Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021
White Lake Provincial Park is situated on White Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the region. It is reputed to be great for swimming and fishing for walleye and northern pike. It also features three hiking trails that weave through wetlands and the surrounding boreal forest.
After spending the morning in Pukaskwa National Park, we arrived at White Lake in the early afternoon. The park was surprisingly pretty quiet and there weren’t too many people in the campground. We drove to the day-use area at the main beach to eat a late lunch.
We then went to hike along the Deer Lake Trail (2.5km, rated easy), which winds through the boreal forest, along the shore of Deer Lake and circles a beaver marsh.
Near the trailhead there’s a scenic lookout and viewing platform overlooking Deer Lake, but there was another couple there so we figured we could hit this up afterwards since the trail forms a loop.
The trail consists of two interconnecting loops, a small loop (1.5km) that leads to a viewing platform overlooking the beaver marsh, and a longer loop (2.5km) that encompasses the small loop and weaves around the marsh. We opted for the longer loop.
The trail is well-signed with a combination of 13 numbered posts and signs with a hiker symbol with an arrow to point you in the right direction. There are a few boardwalk sections and a lot of rolling hills through the forest.
Along the way there are lots of great viewpoints of Dear Lake and the beaver marsh. There are also a few benches to enjoy the views and catch your breath.
Towards the end of the trail, we walked by the amphitheatre. We never did return to the scenic lookout at the start of the trail as we figured we had pretty decent views of the lake from the trail anyway. While there are a couple of other trails in the park, we headed out as we still had quite a bit of driving to get to Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Along the drive, we stopped at the Winnie the Pooh Memorial in White River, which is just north of White Lake. Winnie, the black bear that inspired the iconic children’s stories Winnie-the-Pooh, was born in White River, Ontario. In fact, if you see a black bear in the region, there’s a good chance that it’s genetically related to Winnie.
When Winnie was a cub, she was purchased by Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. He named her Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. When Colebourn learned he would be shipped to France, he decided to settle Winnie into the London Zoo. It was here that A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin encountered Winnie. Christopher Robin ended up naming his teddy bear after Winnie, which became the inspiration for Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.
We then hopped back in the car and continued our drive along Lake Superior.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here