Arrowhead featured image

Stepping out of Algonquin

Exploring Muskoka – Algonquin’s neighbour to the west.

Last time out we blogged about our hunt for our first moose. On the same trip, north of Toronto with Emma’s parents in early spring, we extended our exploration outside of Algonquin Provincial Park.

First up were the Ragged Falls on the Oxtongue River. A quick stroll from the car park soon reveals the waterfalls. They certainly were ragged; no doubt flush with the last of the snow and ice melt from the wilderness. From the falls, you can walk for a short distance upstream too, to a point where the river becomes calm and clues of the hazard lying downstream disappear.

Ragged Falls
The Ragged Falls on the Oxtongue River.

After our sojourn to the Ragged Falls, we headed to Arrowhead Provincial Park, and embarked on a massive walk around not one, but two lakes. Starting off around Arrowhead Lake, we then took up the option of an extended hike by taking a detour around a beaver pond on the Beaver Meadow Trail. Sadly, no beavers, but plenty of black flies were in attendance.

Arrowhead Lake
Looking out over Arrowhead Lake.

According to the arrows on the map, we were walking the wrong way round the Beaver Meadow Trail, but since when did such a thing matter? It’s a trail around a lake after all, and not a one-way street.

Along the way though we came across a small river, the bridge over which was closed. With no other way around, Emma’s dad bravely, or perhaps foolishly, strode across, and we followed when we saw that he hadn’t fallen in (I had the camera ready and everything)!

By the time we got to the end of the Beaver Meadow Trail, we found that it was fenced off with signs saying that it was closed! Why didn’t they also put those at the other end of the trail for people like us who has approached from that end!?

Bridge closed Arrowhead
Emma’s dad approaches, then crosses the closed bridge. We then find the trail ‘closed’ at the other end…

Arguably the biggest draw and most photogenic spot at Arrowhead is the Big Bend Lookout. Standing at the viewpoint far above the Big East River, you can look directly down on the impressive meander that is carving through the Muskoka landscape. Stand here for long enough and you’d even see the meander become an oxbow lake!

Big Bend Lookout
Big Bend Lookout
Arrowhead flora & fauna
Emma did extremely well to spot the well disguised little fella on the left, while Ontario’s national flower, was out in abundance (right).

Oh, and still no moose or beavers 😦

Stewart

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