Hi there brave adventurers,
Yesterday I called in and made reservations for the August 1999 Killarney hiking expedition. I was hoping for a Saturday the 14th arrival but I couldn't get a couple of the excellent sites I wanted on swimming lakes. I ended up shifting the trip forward a half day. We'll have to arrive at the park before 2:00pm on the 13th which means we'll depart home base (Cadillac) at about 5:00am.
Everyone that's coming should make plans to arrive at my house on the evening of the 12th. We'll get the gear sorting and packing done so we just have to hop in the car(s) and drive North in the morning.
We're going to spend seven days on the trail. If we wanted to death march it we could push through it in 4 days without killing ourselves but we wouldn't get any time to enjoy the scenery, stop and pick berries, swim in the alpine lakes, and just plain enjoy ourselves.
Day 1 (13th) - Topaz Lake (H7) - 8 km
This will be a long day. We'll drag out at 5:00am, drive up and then stretch our legs with a 8km hike with full packs. Fortunately, it's all pretty flat easy walking except the last mile. We won't talk about that climb leading up to our site.
Day 2 - Interior waterway (H21) - 14 km
We'll start out by playing in Topaz Lake for a while and then hit the trail. It'll be flat easy walking through the Great Bog. We won't waste much time hiking through, but we won't want to either. The flat lowlands will be bug ridden and we'll want to be moving on.
Day 3 - Three Narrows (H22) - 2 km
This day is basically R&R. We don't have to move far but it is very mountainous. This will probably be the day when we go through the most film. The terrain we'll be hiking is better than great. Those of us with energy will day-hike up to Lake Nellie. That's the alpine lake with 28 meter (92 feet) visibility.
Day 4 - David Lake (H34) - 14 km
We probably won't make our destination site on this night. In fact, I don't even want to. It's a really long hike through the mountains and there's a site I really want to stay at (Shigaug Lake) before we go racing out of the most scenic area of the park. Despite the sites being reserved, odds are pretty good we'll find them deserted by hikers whose plans have changed. So, officially, the destination is David Lake, realistically it's Shigaug Lake (much closer and prettier).
Day 5 & 6 - Bunny Rabbit Lake
Once again, our reservations are for 2 days on Bunny Rabbit Lake but
we'll probably spend two days getting there. This section will be all mountains through the Silver Peak section. If a site is open on Silver Lake, we'll spend a night there and maybe another somewhere along the way depending on how we're feeling. At this point in the trip our packs will have lightened considerably, our spirits will be high, and we'll all be riding clouds down the trail.
Day 7 - Little Superior
A beautiful little lake at the end of the Silver Peak section. This will end the most grueling parts of the trail and we'll get some well deserved rest and swim time in.
Day 8 (Friday the 20th) - Hike out.
This day is up for grabs. If we feel like spending an extra day somewhere along the trail, we'll use this one. If we're in a hurry to leave behind the peaceful tranquility and some of the best landscaping God has to offer, then we'll hoof out and drive back. I have a feeling this day will get consumed on the trail but we'll see.
Day 9 (Saturday the 21st) - Tenative day. Don't plan on hearing from us until this day but we may come back sooner.
Some details that everyone should have and should be provided to
Park phone number: 705-287-2900
Park reservations: 888-668-7275
Confirmation no. : 5769029
Backcountry non-resident hiker fees are $11.00/day. Those are Canadian dollars so in US dollars it's really inexpensive. The US dollar is strong and the Canadian dollar is very weak right now. It's a good time to be spending $$ in Canada. :-) I just checked my records and last year it cost four of us $69 US for a four night stay. That works out to about $4/night so figure about $35 (7 nights x $5/night) for hiker fees.
I don't recall exactly how much gas ended up costing last time but we
filled up my car at least three times. If everyone that currently is
planning to go does (Matt Simerson, Mike Surls, Nathan Dewey, Martha & Keith Crawford, Jordan Romberger(??)) then we'll need to drive a van that probably won't get quite as good mileage so I figure about $70-80 in gas.
I've read a couple accounts from hikers who have hiked the whole trail and also kayaked it. They all seem to think that hiking it's the most
memorable. Based on how memorable the small section that we hiked was, I think they're right.
I've also created a backpacking page. If you're looking for a few pointers on backpacking, hiking, camping, or just trying to find sites on the net with good backpacking info, check out my site. I also keep my trip logs and archives of these updates that I'm sending out for reference.