Finlayson Point PP and area
Nipissing District: Revisit trails and finish the Silverfield Road loop.
|GPS Coordinates are 47.0553736,-79.7990137.|
Link on Google Maps
We spent 9 nights at the Finlayson Point Provincial Park. The park is in walking distance to Temagami, a small town that has all the essential services such as an Ice Cream vendor and grocery store. Temagami is a hub for everything outdoors. We chose the park for two reasons, it is on Lake Temagami and close to Cobalt.
|The 'airport' is south of the town on Lake Temagami. Watching the floatplane take off is a spectacle.|
Lake Temagami is big and very well-known for fishing. The 47 km long lake has over 1200 islands. Some of them have a cottage and are so small that you wouldn't be able to fit another one on the rock.
The ground is kimberlite rock and may potentially have diamonds. Is this the reason why the water has this magic sparkle? Click the image to see for yourself.
The area south and north of Temagami is mostly Crown Land. Several Service Roads exit east and west from hwy 11. Some have a name and are maintained, others are just a small trail, enough to drive the Jeep. Every so often a sign makes you aware of active logging. What they all have in common are the countless paths taking off the main trail. They lead to lakes, abandoned mines, reforested areas or railway tracks and Hydro towers. If the Service Roads are too tame, the side roads are likely not. Please tread lightly.
One such road is north of Temagami and ends at Arsenic Lake. We found an abandoned mine, the Manitoba And Eastern aka Little Dan, Penrose or Leckie. The mine produced gold and other commodities like copper, silver and arsenic. They ceased production in 1937 and the status is 'abandoned'. The only obvious signs are tailings extending into the lake.
There is not much to the trail, it is less than 1km and crosses a pipeline. The lake looks very inviting if it were not for the name.
The first time we could use the Spare Tire Garbage and Recycling Bag from Adventure Trail Gear. The bag got dirty, the bag got wet.
Temagami is in a great location, About 100 km north of North Bay and 60 km south of Temiskaming Shores. Both places have all the services. We headed up to Temiskaming Shores to get some supplies and stopped at Canadian Tire. They offer free WiFi and possibly have the fastest free WiFi upload we ever found. We had to upload some videos from our trip, it was a snap. In 2004, New Liskeard, Haileybury and Dymond amalgamated into Temiskaming Shores.
Red Squirrel Road
The first time we explored the Red Squirrel Road was back in 2018, now we made some updates to the story.
Less than 10 km north of Temagami is the Red Squirrel Road exiting to the west of Hwy 11. This Service Road connects to a spiderweb of trails and paths. Bogs, beaver ponds, lakes, forest and all kind of habitats that support the breeding of flying, biting and sucking insects. Needless to say, this is an amazing landscape that changes with the seasons and is different every year we go there.
About 5 minutes in from Hwy 11 is a side trail to an area that was logged the year(s) before. More than enough dry firewood for the campsite. The area is on Crown Land and no signs were posted to prohibit access to the area. Time to get ready to chop some firewood.
It is 5pm and three more days to the June solstice. The sun was burning down and a nice breeze made it comfortable. Cutting the wood was an adequate workout. All this effort for three sausages? ... absolutely!
This area will be likely reforested soon and not recognizable anymore. It doesn't take long until nature reclaims the land. When they harvest the trees, they leave some standing. These trees are left to re-seed the area. The bare spots will be planted a few years later. Some dead wood, standing or fallen, is left for the nutrients, shelter and food for many plants and animals. Talking about food, these clear cut areas are often a source for the most delicious berries. We pick blueberries whenever we have a chance.
An abandoned truck on the side of the road. To be clear, we are referring to the one in the foreground
Rabbit Lake Road
Not the first time that we visit the Rabbit Lake Road. We were here in 2017.
It was past 7pm when we pulled into Rabbit Lake Road. We drove 10 km and randomly turned right. The side trail looked promising. Maybe 100 meter and the trail ended in a beaver pond. Yes, in the pond. The road was still there, but flooded with a foot of water. Just high enough that my rubber boots rendered useless. We decided to set up camp here and wait for the action.
The plan was to get some audio recordings from the birds and frogs. We need them for background audio for video and slide shows. We could hear the birds, but they were too far away. Every one minute or so, a frog croaked. This was not what we expected. Listening to the audio recording, only the mosquitoes were clearly recorded, but not the birds. No surprise there.
Ursula made mosquito socks to cover the open Jeep windows. They worked great. She decided to wait in the Jeep. With the open windows, this was the smarter place to be. I had a net over my head, long sleeves and my hands deep in my pockets.
It was very peaceful, we spend about one and a half hours at the pond. The beaver made a short appearance and decided to feed far away from us.
Last November, we spent a night along Silverfields Road and couldn't finish the loop via Silver Centre and Hwy 567. Now we are back and try again.
This time we left early and brought the canoe. We launched above the Ragged Chute Power Generating Station. Our thought was to paddle upstream and the river will float us gently back to the Jeep. This theory is completely flawed. When you stand at the river, the water flow is almost not noticable. The wind was tame when we left. On the way, an island looked very inviting and we stopped to take some pictures. Shortly after, the river gets narrow and the water flow increases. By that time, the wind got stronger blowing up the river. The wind was disturbing the water flow and created some wicked waves and currents. It took some paddling to pass the 150 meter turbulence.
The headwind compelled us to turn around. We had plans to paddle up to the Hound Chute Generating Station. This is about 4 km and usually not a big deal. The lazy river ride didn't happen. We had to paddle again.
A canoe ride is one of the places where there are no mosquitoes. The only insects around us are usually the dragonflies. They are our friends, they eat mosquitoes.
We continued on Silverfields Road and as expected, came to the Fourclaim Lake. There is at least one amazing campsite along the road, overlooking the lake. We are now less than 1km east of Silver Centre. We didn't check the map when we drove there and missed a turn. We ended up on Hwy 567. Now that we know that we can drive the loop, we decided that todays mission was accomplished. Silver Centre is already a ghost town, it won't disappear. Or will it?
Temagami Fire Tower
The weather was perfect to get a 360 degrees view over Temagami. We knew to go early to avoid the crowds. We paid our entrance fee and walked the few meters to the tower base. The area and the tower are very well maintained. The steps to the platform are steep and narrow. We had the top platform to ourselves. The view is amazing.
On the way down, a family was waiting on the first platform, that's maybe 20 steps up. The kid didn't feel comfortable with the height and the windy design of the steps. We didn't wait for the outcome, the place was filling up with more tourists.
Trees and lakes. That's why we are here.
Flowers and animals
We had lots of time to take pictures from colourful flowers and insects that didn't run away. Most mammals see us before we even know they are around. Then they do what they do best, hide.
The Blue Flag Iris is a native flower. We were there at the perfect time.
The Orange Hawkweed is not. In western Canada they're considered an invasive weed.
Where there are flowers, there are butterflies. Not really true for the White Admiral. They prefer rotting wood and flowers.
This moose was an exception. He didn't run away and kept munching the water lily pads. We watched for a while, then we were the ones that left the scene.