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The latest news, updates and commentary from mcelroy.ca.

High Falls Lake Forest Fire after almost 3 years

2019 June 19

On one of the days of our stay on St. Andrews Lake, we travelled through High Falls Lake. We were quite taken by the aftermath of the 2016 High Falls Lake Forest Fire. Immediately following the fire, it didn't look that bad. However, in the interim, many (most?) of the still standing trees have died. Given the minimal soil and bare rock, we expect it will take a long time for this area to recover. Here are some photos:

Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on
Aftermath of the High Falls Lake forest fire 3 years on

forest fire photo set

Algonquin Park High Falls Lake

St Andrews Lake to St Francis Lake via Rouge Lake

2019 June 18

We recently spent three night camping on St. Andrews Lake in Algonquin Park. On one of the days we travelled to St. Francis Lake via Rouge Lake. In spite of the portage into St. Francis Lake being unmaintained, it was pretty straight forward. There were a few minor blow-downs but nothing you couldn't step over or around. But it was also clear that this is not a high traffic area.

Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake
Three nights on St Andrews Lake

photo set

Algonquin Park Rouge Lake St. Andrews Lake St. Francis Lake

A Paddle up the Barron River

2019 May 31

On Friday May 31, Bob undertook a solo paddle up the Barron River, from Squirrel Rapids through the canyon to Brigham Chute and return. The weather did not live up to the forecast; it was overcast with a chill wind blowing downstream. The conditions were not conducive to scenic shots, but the high water and wildflowers were good subjects. While the water levels were still high they were much reduced from their peak.

I continued our exploration of Cache Rapid (see Exploring Cache Rapids on the Barron River ), this time bushwacking up from the bottom; it's no easier.

Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon
Solo day trip up the Barron Canyon

encrusted saxifrage photo set Virginia Saxifrage Wild Columbine

Algonquin Park Barron Canyon Barron Canyon  (Barron River) Barron Canyon (Barron River) Barron River Brigham Chute (Barron River) Cache Rapids (Barron River) Hardwood Creek

Meeting Markus and Glen in Carcajou Bay

2019 May 22

On Wednesday May 22, I (Bob) met up with a couple of internet friends in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park; Markus (Mark in the Park, Rogers TV, and Algonquin Outfitters,) and Glen (Cold Spring Tripper). The original plan was that I would be accompanied by Diana and that we would also meet up with Jeffrey and Deki (Jeff's Map / Unlostify) who would be camping in Carcajou Bay. But Diana had a bad cold and Jeffrey and Deki were just too busy finishing up their new Algonquin Map to get away.

Markus and Glen were on the penultimate day of a week long trip and I didn't expect them to appear until mid to late afternoon. My plan was that I would spend a leisurely day in Carcajou Bay and at Carcajou Falls and then I would join Glen and Markus at their campsite for coffee and talk. (That plan was based on an overly optimistic weather forecast.)

In the event, Glen and Markus arrived around noon, which worked out well because the lighting was not all that great for photography. After sharing coffee and junk food at their campsite on Grand Lake, I paddled back to Achray in a very light rain. Here are some photos from my day (essentially all pre-meeting).

Mouth of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Pictograph site on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Mouth of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Epigaea repens Trailing Arbutus on cliff in Carcajou Bay in Algonquin Park
Spring Colours in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Rocky gut in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
A cleft in the bedrock bedrock in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
A cleft in the bedrock bedrock in Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Hidden amphitheatre adjacent to Carcajou Falls on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Day Trip to Grand Lake  Carcajou Bay to meet Marcus and Glen
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Carcajou Falls at the end of Carcajou Bay on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park
Day Trip to Grand Lake  Carcajou Bay to meet Marcus and Glen

day trip (canoe) high water Mark in the Park photo set Trailing Arbutus

Algonquin Park Carcajou Bay Carcajou Falls Grand Lake

An Early Season Ramble in Algonquin Park

2019 May 12

Since the Achray Road had just reopened and Sunday promised to be a nice day -- the rest of the week, not so much -- we headed into Algonquin Park. We didn't have a particular agenda. We took the canoe but as it turned out, it was a bit breezy for it to be a pleasant paddling day, so we never launched; our various explorations were on foot.

For the most part the road was in reasonable shape, but not up to summer standards. But there were a few axle breakers that you wouldn't want to hit at speed and the shoulders were washed away in other locations. Hardwood Creek had washed the road out completely and a temporary one lane bridge was in place. The road was closed just beyond the Achray turnoff because of further washouts. This probably has the side benefit of keeping paddlers away from the lower Petawawa River until it has had the chance to settle down somewhat.

In general water levels were high, but at least for the Barron River, slightly lower than they had been for the first few days of 2017 May.

Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park
Early season drive and walk in Algonquin Park

photo set

Achray Road Algonquin Park Barron River Brigham Lake access point Forbes Creek Grand Lake Hardwood Creek Johnston Creek Lone Creek McManus Lake Road Squirrel Rapids (Barron River)