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