Fushimi Lake Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

Fushimi Lake Provincial Park is located in the heart of Northern Ontario, just outside of Hearst. While most of the park is left to wilderness, there’s a small campground located on Lake Fushimi with around 40 sites for car camping and 12 backcountry sites that are only accessible by canoe or boat. Fushimi Lake also has two hiking trails that weave through the boreal forest.

Day 1: Sunset

We rolled into the park just before 6:30p.m and checked in at the gatehouse to collect our permit and pick up a park badge. We then drove to our site, which was located along the shore of Lake Fushimi. We even had our own secret path down to the water.

After setting up our tents, we decided to hike along the Achilles Lake Trail (1km, rated easy) to take advantage of the nice weather. The path is relatively flat and leads through the forest to a rocky outcrop on Achilles Lake. The water was as smooth as glass and the sun was just starting to set. We sat on the rocks to admire the views and soak in the warmth from the sun.

We then headed back to our campsite to make a late dinner and start a fire. We were a bit concerned about the rainfall warning that was in store for us tomorrow (the forecast was calling for about 30-50mm of rain throughout the day), but for now we just enjoyed the clear skies and nice weather.

Day 2: Rain

We woke up rather early at 6:30a.m. It was overcast and windy, but it wasn’t raining. We figured we might as well get up and pack up our tents while they were still dry. We then decided to push our luck to see if we can squeeze in the Fire Tower Trail (7km, rated strenuous). Since today was mostly a day of driving, we figured we might as well get some steps in, especially since it wasn’t raining. Yet.

The trailhead is located in the campground near the comfort station. It’s an out and back trail that leads to a fire tower. It follows the same path the fire ranger took in the 1930s as he hiked from his cabin through the boreal forest to the fire tower.

For the first stretch, the path is wide and leads through the forest. The path then narrows as it hugs the shoreline of Fushimi Lake. Along the way there are a few opportunities to walk down to the water and look out over the lake.

The trail leads to a junction where the ruins of the former ranger cabin are located. There wasn’t much left standing, just a few pieces of wood and an old stove. The original cabin was built in the early 1930s to serve as the living quarters for the fire ranger working in the tower from May to September.

At the junction there’s a turn-off for a backcountry campsite, which is located down by the water. The site comes complete with a proper fire pit and picnic table, but the real highlight is the secluded sandy beach.

From the junction it’s about a 15 minute walk to the fire tower, which marks the end of the trail. After taking a few pictures at the base (it’s not permitted to climb the tower), it started to lightly rain. This seemed like a good sign to turn around and hike back the way that we came.

It continued to rain for the entire hike back and it got progressively worse towards the end. Overall it took us 2.5 hours to complete the trail. Since we’d be spending most of the day in the car, we changed into dry clothes at the comfort station. We then headed back out onto the open road.

L

My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

87 thoughts on “Fushimi Lake Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. We had a bit of a gloomy start to our Northern Ontario road trip with a lot of rain over the first few days. It was nice to finally see the sun and enjoy a beautiful sunset by the lake.

      Like

  1. Ab says:

    I miss Northern Ontario looking at your post. This is another beautiful park and arriving for that glorious sunset seemed like such a great treat!

    30-50 mm of rain sounds awful and you were lucky to have avoided packing in that downpour and even snuck in a hike too.

    Driving in the rain is scary but also soothing and makes the driving day not feel like a total waste! 😊🙏

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Our campsite at Fushimi Lake was one of my favourites during our road trip. It’s always nice to camp along the water and to stay in a small campground. After all that rain from our first few days of our trip, it was amazing to finally see the sun (and a sunset). The rain the next day was terrible, but thankfully we avoided the worst of it while driving. We ended up ditching our campsite that night to stay in another hotel in Thunder Bay. As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of camping in the rain!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        I think I remember that rainy day you were talking about as you had mentioned it back in September. Those camping days are the worst!

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Totally. There’s nothing worse than setting up or taking down your tent in the rain, especially when you’re on a road trip and there’s no opportunity for your stuff to dry. We’ve done a lot of camping during the pandemic, so it was nice to treat ourselves a few times and stay in a hotel instead to avoid the miserable weather.

        Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was nice to return to Northern Ontario and explore some different regions and parks, such as Fushimi Lake. It’s incredible how different the landscape and forests are compared to in the south. After experiencing all that rain on our first few days of our road trip, it was so nice to finally see some blues skies and a beautiful sunset. I’m glad we ended up hiking the fire tower trail even though it rained the entire way back. It’s always neat to see and learn about the history of the fire towers in Ontario. Thanks for reading. Linda

      Liked by 2 people

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Watching the sunset was a great way to wrap up our day, well, that and having a campfire afterwards. I’m just glad it wasn’t raining when we packed up our tents! It wasn’t ideal to hike back from the fire tower in the rain, but at least we were able to change into dry clothes afterwards. We spent most of the day driving, so it was the perfect day to get all that rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • alex sorensen says:

        having landed at Fushimi,by float plane,in 1968, I recall,that the water was crystal clear,in the bay by the firetower. Is that still the case?

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s pretty neat that you travelled to Fushimi Lake by float plane. When we hiked to the firetower it was a dark and dreary day so it was hard to get a sense of whether the water was crystal clear. I imagine that’s still the case though since the area looks quite pristine. Fushimi Lake Provincial Park was easily one of my favourite parks that we visited during our Northern Ontario road trip. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

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      • alex sorensen says:

        there would be no mistaking the clarity (if I landed at Fushimi.) I am coming to the conclusion that it was not Fushimi, but a clay bottom lake ,not quite as big,but the similar eastern end…there are at least 4 candidates.One could see the bottom even at 50 feet down
        Thanks for your response.Alex

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        We noticed a big difference in the quality of the lakes further up north in Ontario and saw a few with crystal clear waters, such as Blue Lake and Fairbank. Seeing the bottom from 50 feet down is pretty incredible.

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  2. Bama says:

    I must admit when someone mentions the name Fushimi to me, I always think of the vermilion torii gates that are emblematic to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. But this Fushimi in Ontario, albeit looks completely different, has its own charm. Look at that smooth glass-like surface! That’s so incredibly beautiful.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      No wonder the name of this park sounded so familiar. Thanks for making the connection with Japan. We visited Kyoto a few years ago and had such a wonderful time. I remember waking up early to get to the Fushimi Inari Shrine before it got crowded and was blown away by its beauty.

      After dealing with gloomy skies and rain over the first few days of our road trip, it was wonderful to finally see the sun at Fushimi Lake. Talk about good timing with the sunset. It was a good way to end the day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We encountered a lot of rain during the first week of our Northern Ontario road trip. It was nice to finally see the sun and have this moment to watch it set. Happy New Near to you as well! Wishing you lots of happiness, good health and adventures in 2022. Cheers. Linda

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I had no idea that there were so many fire towers in Ontario. It would be neat to try to visit them all. Perhaps that can be a challenge for another year. It was so nice to finally see the sun and how lucky that we arrived just in time to watch it set.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Getting rained on wasn’t ideal, but I’m glad it happened on the return journey and that I took plenty of pictures on the first half of the hike. Thankfully we could change into dry clothes afterwards and could warm-up while we drove to our next destination.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of the rain. There’s nothing worse than setting up or taking down your tent in the rain during a road trip, especially when it’s cold outside. There would have been no opportunity to dry our stuff out. I didn’t mind getting rained on during our hike as it was worth it to see the fire tower. Besides, we could change into dry clothes afterwards and warm-up while driving to our next destination.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ourcrossings says:

    You had such beautiful weather on the first evening and the lake was nothing short of magnificent. I can’t wait for the days when it is possible to go hiking in the evening – today the sunset in Sligo was at 4:29 pm which is far too early for my liking. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      After dealing with overcast and rain for the few days of our trip, it was so nice to finally see the sun and to watch it set. I know what you mean about these short and dark days. They make the winter feel colder and longer. I’m counting down the days until summer. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks!! It was amazing to finally see some blue skies and sun during our road trip. I’m glad we arrived at the lake just in time to watch the sunset. Talk about perfect timing. Even though it rained a lot the next day, this park still stands out as being one of my favourites.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We planned to spend most of the day driving. So we figured that even if we got soaked during our hike, we could change into dry clothes and just warm-up afterwards in the car along the drive. If it was raining at the start of the hike, we probably wouldn’t have done it. But the timing wasn’t bad. We had made it to the fire tower at that point and I took plenty of pictures beforehand while it was still dry.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks!! They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Fushimi Lake is such a lovely area that showcases the rugged beauty of the Northern Ontario wilderness. Despite the rain, I’m glad we at least had nice weather when we arrived and were able to watch the sunset.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was hit or miss in terms of whether some of the parks in Northern Ontario still had badges left. Always glad to add another one to my collection though. We had perfect timing with that sunset and I’m glad we ended up doing the short hike to the lake to watch it.

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  4. wetanddustyroads says:

    Wow, the lake on the first day is like a mirror – perfect for hiking and camping. And then good old rain on the second day (at least on the way back of the hike) … but how perfect is that little sandy beach – on a sunny day this would be a great spot to have a picnic!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a tough start to our road trip with all that rain. It was so lovely to enjoy a beautiful sunset and it was exactly what we all needed to boost our spirits. Even though it rained (a lot!) the next day, I’m glad we managed to squeeze in the hike to the fire tower. Agreed, if the weather was nice, it would have been amazing to eat our breakfast on the beach.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind. We’ve had a lot of dark, dreary and damp days so it was so nice to finally see the sun and the sunet. It was exactly what we needed to boost our spirits. Rain certainly is a challenge when camping, but we managed to dodge the worst of it either when driving or overnight when we stayed in a hotel a couple of times. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

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  5. alisendopf says:

    Good for you for starting out, even though it was raining. I find it’s always best to just go. Even if it does rain, it’s never as bad as you think it’ll be, especially when you can return to a warm car. Not ideal if you’re backpacking, but it also beats sitting in a tent all day.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The landscape in Northern Ontario is simply stunning. Even though we had a bit of a rough start to our road trip in terms of the weather, I’m glad we were able to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. The hike to the fire tower was a bit lengthy, it took us around two and a half hours to complete. We were a bit concerned about the rain, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad and we were able to change into dry clothes afterwards before hitting the road again.

      Liked by 1 person

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