Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park High Point

Posted by Derek on Oct 1, 2012

Height: 1204 feet / 367 meters
GPS recorded height: 1220 feet / 372 meters
Lat/Lon: N44.87645 W78.86806
Date Summited: September 28, 2012

Overview:
From wikipedia:
The Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park is a provincial park in south-central Ontario, between Gravenhurst and Minden. The park is 33,505 hectares in size and is one of the largest and least developed natural areas south of Algonquin Park. The park has a low rolling topography which is characterized by numerous rock ridges, including scenic cliffs and gorges, separating dozens of small lakes, rivers and streams.

This vast area was once covered with forest and deeper soils prior to the logging era. Following logging, devastating forest fires swept through the area burning off the shallow organic soils leading to severe soil erosion and barren rock surfaces. Many lakes were filled, or partly filled with sediment, and have become marshes. For many years, this region was known as ‘The Burnt Lands’.

Directions:
Take Highway 35 North from the 401 for 110 km to Moore Falls. In Moore Falls, turn left onto Deep Bay Road for 6.4 km and then turn left onto Devil’s Lake Road and proceed to the parking and boat launch area. An access trail to the Ganaraska Trail (Wilderness Section) begins on Hull Lane just east of the parking area. The rugged trail winds it’s way over rough rock ridges, and traverses along ponds and beaver dams and for 5.6 km where it ends at Petticoat Junction.

Proceed north (right) at Petticoat Junction and continue along the main Ganaraska trail which follows a snowmobile / ATV trail. The trail forks at 1.2 km from Petticoat Junction; the Ganaraska trail branches south (left) here. Keep right at the fork and follow the snowmobile / ATV road north for 1 km to the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park High Point. The highest point is located on the left side of the trail and is atop a small hill just a few meters north of a large rock with an embedded survey marker. A second survey marker lies 50 meters to the northeast. The summit area is thinly forested and affords good views to the east and west.
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Marne Peak

Posted by Derek on Aug 18, 2012

Marne Peak

 

Rank: 17
Height: 2106 feet / 642 m
GPS recorded height: 2135 feet / 651 meters
Lat/Lon: N46 57.374 W84 07.127
Line Parent: Ogidaki Mt
Key Col: N46 59.010 W84 01.024 (1640ft / 500m)
Clean Prominence: 466ft / 142m
Date Summited: August 3, 2012

Overview:
Located in the hills southwest of Ogidaki Mt., Marne Peak is the most southern 2100 footer peak in the Algoma Highlands. The peak has no official name and no significant nearby body of water so it has been named for the township in which it resides, Marne. The Algoma Central Railway passes within 8 km west of the peak at the Achigan and Ogidaki stations.

Directions::
From Sault Ste. Marie, take Highway 17 North and at the junction with Highway 556, turn East. Stay on 556 for 39 km and then turn left on Highway 532 north to Searchmont. Follow Highway 532 through the communities of Searchmont and Wabos for 14.3 km to the end of the road. Turn left onto the dirt road to Achigan Lake.

Stay on the main road to Achigan for 17.1 km where it joins up with the old Achigan road. (The old Achigan road is no longer a viable route from HW 532 as from this point back to HW 532 is no longer maintained, contains major washouts and crosses the ACR tracks illegally). Turn right at the intersection and proceed northwest towards Achigan Lake. At the 19.3 km, you pass by the old Achigan Station Section House which is now privately owned. At 21.3 km turn right as the the main road forks to the left. (The main road heads to the south end of Achigan Lake which is a access point for the boat access only camps on the lake.) The road beyond this turn is very rough and is not recommended for anything but high clearance 4×4 trucks and ATVs.

1.7 km beyond the south Achigan turnoff (23.2 km mark), the road to the north end of Achigan Lake forks to the left. Park just beyond this fork at a small clearing. The road beyond this point is rough and narrow and is only suitable for ATVs and dirt bikes.

Continue on foot or on bike along the ATV path for 1.5 km to where a beaver dam has flooded the entire area including the road. It is possible to avoid most of the flood zone by crossing along the top of the beaver dam. Beyond the beaver dam, continue north for 0.6 km to a hidden right turn onto an overgrown path. 1.8 km from the right turn, the ATV path ends at a creek and beaver pond. Cross the stream along the top of this much shorter beaver dam to a trail that is almost completely overgrown. If riding bikes, this is a good place to stash them.

The overgrown trail runs northeast, parallel to a small creek. After about 1.5 km from the beaver dam, the trail disappears entirely and the rest of the route to Marne Peak must be bushwhacked. It is recommended to continue bushwhacking northeast for 1.0 km until arriving at a large sloping rock outcrop. This is the site of an old logging chute which was used to flush logs down off the mountain.

From the old logging chute, head north and then northwest following the contours and then gradually ascending the notch towards the saddle between Marne Peak and it’s sub-peak to the south. As Marne is partially crowned by steep cliffs along it’s southwest side, head northwest along the base of the cliffs to where they taper off and the ascent is more gradual. Once reaching the top of the cliffs, head northeast towards the flat summit area. There are several candidate high points, however a small hill 70 meters south-southeast of the OBM spot point appears to be the highest. The summit is wooded and there are no views.

Note: It may be possible to access the peak from the north via a series of ATV / overgrown roads leading from Mile 38 Road and McDonald Creek Road, however this route has not been confirmed.
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Alvin Lake Peak

Posted by Derek on Aug 17, 2012

Alvin Lake Peak

Alvin Lake Peak from Grey Owl Peak

Rank: 15
Height: 2116 feet / 645 m
GPS recorded height: 2125 feet / 648 meters
Lat/Lon: N47 14.728 W84 16.387
Line Parent: Ogidaki Mt
Key Col: N47 20.237 W83 59.589 (1345ft / 410m)
Clean Prominence: 771ft / 235m
Date Summited: August 2, 2012

Overview:
Located 8 km south of the Montreal River and 5 km west of Grey Owl Lake, Alvin Lake Peak is a 2116 foot hill residing in the remote Algoma Highland wilderness. Officially the peak is unnamed, but in keeping with naming conventions, it has been given the name of the closest significant body of water: Alvin Lake, which is 2 km north of the peak. Interestingly, Alvin Lake does not drain into nearby Montreal River, but in fact is in the Batchawana River watershed. The Algoma Central Railway near the old Rand station passes within 8 km of the summit.

Directions::
There is no trail to Alvin Lake Peak, however roads: Mile 38 and Mile 67/Mile 92 pass within 3.8 km and 2.8 km respectively of the summit. Since Mile 67 is much better maintained than Mile 38, this is the best approach to the mountain. The well maintained Mile 92 (Montreal River Power Dam Road) which follows the southern shoreline of the Montreal River Reservoir to Mackay Dam is another way to gain access the mountain as it connects with Mile 67 at kilometer 32, however the road is gated and requires a key.

Mile 67 Roads begins 36 km beyond Batchawana Bay on Highway 17 at N47 07.114 W84 41.915. The road crosses and forks many roads on it’s 46 km journey to the base of Alvin Lake Peak. (It’s highly recommended to make use of the attached GPS file when navigating this road). There are left turns at these major intersections: 6.2 km, 18.0 km, 26.9 km. At 32 km Mile 92 road connects in from the left. Keep right at this intersection and proceed to the Algoma Railway Crossing near Rand Station at 37.8 km. Beyond the railway crossing the road narrows and becomes rougher, but high clearance vehicles should be able to make it all the way to the start of the bushwhack near the road termination at 46.3 km (N47 13.383 W84 17.329).

Before the slopes of Alvin Lake Peak can be ascended, navigate a large marshland and creek which runs roughly parallel to Mile 67 Road. The easiest way to cross it is to head west from the road and walk along the top of a beaver dam located at N47 13.448 W84 17.026. Beyond the beaver dam, head northwest, gaining elevation and head towards an unnamed lake. A creek which flows southwest from the lake along an uncharacteristically steep chasm can be crossed via a beaver dam situated along the lake shore.

Follow the west edge of the lake until reaching the northern shore and then head north for 1.5 km though forest. Large white pines which survived logging dot the area. Just south of the Alvin Lake Peak summit area, a small pond must be circumvented. It is more direct to round the lake on the eastern edge to reach the more moderate south slopes up to the summit as the western side of Alvin Lake Peak is dominated by steep rock cliffs.

Once gaining the top of the last steep pitch, proceed northwest across the mostly open summit area though grass and exposed rock outcrops to the highest point on the mountain at N47 14.728 W84 16.387. On clear days, there should be good views west to Peak 637 atop the western cliffs.
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Spider Lakes Peak

Posted by Derek on Aug 9, 2012

aka. Brant Lake Peak (no official name)
Height: 2096 feet / 639 meters
GPS recorded height: 2109 feet / 643 meters
Lat/Lon: N47.05082 W84.56093
Date Summited: August 1, 2012

Overview:
Spider Lakes Peak is a high hill in the Algoma Region of Ontario. It is located 12 km north of the scenic tourist destination: Batchawana Bay, 1.5 km east of Brant Lake and less than 1.0 km west of a group of lakes named the Spider Lakes (thus named). A spot height recorded on the Ontario Base Maps determines the mountain to be a few feet short (2096 feet) of 2100 feet, however GPS measurements at the summit place it higher (2109 feet).

Directions:
Travel north from Sault Ste. Marie on Highway 17 to Batchawana Bay. Turn right on Carp Lake Road which is about 1.4 km beyond the Voyageur Lodge and Cookhouse which is located across the road from Batchawana Bay. Carp Lake Road is a gravel road, wide enough for 2 vehicles in most spots and is in good enough shape that high clearance 4×4 vehicles should be able to make the entire 14.3 km road portion of the trip. Cars and 2 wheel drive vehicles may have trouble making the 600 foot ascent up the road and should park at a gravel pit along side the road at 1.6 km.

4.0 km from Highway 17, the road becomes steep and ascends 500 feet (most of the ascent) over the next 2 km. Turn left at the 8.0 km mark and continue up the road, past the steep cliffs of Mamainse Hill until reaching a series of campsites along the Cedar/Brant Lakes.

Just past Brant Lake, 14.3 km from Highway 17, the road reaches its closest point to Spider Lakes Peak. Begin the 1.5 km / 800 foot ascent bushwhack here, heading on a 124 degree magnetic north course towards the summit. Although the ascent is unrelenting, the bushwhack is through fairly open deciduous forest. The summit area alternates between open lichen rock outcrops and thick tag alder bushes. There are limited views at the summit, southwest towards Mamainse Lake and east towards Griffin Lake Peak with it’s fire tower faintly visible.

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Parry Sound High Point

Posted by Derek on Jul 31, 2012

Height: 1745 feet / 532 meters
GPS recorded height: 1712 feet / 522 meters
Lat/Lon: N45 48.883 W79 10.119
Date Summited: July 18, 2012

Directions:
Exit Highway 11 (which now bypasses Sundridge) at Sundridge onto Highway 124 (old Highway 11) which will bypass most of the town. Turn right onto Union Road and then left onto Forest Lake Road. Follow Forest Lake Road for 8.7 km and then turn right onto Paisley Road. Follow Paisley Road for 10.8 km (turn right at 9.3 km) to an open area where you can park on the shoulders of the road. Just beyond the parking area is the ATV road turnoff on the right. The immediate area around the Parry Sound District High Point is on an “Organized Hunt Camp Area” so you should seek permission to access the properly with the owner before going and as well avoid hiking to the peak during hunting season (the fall).

Hike up the road for 1.4 km until reaching a gate. Beyond the gate is the “Organized Hunt Camp Area” property. 600 meters beyond the gate up the road is the best spot to begin the short 400 meter bushwhack to the deciduous treed summit of the Parry Sound District High Point. The highest point appears to be on a slight ridge just south from the OBM spot height.
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Manitou Mountain

Posted by Derek on May 9, 2012

aka. Haliburton County High Point
Height: 1847 feet / 563 meters
GPS recorded height: 1886 feet / 575 meters
Lat/Lon: N45 26.676 W78 34.962
Date Summited: May 5, 2012

Overview:
Manitou Mountain is located within Algonquin Provincial Park and is the highest point in Haliburton County. The mountain’s name: Manitou is derived from the Native American (Algonquin) word relating to the concept of spirit beings and their interconnection to nature and life.
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Southern Ontario High Point

Posted by Derek on Nov 6, 2011

aka. Nipissing County High Point
Height: 1896 feet / 578 meters
GPS recorded height: 1899 feet / 579 meters
Lat/Lon: N45.64877 W78.25722
Date Summited: October 2, 2011

Overview:
The ‘Southern Ontario High Point’ located within Algonquin Provincial Park is the highest point in Nipissing County and considered the highest point within Southern Ontario. Although there are various definitions of the geographic area of Southern Ontario, the Nipissing Passageway is often used as the demarcation line between Northern and Southern Ontario in provincial documents. Originally an Indian trail between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River, the trail follows the French River from Georgian Bay to Lake Nipissing. At North Bay, the trail travels overland for 2 km from Lake Nipissing to Trout Lake. From Trout Lake, the trail follows the Mattawa River to the Ottawa River. The Preston Fire Tower once stood at the summit, but now only the footings remain.
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Gong Lake Peak

Posted by Derek on Sep 24, 2011

Rank: 17
Height: 2106 feet / 642 m
GPS recorded height: 2132 feet / 650 meters
Lat/Lon: N47.04822 W83.62115
Line Parent: Witchdoctor Lake Peak
Key Col: N47 03.397 W83 42.148 (1624ft / 495m)
Clean Prominence: 482ft / 147m
Date Summited: August 15, 2011

Overview:
North of Ranger Lake in a remote corner of the Algoma highlands, Gong Lake Peak is one of three virtually unknown high points. It is thus named because of its close proximity to the lake bearing its name. There are no trails to the summit, however it can be hiked in a day by bushwhacking from one of the nearby logging roads in the area.

Directions:
Click here for directions from Sudbury to nearby Gravel Lake. From Gravel Lake, follow Domtar Road northeast for 5.5 km until reaching the junction with an ATV trail at N47.04537 W83.58467. Follow the ATV trail northwest for 800 meters at which time a second ATV trail enters from the right. Stay to the left at the fork and follow the trail for another 700 meters until it ends at a beaver dam at the east end of a lake. Cross the beaver dam and begin the bushwhack along the north edge of the lake. The bushwhacking will be difficult as a there is a steep hill running down into the lake and the bush on the hill is equally thick as along the flooded shoreline.

After bushwhacking 700 meters and reaching the northwest end of the lake, you must pass around a flooded lowland forest and cross a small creek. Beyond the creek crossing, the bushwhacking eases into more open forest and begins to ascend the remaining 1.1 km to the summit. A few rocky humps adorn the hardwood forested summit – the one at the northeastern edge of the highest contour is the highest point on the peak. The high point is treed, however there are good views to the north and east from a rocky ledge 30 meters to the east.
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Witchdoctor Lake Peak

Posted by Derek on Sep 24, 2011

Rank: 16
Height: 2113 feet / 644m
GPS recorded height: 2116 feet / 645 meters
Lat/Lon: N47.05528 W83.76377
Line Parent: Seal Lake Peak
Key Col: N47 02.049 W83 36.667 (1581ft / 482m)
Clean Prominence: 532ft / 162m
Date Summited: August 14, 2011

Overview:
North of Ranger Lake in a remote corner of the Algoma highlands, Witchdoctor Lake Peak is one of three virtually unknown high points. It is thus named because of its close proximity to the lake bearing its name. There are no trails to the summit, however it can be hiked in a day by bushwhacking from one of the nearby logging roads in the area.

Directions:
Click here for directions from Sudbury to nearby Gravel Lake. From Gravel Lake, follow Domtar Road west until reaching the junction with Laughing Lake Road, 1.8 km past Gravel Lake. Keep right on Domtar road which travels northwest along the shore of Tujak Lake. When the road veers right, 7.8 km from the junction with Laughing Lake road, park at the small pull off at the start of an ATV trail. From this parking area, it is a 3.0 km (as the crow flies) bushwhack westward – 256 degrees magnetic heading to the summit of Witchdoctor Lake Peak. The bushwhack begins steeply but then flattens out and passes through deciduous and then mixed forest. 1.3 km from the parking area, you will pass by the northern edge of a marsh which must be crossed. There is another marsh crossing 500 meters beyond, 1.8 km from the parking area. After the 2nd marsh, the route climbs slightly until reaching the partially open summit of Witchdoctor Peak, 3.0 km. The highest point is atop a moss covered bald rocky ledge. There are partial views to the west about 50 meters west of the summit.
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Seal Lake Peak

Posted by Derek on Sep 4, 2011

Rank: 14
Height: 2119 feet / 646 m
GPS recorded height: 2125 feet / 648 meters
Lat/Lon: N46.99489 W83.63967
Line Parent: Ogidaki Mt
Key Col: N47 07.470 W83 54.824 (1440ft / 439m)
Clean Prominence: 679ft / 207m
Date Summited: August 13, 2011

Overview:
North of Ranger Lake in a remote corner of the Algoma highlands, Seal Lake Peak is one of three virtually unknown high points. It is thus named because of its close proximity to the lake bearing its name. There are no trails to the summit, however as there are roads and ATV trails in the area, it can be hiked in a day by bushwhacking from the closest trail approach.

Directions:
From the Sudbury region, make your way west along Highway 17. At Iron Bridge, turn right (north) onto 546 and follow it for 27 km until turning left (west) onto 554 for another 27 km. When the 554 ends at 129, turn right and follow Highway 129 north for 66 km to the turnoff to Ranger Lake at 556. Highway 556 is a gravel road which winds its way west to Ranger Lake, eventually ending at Highway 17 at Lake Superior. At the 12.5 km mark along 556, the Domtar Road will branch to the right. This is one way access the region around Seal Lake Peak, however just past Ranger Lake at the 34.6 km mark, the better maintained Laughing Lake Road branches to the right and makes it’s way north to the same area. Follow Laughing Lake Road north for 25 km until it ends at the Domtar Road. Turn right (east) onto Domtar road. There is a good campsite on Gravel Lake, just 1.8 km east of the intersection. There are another 2 campsites in the area, one of which lies in an old gravel pit at the east edge of the lake.

From these campsites, it is just a short hike along the Domtar Road to the start of the ATV trail at N47 01.412 W83 37.904, which leads to Seal Lake Peak. Follow the ATV trail south to Saw Lake which will require a water crossing as the trail has been flooded by the beaver dam / raised water levels. It is possible to avoid the water crossing, by skirting it along the western shore of the flooded lake. Rejoin the ATV trail and proceed south, passing 2 other lakes en route until arriving at a 4th lake, 3.2 km from Domtar road. Here the ATV trail ends and the remainder of the 1.0 km distance to Seal Lake Peak must be bushwhacked. Bushwhack up the gradually ascending slopes until reaching the hardwood forest near the summit. After crossing a fern covered glen, the highest point can be reached by ascending a moderately steep hump at the southern edge of the highest contour. A clearing atop a moss covered rocky area marks the highest point.

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