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  KILLARNEY PROVINCIAL PARK: Johnnie, Carlyle, Norway, Killarney, Kakakise Lakes

A great trip that I did with 5 others from the University of Waterloo Outers Club. It was a fabulous trip!

An excellent park map is available from the Friends of Killarney Park at a scale of 1:50 000.

Nov.9, 2000
Drove from Waterloo to the Bell Lake Access Point
Set up camp in the dark at an old gravel pit just off of Bell Lake Road

Todays portage distance = 0 m
Total portage distance = m
Todays paddle distance = 0 Km
Total paddle distance = 0 Km


Nov.10, 2000
Drove to George Lake Access Point to pick up permits
Drove to Johnnie Lake Access Point to start the trip
Paddled SW through Johnnie Lake into Carlyle Lake
Paddled SW, then N through Carlyle Lake
P 2700 m (approx) into Norway Lake (We joined the 940 m and the 1470 m into one long portage. It was not a good idea. It's best to take the short paddle across Kakakise Lake to break up the pain on the portage.)
Camped on site #13 on Norway Lake (a very nice island site)

Todays portage distance = 2700 m
Total portage distance = 2700 m
Todays paddle distance = 8 Km
Total paddle distance = 8 Km


Nov.11, 2000
Decided to stay at the Norway Lake campsite and do a day hike from there
P 1390 m to Killarney Lake
Paddled SW then S to the P 1440 into Kakakise Lake
Stashed the canoes and started hiking
Followed the Portage Trail until it met up with the Hiking Trail
Followed the Trail NE until it was time for lunch
Had lunch with an amazing view of Killarney Lake, O.S.A. Lake and Georgian Bay
Followed the trail back to the canoes
Paddled NE through Killarney Lake
P 350 m (approx) into Norway Lake (This time we decided to paddle the creek as far as possible before joining up with the portage again. It saved quite a bit of walking...but not too much time (it is a very meandering path))
Back to campsite on Norway Lake

Todays portage distance = 1740 m
Total portage distance = 4440 m
Todays paddle distance = 11 Km
Total paddle distance = 19 Km


Nov.12, 2000
P 1470 to Kakakise Lake
Paddled across Kakakise Lake to the next portage
P 940 to Carlyle Lake (Splitting the portages, and doing a single carry made this trip MUCH easier than the first time around... I recommend doing it like this for sure)
NE through Carlyle Lake
NE through Johnnie Lake to Access Point
Drove back to Waterloo

Todays portage distance = 2410 m
Total portage distance = 6850 m
Todays paddle distance = 8 Km
Total paddle distance = 27 Km

Journal:

Thursday, November 9, 2000
Arrived at the PAC parking lot at around 4:30 to help Derek load the canoes onto the trailer. It was raining slightly. Arrived to find John standing by his car. He told me that Chris was unable to come because of an injury. That left the group at 7 instead of 8 as we had planned. Went inside the PAC to meet Derek and Amanda, who were waiting to get the key for the canoe room. Eventually Jen showed up with the key and we were able to get the canoes. Started loading them onto Dereks trailer. Andre and Patrick showed up to help pack the truck and trailer. Our seventh member showed up to inform us that she couldn't make it - she had too much work to do, so the group was down to 6. By this time it was raining pretty steady and we were all soaking wet from standing around outside. We got the truck fully packed and were ready to set off at about 5:20 pm. We go on the road and John couldn't get the windshield to stop fogging up. It was extremely humid out, and very warm too. In the end we had to leave the air conditioner on the whole trip in order to keep the windows clear. We got slightly lost in Toronto (427 South??? but we want to go NORTH!!). Stopped for some pizza and figured out how to get back on our way. Eventually we arrived at Killarney. It was dark, damp and very very humid. Temperature was still very warm, approximately 8oC. We set up our tents at an old gravel pit on Bell Lake Road, just off of Highway 637. We used the car headlights to help us set up the tents. John and Patrick had a tent of Chris' and they didn't know how to set it up. It was a really strange tent, made by Outbound. It had way to many guy-lines and stuff that made it extremely confusing. (Strike One) Andre and I had one of the Outers Club's brand new Eureka tents. We had it set up in no time at all. Eventually we all got set up and rolled into bed. Just as we were getting settled into bed it started to rain. I began wondering how wet I would be in the morning, as the new tent had not been seam sealed yet. I fell asleep quite easily, although I was really warm. It rained steadily all night.

Friday, November 10, 2000
Woke up at around 9 am to a very damp but slightly cool morning. Temp was approx. 3oC. We were perfectly dry, so I guess the tent faired pretty well considering it wasn't seam sealed. However, our friends John and Patrick in the Outbound Tent were quite wet by morning. Patricks sleeping bag was soaked! It appeared that their tent didn't have enough fly coverage, so the water ran down the fly, onto the tent walls and down under the floor, where it pooled on their groundsheet. (Strike Two!) Note to self - be wary of Outbound Tents. Derek was getting the stove fired up to make some oatmeal. Cooked up a large pot of oatmeal and had a good feed. After oatmeal we were ready to pack up and hit the road. Took down the tents, and as John stuffed the Outbound tent into its stuff sack, the stuff sack tore. (Strike 3 - You're out) Eventually we were packed up. We climbed into the car and headed off for Johnnie Lake Access Point. Once we arrived at Johnnie Lake Access Point, John and Derek took off to George Lake access point to get the permits. The rest of us unloaded the canoes and gear from the truck and trailer, and then wandered around the access point a bit. There's a small dam right beside the parking area. We met a hunter coming out of the woods on foot. He seems suspicious of us, and told us that he wasn't hunting, and that he was just going for a walk in the woods. We wondered why anyone would go for a walk in the woods with Blaze Orange overalls and a gun slung over their shoulder. Derek and John showed up soon and we were ready to hit the water. We paddled SW through Johnnie and Carlyle Lakes with a strong wind at our back. We paddled right past the narrow outlet to the Northern part of Carlyle Lake, and had to backtrack to find it. We made it to the portage into Kakakise after rounding the final corner fighting a very strong wind. The portage is 940 m into Kakakise Lake, so we set off planning to do it in two trips. At Kakakise Lake, we made the decision to continue portaging instead of hopping back into the lake for the short paddle to the next portage. So we bushwhacked (there's sort of a trail, but not a very good one) until we met up with the 1470 m into Norway Lake. We followed this until the end. Eventually we got all of the gear across the portage, but were very tired. We had just turned a 940 and a 1470 into a 2700 m (approx.) and it was not very fun! It was at about this time that we decided to camp on Norway Lake, instead of Killarney as originally planned. I told Derek that Site number 13 [da da da da da da da da THE ISLAND - (sorry inside joke)] was very nice so we decided to stay there. Site 13 is on a small island, with lots of nice flat soft tent sites, and a nice (but not very sheltered) kitchen area. It even has a full out-house (not just a thunder box). We got to the site, and Andre and I started setting up tents, Derek and John went across to the shore to get firewood, and Amanda and Patrick started on supper. By this time we were all starving, since we didn't have lunch. Andre and I got all the tents up just before dark, and Derek and John arrived with a canoe full of wood. We ate an amazing meal of spaghetti and sauce. John had cooked up a delicious sauce with lots of veggies and chicken in it ahead of time, and we just heated it up. Since we didn't have lunch, we decided to also throw in the sausage that we didn't eat at lunch. This turned out to be an amazing meal! While we were eating we watched the sky clear up. Very quickly the clouds disappeared and the (almost) full moon shone down very brightly. It looked like it was going to be a dry night! Thank goodness for that, since Patrick didn't have much luck drying out his sleeping bag. I gave him my Space Blanket to use at night so he could stay a little bit warmer. We sat around the campfire, and tried to make s'mores. As usual I just decided to eat the marshmellows, graham crackers and marshmellows raw. Had some hot chocolate, and decided it was time to go to bed. Still fairly warm, at about 2oC, and nice and dry. Sky was amazingly clear and lots of stars were out.

Saturday, November 11, 2000
Woke up late (again!) at around 9:10 or so. Started a fire going so everyone could warm up. Once everyone was up we cooked some bacon, and had english muffins with bacon and cheese (mmm). Our plan for the day was to portage into Killarney Lake, paddle to the portage into Kakakise, then hike the portage trial until it joined the Hiking Trail, then follow the Trail for a ways. We packed up our day packs, and left the camp set up. Portaged the 1390 m into Killarney Lake. Shortly after the start of this portage there is a stream that crosses the trail. It is reasonably deep, but not too much of a problem. Derek got there first, so he put his canoe down as a "bridge" and the rest of us climbed across. Then we pushed the remaining canoes across and Derek crossed over the last one. The rest of the trail is uneventful - relatively flat and dry, although it gets wet in some areas near the end where there's more water running along the trail. At the end, we stopped for a rest and stripped off some layers. By this time it was getting warm out, and the sun was shining brightly. We set off onto Killarney Lake, and after about 1.5 hours we arrived at the 1440 m portage into Kakakise Lake. By this time it was 14oC in the sun, and about 5oC in the shade. We pulled the canoes up onto shore and took off up the trail. Again, the trail was not too tough - fairly wide and dry. At the very end however, just before Kakakise Lake it is very steep and had lots of tree roots, which make awful footing. At this point we joined on to the hiking trail, following it to the North. This trail is extremely pretty! We followed it for approx. 2 km. At first the trail passes through some forest, but soon it comes out onto the amazing white quartzite ridges that Killarney is world famous for. The trail follows rock cairns, as it's impossible to see where the trail goes on the bare rock. We saw one other couple just as we got to the first ridge - the first people we'd seen in the park. We had a water break, then continued on our way up the trail. We stopped and had lunch about two kilos up the trail. Lunch was bagels with cheese, mustard and large hunks of ham. Granola Bars for dessert. We saw a second couple as we were eating lunch, for a total of 4 people we had seen in the park. We had stopped at an amazing lookout. We could see Georgian Bay clearly, as well as Killarney and O.S.A. Lakes. After lunch, we had to retrace our route back to the canoes. As we were going down, John slipped and landed in a mud puddle. He got pretty dirty and wet, but he wasn't injured so we all had a good laugh. We made it down to the canoes and paddled out onto Killarney Lake, fighting against a brisk wind. This time, when we reached the portage back to Norway Lake, we decided to paddle up the creek to shorten the portage. This definitely shortened the distance of the portage, but I'm not sure how much time it saves, as the creek is very meandering. We got to Norway Lake just as it was getting dark again, and started supper right away. Again, John and Derek stayed on the other shore to collect firewood. I filled up everyones water bottle, and learned how to clean an MSR Miniworks filter. Supper was amazing again. John (again) had planned another great meal. This time it was stir fry, complete with water chestnuts! Excellent! Lots of rice on the side too, which is always great. After supper Derek and John decided to put up a tarp to block some of the wind. They cut two poles of dead wood and used them to hold up the tarp. It made the fire pit area much more comfortable to sit around. Had more hot chocolate and snacks while we sat and talked. Again the sky was amazingly clear, with an almost full moon. Eventually we all rolled into bed..and again stayed pleasantly warm.

Sunday, November 12, 2000
Woke up at around 9 o'clock to yet another clear, beautiful morning. Had a great breakfast of oatmeal, fried ham, pineapple, apples and whatever else was left in the food barrel. We got all the tents down, and were on our way out. We simply reversed our route from the first day. We paddled back to the portage into Kakakise Lake. This time however, we decided to do it the "right way". We single carried the 1470 m portage into Kakakise Lake, then took a short break while paddling across the lake to the next portage. We then single carried this as well and before we knew it we arrived in Carlyle Lake. This was my first experience carrying a (moderately) heavy pack and a canoe at the same time. It seems to me that it really isn't any harder than carrying just the canoe...but maybe that's because my pack wasn't super heavy. However, it sure made the portage faster, since we didn't have to walk back for more packs. We paddled NE through Carlyle Lake and into Johnnie Lake. The section between Carlyle and Johnnie Lakes is full of beaver lodges - so keep your eyes open for some wildlife. We arrived at the cars, packed up and had a relatively uneventful drive home to Waterloo. Overall, it was an excellent trip!
 
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