Caliper Lake Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

Caliper Lake Provincial Park is located in northwestern Ontario and is known for its impressive stand of old growth red and white pine trees. The park offers camping and other amenities, including a sandy beach, a single hiking trail and boat launch.

After spending the morning in Quetico Provincial Park, we arrived at Caliper Lake at 2p.m. We checked in at the Park Office to collect a park badge and information guide of the park. Even though we have an annual Ontario Parks pass, for some reason we still had to pay a day-use fee.

We then went to check out the day-use area and the beach. It was overcast outside, but even then, it didn’t look like the greatest lake to go swimming as there was some scuzzy green stuff near the shoreline.

From the parking lot, we walked along the road for a couple hundred metres to get to the trailhead for the Beaver Pond Trail (2-3km, rated moderate). The trail consists of two interconnecting loops. There’s a shorter loop and a longer loop that continues all the way around the entire beaver pond.

The trail is signed with a mix of a few different markers. In some cases there was an arrow to point you in the right direction or a blue marker with a hiker symbol. Either way, it’s always nice to get that validation that you’re on the actual trail. There is also a map of the trail system at the first junction where the shorter and longer loop branches off. We continued onwards along the longer loop.

The trail is a bit rocky in places and there are some steep sections. The forest floor was also damp, but thankfully not muddy, and showcased a variety of mushrooms in all different shapes, sizes and colours.

Towards the end of the longer loop, there’s a wooden viewing platform that provides a nice lookout of the beaver pond. We could spot three beaver lodges, including a heron that was standing on top of one of them.

The longer loop connects with the shorter loop again, which we followed to get back to the road and trailhead. From there, we walked back to the car and found to an empty campsite to eat a very late lunch. We then continued our drive towards Sioux Narrows.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

52 thoughts on “Caliper Lake Provincial Park

  1. ourcrossings says:

    Great post and wonderful photos, Linda, especially the one with fungi! It is always amazing what can be found on the forest floor – wildflowers, ferns, sedges, moss and other plants worth stopping and admiring. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I was pleasantly surprised at how many mushrooms we saw in this region of Ontario. The best part was that each one was so unique. I still can’t get over how many different species of fungi there are. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your week. Linda

  2. wetanddustyroads says:

    Enjoyed your beaver pond photo’s – I have never seen a beaver pond (or even a beaver for that matter). And what an interesting picture of that white spiky mushroom. Another great trail Linda!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We have no shortage of beaver ponds here in Ontario. The beaver is actually an official national symbol in Canada. Seeing all the mushrooms was another highlight of the trail. I love how there’s so many different kinds and how each one looks unique.

  3. Ab says:

    It looked like a nice little stop after Quetico! It’s just amazing how many parks there are so close to each other.

    Those wild mushrooms look almost other worldly! Never seen them that shape before.

    The beaver pond looked rather swampy but it’s amazing what those creatures are able to do and build!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s very convenient how there are so many parks in this area and how most of them are located near the highway. It’s always nice to break up the drive, stretch our legs, eat lunch, and use the washrooms.

      The variety and volume of mushrooms we saw in this area of northwestern Ontario was impressive. It gave us something new to look out for while on the trail and turned into a bit of a scavenger hunt.

      The beaver pond definitely looked swampy. I can only imagine how awful the mosquitoes would be in the spring. I’m glad there was a viewing platform so we didn’t have to venture near the shoreline. Thankfully the trail itself wasn’t very muddy.

      • Ab says:

        Mosquitoes are definitely one reason I am thankful for the cold weather we have now! 😆

        Looks like restrictions may lift next week. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        No kidding. I’m hoping all this cold weather will kill off some of the mosquitoes and other critters and creatures, like the gypsy moth caterpillars.

        I read that on the news too about how some restrictions may be lifted towards the end of the month. Woohoo! I wouldn’t mind continuing to work from home though 🙂

      • Ab says:

        I suspect we’ll be working from home until end of June. They won’t be in a rush to get us back in the office until things are fully stabilized. But we shall see.

        I sure hope we never see gypsy moth caterpillars again this summer!!!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I sure hope so. So far every time we’ve been advised to start coming back into the office, it’s been delayed. I’d be okay to work from home indefinitely 🙂

        Those gypsy moth caterpillars were brutal last year. I don’t think our poor birch tree can take another beating (or rather feasting) from them.

  4. kagould17 says:

    Great fungi shot. I have not seen these often. We also stopped here in fall 2018. As we were on our way from Winnipeg to Fort Frances for the night, we did not have much hiking time, but it was a beautiful spot. Thanks for the memories. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There was such a wealth of mushrooms in this area when we visited. Hiking through the forest was a great way to find them. It’s very convenient how there’s a few parks located along the main highway. It’s always nice to break up the drive on a road trip and not have to drive too far out of the way to find a spot to eat lunch or stretch your legs. Glad it brought back memories of your road trip across Canada. Take care. Linda

  5. Dee Min says:

    Thanks for the vicarious journey. Loved the pix. The mushroom pic stood out. It looks like it belongs in a Disney animated movie as the home of one of its imagined characters. 😊

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Our road trip seems like it happened so long ago. It’s nice to reminisce about those last remaining days of summer. The coral fungi looked so enchanting, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it. I still can’t believe how many mushrooms were along the trail and in this part of Ontario.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s neat that someone went through all that effort to paint a map of the trail. The person at the park office indicated that because Caliper Lake is operated by the town, that their park isn’t covered by the annual and seasonal passes. The day-use fee was only a few dollars per person, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. We’ve just never had that issue before with our annual pass not being valid at a provincial park and we’ve visited a lot of Ontario parks!

  6. John says:

    Other than the overcast, this looks like a really nice place to hike. The beach looks nice, but I’ll pass on the scuzzy stuff! You got your patch, too. 🇨🇦❤️

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The trail itself was lovely, especially with all the various types of mushrooms along the path. The beach not so much with all that green slimy stuff near the shoreline. That’s a hard pass. Always glad to add another park badge to my collection!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Some lakes in Ontario have had issues with algae blooms and sometimes they can be harmful. I definitely wouldn’t want to risk it. The hike around the beaver pond was lovely and it was such a nice surprise to see the heron.

  7. Josy A says:

    I love your mushroom photos and it’s always fab to see those provincial park patches! 🙂 What do you do with yours? Sew them on to your backpack?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There was an interesting variety of mushrooms along the trail. I love how there’s so many different shapes, sizes and colours of them. The park badges have been fun to collect. I’m not sure what do with all yet. Currently they’re just sitting in a pile on my nightstand.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        They were very well designed. They are apparently quite popular to collect. I couldn’t believe that some parks sold out of their badges early in the summer. Ontario Parks had an online pop-up store during the holidays so I was able to buy the badges that we were missing.

      • Josy A says:

        I’ve only ever found the BC ones online. I bought one for a friend for christmas…then got suckered into buying some for myself too because they are so cute. 😀

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That’s the problem. You can never just buy one. I figure there are worse things I can spend my money on and I like to think that in some ways I’m supporting the parks 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a delightful surprise to find so many mushrooms along the trail. The coral fungi was easily my favourite. I’ve never seen anything quite like that before. The viewing platform overlooking the beaver pond and beaver dams was also very beautiful.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mushroom quite like that before. I still can’t get over how many mushrooms were in this area. It added an extra element of surprise and intrigue during our hikes.

      Last year our government actually lowered the price of annual park passes and made them valid for two years (instead of one). Day-use was also free Monday to Thursday during the summer as well. Our parks could sure use the extra money for maintenance though. The amount of trash we’ve seen on the trails was awful last year.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve never seen a mushroom quite like that before and couldn’t resist taking a picture of it. I love how many different species of fungi there are and how mushrooms are so unique. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Take care. Linda

  8. Bama says:

    When I see mushrooms, I can’t help but think of all those delicious dishes we can make with them. I’d probably leave that strange-looking mushroom in your eighth photo alone though. I wonder if that green stuff near the shoreline is some kind of algae.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny because I used to hate mushrooms when I was younger but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. They are one of my favourite types of food. I’m not sure how I’d feel about eating wild mushrooms though! There are so many different kinds and the risk just seems too high. I’ll stick to buying my mushrooms from the grocery store or farmers market.

      There’s been a few lakes in Ontario that have had issues with algae blooms over the last few years. It can sometimes be harmful. All the more reason to just stick to the trails.

  9. salsaworldtraveler says:

    People are drawn to water. All of these parks (to my recollection) have lakes or rivers. Maybe dates back hundreds of millions of years to when our ancestors crawled out of the ocean and our bodies are something like 2/3 water.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s pretty impressive how many lakes and rivers there are in Ontario. Many of them were formed during the last ice age. That’s a good observation about how so many of our provincial parks are located along a lake or network of lakes. It’s always nice to go for a swim after a long day of hiking. Unfortunately the water was a bit too chilly during our Northern Ontario road trip in the fall.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There was a surprising amount of mushrooms along the trail through the forest. It gave us something different to focus on during our hike. I love that nature is just full of such awesome surprises.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This was a nice park to take a break and stretch our legs after a long morning of driving. The trail was easy to navigate and features some lovely views of the wetlands and beaver ponds. I can almost still smell the fresh air. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Leave a Reply