MacLeod Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

MacLeod Provincial Park is located on a peninsula in Kenogamisis Lake just outside of Longlac in Northern Ontario. This area was once used to mine gold and the park is named after Fred MacLeod who was one of the discoverers of the MacLeod-Cockshutt gold mine which operated nearby. MacLeod is known for its water-based recreational activities, including boating, fishing, swimming and canoeing.

We spent most of the day driving from Fushimi Lake Provincial Park towards Thunder Bay and made a detour at MacLeod to stretch our legs and eat a snack. The park is conveniently located right off of Highway 11. While it rained for most of the morning, thankfully it had stopped by the time we arrived at MacLeod. We checked in at the Park Office to pick up an information guide and a park badge.

We then drove to the beach area, which features an open field of grass, a long shoreline that contains a mix between pebbles and sand, and some weird stage.

We then drove to the picnic area and found the trailhead for the Towering Aspen Nature Trail (1km, rated easy). The trail description indicated that the trail is 1km in length, which is a little misleading as it was definitely longer. We didn’t mind as we were up for the adventure.

The trail winds through the forest and contains a few interpretive panels that provide more information about the area and all the different types of trees in the forest. A fire swept through and burned most of the area in 1939. As a result, much of the park and the entire peninsula are covered by young aspen.

It looked like the trail wasn’t all that well used or maintained as there were a few dodgy areas where we had to hop over or crawl under some fallen branches and trees. But the trail wasn’t muddy or flooded, which is always a huge bonus after a heavy rainfall (the forecast called for 30-50mm of rain).

Once we wrapped up our hike, we drove to an empty campsite to make a cup of tea and eat a snack. The campground was mostly empty, so we had no issues finding a secluded site by the water. Given the park’s close proximity to the highway, we could hear the noise of trucks zooming by. It also doesn’t help that sound tends to travel further across water. Either way, the views were still nice.

We took off shortly after 3p.m and continued our drive towards Thunder Bay. We still had a lot of driving ahead of us (and more rain).


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

38 thoughts on “MacLeod Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There are a variety of parks in Ontario and each one offers a unique experience. It was nice to visit some of the smaller ones as that meant we could squeeze two or three parks in on a single day. It was definitely a major challenge and I’m a little sad that it’s over, but at the same time, impressed at how many we were able to visit in a single year. Enjoy the rest of your week. Linda

  1. leightontravels says:

    Rain in and around Thunder Bay is, I guess, to be expected given the locale’s name. This seems like a nice little park for a hike, but the noisy campsite doesn’t sound great. Looking forward to seeing where you take us next.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m happy to say that this was our last day of major rain during our road trip!! After spending a few hours in the car, it was nice to take a break and stretch our legs. It was crazy how far the noise from the highway can travel. Let’s just say I’m glad we weren’t planning to camp at MacLeod that night.

  2. Rose says:

    The “Trembling Aspen” marker is a neat educational piece. I didn’t know this about the trees. Do you have a favorite tea? Currently my favorite way to start a chilly morning is with a warm cup of Organic Ginger Tea. While your visit to MacLeod was in Sep. 2021, I’m reading it in Jan. 2022 where our morning temperature is -26 C and we have a windchill advisory. A warm beverage is necessary. 😊 Your park challenge is a joy to read during this chilly time.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of trails that have storyboards or interpretive panels along the way that tell more information about the history of the park, geology of the area, or the types of plants that can be found here. It’s a great way to sneak some education in with our exercise.

      I don’t usually drink coffee, but I’m a big tea fan. Right now I’m really digging a coconut flavoured oolong tea. I usually start my morning with a warm cup of tea too. It’s currently -12C here in southern Ontario, so I guess I can’t complain about the cold too much!! You’re in luck as I have plenty of more posts in the queue from our two week Northern Ontario road trip!

  3. wetanddustyroads says:

    So, you are following the rain … or the rain are following you? Yes, I definitely don’t like a muddy trail and I’m glad you could avoid this on the trail. Looking forward to your next stop!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Either way there’s no escaping from the rain!! The next day we finally had blue skies and sun, which was fantastic for camping and the hikes we had planned. It’s funny how the weather can make such a huge difference.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The benefit of some of the smaller parks is that we’re able to cover more distance in a day and visit multiple parks. Thankfully it had stopped raining and we were able to stretch our legs and go for a quick hike.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Camping in the rain is never fun. It’s a great way to test whether your gear is any good though and to test the limits of your patience. We had a bit of a rainy start to our Northern Ontario road trip and this was probably the worst day in terms of the rain during our two weeks away. I’m glad the rain had stopped long enough for us to take a break here and go for a short hike.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The rain seemed to keep following up around. It was a good day for driving, but I’m glad we had a couple of opportunities to take a break and stretch our legs, including at this park. And yes, glad they had a few park badges still in stock!

  4. Ab says:

    Those deceiving 1km hikes that are longer than such are always a joy, aren’t they? 😆 But it looked like it ended up being a positive surprise.

    Glad the trail wasn’t affected by the heavy rain. I dread hiking with T on those muddy and puddly hikes as it gets all over him!

    Happy Thursday and thank God it’s almost the weekend!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The hike was definitely filled with some surprises, some good (like the educational signs about the forest) and some bad (like all those fallen trees and having some issues with navigation). Heck, I’m just glad it wasn’t raining at that point!! Enjoy the weekend. Stay warm out there!

  5. michellecj333 says:

    Another beautiful park, and another lake name that is fun to say! I need to lean to convert miles/kilometers- here in the US distance is per mile so i have no reference point for the distance. Seemed like something i learned in 5th-6th grade and have long forgotten. A nice hot cup of tea sounds like just the perfect thing afterward!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I am the same way and struggle to convert kilometres to miles and degrees celsius to fahrenheit (and vice versa). It was nice to end our visit by making a cup of hot tea as it was so damp and dreary outside. This should come as no surprise, but it started raining again during our drive to our accommodations. We ended up staying in another hotel as we just didn’t have it in us to set up camp in the cold and rain.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This was our first time driving along the entire Highway 11 stretch north of North Bay and it was nice to hit up most of the parks along the way. It rained A LOT during the first few days of our road trip, but the weather started to improve once we made it to Thunder Bay and beyond. The next day we even had blue skies and sun!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s wonderful that there are so many parks in Ontario. I can’t believe I’ve lived here most of my life and it’s only now that I’m making more of an effort to see what’s in my own backyard. We managed to see just over 100 provincial parks in 2021, which felt very rewarding, but it’s crazy how there’s still many parks we just didn’t have enough time to visit.

  6. alisendopf says:

    Some places are ideal as a roadside stop. On a long road trip, just being able to pull over and get some nature is worth it. While not as nice as many of your other Provincial Parks, it’s still good to know it’s there and a good place to stop. I imagine people with kids would enjoy letting the kids run free and blow off some steam here.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We spent most of the day in the car, so it was nice to be able to stretch our legs and go for a short hike (while it wasn’t raining). The parks along this stretch were all very quiet and had smaller campgrounds, which is great to avoid the crowds and get some peace and quiet.

  7. Melanie Gagon says:

    I love following along your hikes and park visits! I’m not a fan of muddy trails either and feel like I always run into them after storms! Lol glad you dodged them! Views on your stop by the water after look nice and relaxing!! Even if you could hear the highway close! Happy trails and happy new year!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Even though I wear proper hiking boots, I just hate stepping in the mud and getting them dirty. Thankfully this area is relatively sandy which meant the trails were never really flooded or muddy. This worked out well since we got a lot of rain during the first few days of our road trip. Happy New Year to you as well. Wishing your and your family lots of great adventures and happiness in 2022. Cheers. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I haven’t done an official count of the park badges we collected this year, but it’s a lot. Ontario Parks came out with them a couple of years ago and it’s been such a hit. They each have a unique design and they’re really well made. Now I need to figure out what to do with them all!

  8. ourcrossings says:

    Such a wonderful forest trail and the badge too! How many have you managed to collect by now, Linda, and have you decided what to do with them? Thanks for sharing and have a good day! Aiva

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a small park, but it was a nice visit to break up the drive, especially since it wasn’t raining. We visited just over 100 parks in 2021. I haven’t done an official count of how many park badges we collected, but I was able to order some of the ones we were missing as Ontario Parks had a pop-up online store during the holidays. I have a few ideas of what to do with them, but I want to collect a few more still before I get started. Enjoy your weekend. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We saw such an impressive variety of mushrooms in all different colours, shapes and sizes during our northern Ontario road trip. I wouldn’t want to eat any of them, but some of them do look magical. Have a wonderful weekend. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. It’s been fun exploring more of the parks in my home province and collecting all the various park badges. This was a nice little park to make a quick detour on a long day of driving. It’s always nice to get some fresh air and to stretch our legs along a road trip.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. Today was a long day of driving so it was nice to stop at this little park for a short break and to stretch our legs. It was exactly what we needed. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Linda

  9. travelling_han says:

    The choice of parks you have is just amazing, and although being able to hear the traffic isn’t ideal, it’s great you have parks so easily accessible for stop offs on long journeys!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I feel so fortunate that we have so many parks and green spaces in Ontario. Stopping at some of these smaller parks during our road trip came in handy as it’s always nice to take a break, stretch our legs, and use the washroom. The parks along the highway are definitely convenient, but the downside is that you can hear all the traffic from the road. Thankfully we were only here for a couple of hours and weren’t spending the night.

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