we had such beautiful weather as those views from the top were incredible. It was amazing to see trees for as far as the eye can see.
This year we’ve had to deal with a lot of noise in the campground. I don’t think neither of us is too keen on using all our vacation to go camping again. We’re seriously hoping that we can start travelling abroad (or even visit other provinces), but that’s not looking very promising at the moment.
Hope you’re enjoying your time off and are all ready for the holidays!!
Traveling aboard would be so nice right about now, wouldn’t it? 😆
We’re considering the Yukon or Tofino next year especially with direct flights now available for Yukon.
Wishing you and K a wonderful holidays and merry Christmas!
Yukon or Tofino both sound like awesome choices. I have been to neither, but I imagine the scenery is stunning in both places. Hope you’re having a wonderful start to your holidays. Only 2 more sleeps.
We’re in New Brunswick right now with our in laws. Arrived yesterday. It’s been relaxing so far. 🙂
That’s wonderful that you were able to return to New Brunswick and spend Christmas with family. I’m sure it’s great that there are more people around to entertain T so you can actually get some rest and relaxation.
The views from the fire tower are terrific! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have gone up there, a bit too much height-aversion for me. It’s a shame about the camper noise. It’s not just a problem for campers; I’ve had that problem in thin-walled motels/hotels as well.
The climb up the spiraling staircase was definitely a bit dizzying and it didn’t help that the viewing platform felt like it was swaying from the wind. The views from the top were outstanding though. It’s never fun to have your sleep interrupted by people being noisy, whether it’s camping or sleeping in a motel. I just don’t get how some people have very little thought or respect for others.
The view from the tower is spectacular. I’m not sure I would have got Mike up there. I know it’s an optical illusion but looking up at it, the top looks very precarious. So sorry to hear about your obnoxious camping neighbours. The ranger should have booted them out.
The climb up the tower was a bit sketchy as the staircase narrowed considerably near the top and the viewing platform felt like it was swaying from the wind. But the views were stunning. I’m glad we did this even though it was getting late because if we pushed it off until the next day, our views would have been obstructed by the fog.
It was disappointing that the ranger couldn’t do much about the noise. I hope they at least got fined. It can ruin the experience and usually puts me in a grumpy mood. Thankfully we didn’t have any further issues with the noise during the rest of our road trip.
Those views are incredible, but there is absolutely no way I’d go up those stairs so I admire you for doing so 🙂 Sorry about all the noisy campers though….we recently stayed in a hotel and our next door neighbours were having a fight – she discovered his affair from a message while he was in the shower, so we heard the entire fall out. We definitely didn’t sleep that night!!
I’m not the greatest with heights, but I like to use travelling as a good opportunity to get me out of my comfort zone. So up I went, narrow winding staircase and all. The top of the tower was the most daunting as the viewing platform felt like it was swaying from the wind.
Oh wow, that must have been awkward to hear the fight in the next room! Yikes!
View is amazing on top of the Tower. Beautiful images. Happy New Year my Friend. So many great surprises and outdoor adventures awaits in 2022.
We visited a few fire towers in Ontario this year, but this was the only one we could climb. The views from the top were stunning and a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the entire area. Looking forward to all the adventures that lie in store in 2022. Wishing you all the best in the New Year.