Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021
Blue Lake Provincial Park is situated in northwestern Ontario and is known for its long sandy beach and crystal clear water. Blue Lake is actually one of dozens of lakes left behind after the retreat of ancient Lake Agassiz which covered much of northwestern Ontario and southern Manitoba. Besides providing excellent opportunities for swimming and fishing, it also offers camping and a variety of trails for hiking.
After spending the morning hiking in Rushing River Provincial Park, we arrived at Blue Lake in the early afternoon.
First things first, food. We drove to the beach area where there’s a sheltered picnic area to make and eat some lunch. The covered picnic area provided nice relief from the sun plus we had lovely views of Blue Lake. I’d say the park lived up to its name and reputation.
We went for a short stroll along the sandy shore. The benefit of visiting later in the season was that we had the beach all to ourselves, which was surprising considering how warm the weather was.
We then went to hike along the Spruce Fen Trail (1km, loop, rated easy). The trail follows along a boardwalk through a black spruce forest and out onto an open fen. There are interpretive signs along the way that provide more information about the importance of fens and the types of plants that can be found here.
The Spruce Fen Trail connects with a couple of other longer trails in the park, but we were unfortunately pressed for time.
Instead we hiked along the Boulder Ridge Trail (1km loop, rated easy), which meanders through the forest and passes a series of glacial erratics. The trailhead is located just south of the park entrance along Trans-Canada Highway 17. There is no parking along the shoulder of the road though, so we instead parked back at the day-use area by the main beach and walked a few hundred metres to get to get to trailhead.
It was a short hike through the forest. And with that we were back in the parking lot and ready to hit the road once again.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here