Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Algonquin Interior - Hilliard Lake

Location: Off of Highway 60, Access Point #8 (Cache Lake)
Website:  Friends of Algonquin Park or Ontario Parks
Map: Google Maps or Canoe Routes
Camping Facilities: Backcountry Exclusively

Stargazing: Excellent
Summary: Nice, small lake.  If you can book it, you'll have it all to yourself, but there's not much to do here and canoe traffic during the day.
Grade: B+
Thoughts: There isn't a whole lot that that needs to be said about Hilliard (and I've lost all my photos, sorry folks).  This lake showed up on my radar after I noticed that there was just one reservable campsite on it, yet it was relatively easy to access (just a single portage in, which was less than a kilometre); a perfect spot for a base camping trip.  The portage in was pretty flat and reasonably clean, which is a relief after the boring paddle across Cache.  The single site was not bad, fairly large (enough space to toss around a frisbee), and there wasn't that much traffic passing through, even during peak season.  However, the lake isn't all that well connected, so potential day trips likely won't be too attractive unless making a lot of portages to a chain of really small lakes interests you.   The bottom line is that at night time, you'll have it all to yourself, so you can be as loud or appreciate the quiet to whatever degree you desire.  This is a good option for solitude without much work.

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