Across Hay Lake - Early August, 2011

By Mark Steele

After a week long trip Teresa and I took to Temagami, which we thoroughly enjoyed, we wanted to get back to paddling Algonquin as soon as possible. We could only manage a one nighter. So here is the report.

Looking due west across Hay Lake from the access point. Luckily no west winds that day. There are cottages on this lake ...

Here is where Hay Creek starts. It is at the boundary for Algonquin Park.

Here is the portage to Little Hay Lake. It's a rough one, with slippery rocks obscured by the overgrowth.

At the end of the portage is a well used logging road.

As we arrived at the lone campsite on the lake, a pack of wolves howled for over two minutes! They were very close by. A sign of things to come. I think they had a rendezvous site in a beaver meadow about 400 m away.

The campsite was nice.

I caught a lot of small mouth bass that evening. All were around 1 lb. All were released.

Around dawn, the wolves starting howling again! And after they finished, a barred owl took over.

I love to see the morning mist.

An hour later the mist is all gone. Another beautiful day to be in the Algonquin interior.

On our way out we encountered a family of otters on the creek that we videoed. Then we hiked to check out Cauliflower Lake. It's a nice lake. Unfortunately it allows motorboats. We did see one. It has a cottage on it, and you can see the hydro lines from the lake at all times. This is Cauliflower Lake ...

Here's Cauliflower Lake from the south end. A nice rock face. Notice the hydro lines in the distance.

Beach at the portage.

The hydro lines. Also a green coloured cottage is just visible.

Note: When we were out on the lake fishing, we got startled when a deer came splashing into the water from the forest about 100 metres from us. As we paddled over and starting filming him swimming we saw on shore a large wolf pacing back and forth watching him! We started toward the deer but he then ran along the shore a short way, splashed through the mouth of a creek, and bounded up into the forest. Needless to say this was very exciting for us.

Be forewarned, the logging road was very active and you can hear the trucks clearly from LIttle Hay. We were there on a Thursday/Friday and I'd say there was a truck about every 15 to 20 minutes during the day.

So that's it. A short but very exciting trip.