Length of stay: 3 days
Visited: April 2023
It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in southern Ontario with warmer weather and a lot of sunshine. But it’s only a matter of time before the mosquitoes become active. So for the Easter long weekend we decided to head up the cabin to enjoy the bug-free outdoors for the time being. We also hit up a few provincial parks in the area to take advantage of the nice weather.
Day 1: Sunset
We left home bright and early Friday morning. There were surprisingly a lot of cars on the road. But then again it was a long weekend and the forecast was calling for nothing but blue skies and sunshine for the next few days. Along the drive to the cabin we stopped at Presqu’ile Provincial Park for the day to go on a few hikes. It’s been awhile since we’ve been hiking, and if you don’t include our visit to MacGregor Point Provincial Park the weekend before, even longer since we’ve been to a provincial park.
While there’s no longer any snow back home, there was still quite a bit in the area around the cabin. This should make the hike in interesting. We arrived at the top of the road leading into the cabin just before 5p.m. We parked our car and from there it’s about a kilometre hike to get to there. The first hundred metres weren’t too bad, but then we encountered some deep sections where the snow nearly went up to our knees.
We’re sure glad we wore our winter hiking boots, but that didn’t prevent the snow from coming in around our ankles. I ended up rolling my socks over the edge of my boots, which helped out quite a bit. But the worst part was when you thought you were on steady footing, only to sink into the snow seconds after picking up your back foot to take a step forward. Needless to say, progress was slow.
I made one more trip back and forth to the car while K stayed behind to get a fire going inside. The nice thing about visiting in the spring is just how much daylight we get. We appreciate it so much more at the cabin where there is no electricity. We made dinner and looked out at the lake where a group of wood ducks provided some entertainment.
After we were done eating, we made one more trip to the car to get the remainder of our stuff, which was mostly just our extra water. We didn’t want to leave anything behind in the car as the temperature was supposed to drop below freezing overnight. The sun was low in the sky and casted a soft glow through the trees.
The sun was setting by the time we returned. We retreated indoors to watch the remainder of the sunset and enjoy the warmth from the fire.
Day 2: Canoeing through the Ice
Today was supposed to be another beautiful day of warmer weather. It was a bit chilly first thing in the morning, but the lake was calm. A fresh layer of ice had formed around the shoreline.
After eating breakfast, we made an attempt to go for a canoe ride. We weren’t sure how far we’d get given the lake was still partially frozen and we weren’t sure how thick the ice was. But we decided to give it a whirl anyway.
We were quickly rewarded with our effort as just as I was about to step into the canoe, I spotted a $5 bill under the water near the shoreline. Thank goodness our Canadian money is waterproof! I had to use my paddle to break through the layer of thin ice and dipped my hand in the water to retrieve it. Sure the water was freezing, but it’s free money. We were off to a good start.
We canoed around the bay, breaking through the ice every so often with our paddles. It was oddly very satisfying to hear the sounds of the cracking ice and to watch the broken ice sheets slosh around in the water. We managed to create a path through part of the ice to get across to the other side of the lake. This required having to backup a few times to gain more momentum, but we got into a pretty good rhythm.
We paddled around a bit more to admire the frosty water. The sun became a bit too blinding though, so we headed back to the shadows on solid ground.
I went for a walk later in the morning. Given all the snow through the forest, I stuck to the main road. As the weather warmed, the snow continued to melt, creating puddles, seasonal creeks and muddy patches along the road.
I made it back to the cabin just in time for some lunch. K’s parents decided to come down for the day and had arrived while I was on my walk. We hung around for a couple of hours, ate some food and chopped some wood. We then headed to Frontenac Provincial Park for the remainder of the afternoon to make use of our Ontario park pass.
The trails in Frontenac were in good condition considering the time of year. It took us an extra 20 minutes to get back to the cabin though. We had to make a detour as part of the main road was closed due to flooding. We made it back to the top of the road leading into the cabin at 7pm just as the sun was starting to set. The temperature was cooling down and it was supposed to drop below freezing overnight again.
We got the fire going in the wood stove and made some dinner.
Day 3: Canoeing along the Shoreline
We woke up to another nice day of blue skies and sun. First things first, I made a couple trips to the car to drop off most of our stuff while the snow was still frozen. It is much easier to walk along the frozen crusty snow than when it warms up and becomes softer and slushy.
After making a cup of tea, we went for a canoe ride around the bay. There was still some ice on the lake, but not nearly as much as yesterday. As such we were able to explore further along the shoreline. Last summer a powerful windstorm known as a derecho swept through this area, causing a lot of damage. Along the shoreline there were many trees that had fallen over, pulling up the earth around the roots. It was interesting to see the buckled ground around the fallen trees.
We canoed further around the bay, admiring the reflections in the calm water. The water levels were abnormally high from all the spring melt, which was probably good for the lake. There are a few other cottages on this part of the lake, but everything was quiet this time of the year.
Once we made it back to solid ground, we put the canoe away. We then headed inside to make another cup of tea and some breakfast. After cleaning up after ourselves, we finished packing our stuff and got ready to head out. But when we were halfway to the car, we started to question whether we actually locked the door to the cabin. So we put our stuff down and decided to walk back to double check to get that peace of mind. It turns out we did lock the door to the cabin, but the door wasn’t actually fully closed. Good thing we went back otherwise I’m sure some of the wildlife would be claiming the cabin as their new home!
We then headed back to the car for real this time. We planned to make one more detour along the way home to stretch our legs and take advantage of the nice weather before heading to our family Easter dinner. While I was going to write a separate post about it, it would largely just consist of me complaining about all the flooding along the trail and the mud. So let’s just say Darlington Provincial Park isn’t so darling in the spring and leave it at that.