View topic - Backcountry winter camping in Bruce Peninsula (photo update)

It is currently January 21st, 2020, 1:33 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2010, 11:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 10:41 am
Posts: 37
Location: toronto
Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone has been winter camping in the backcountry of Bruce Peninsula National Park - High Dump or Stormhaven?

I'm planning a three day/two night trip for December/January and I think Stormhaven would be a fun destination as I love the views and the ice formations along the bay. But I'm a little worried about getting back there in the deep snow because - and this may seem silly - I'm worried about falling off a cliff. :oops: Seriously.

Aside from all the steep edges that the trail runs along, we noticed when hiking back there in April a few largish "holes" alongside the trail that would plop you out in the Bay if you were lucky. Don't want to step there.

So anyone have any experience with this? Am I overreacting? (Likely.)

The other option I was considering for this trip was part of the Western Uplands Trail in Algonquin - but I do enjoy the Georgian Bay scenery more. The ice is just awesome!

Any stories or opinions are very welcome!


Image
(this picture was taken last winter when there was only a few inches on the ground.)


Last edited by KDP on January 25th, 2011, 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 10:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 1st, 2006, 10:31 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
In my opinion, you can not be too careful. Specially in winter. I do not think you are overreacting.

Access to firewood would be another decision making point.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 10:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1670
Location: Guelph, ON
You might ask the Parks Canada staff about that trip to see if they have any safety concerns, or if others have done a similar trip.
It does tend to be a bit rough along some of those trails and if there is a lot of snow, the problem spots will be covered up. If there is limited snow you may be able to just use ice cleats to improve your grip.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 12:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:32 am
Posts: 163
Can't comment on the Bruce part of your question however it may depend on whether you're hauling a sled / toboggan or backpacking.

Same goes for the Western upland trail in A.P. I hauled a toboggan a few years ago on this trail and it was an experience*. If you want to go to Algonquin I'd suggest the Sunday Lake Dogsled trail, just west of the Opeongo access. The trails are sled friendly, the hills manageable and as long as you give way to the dog teams all is well.

I'm planning to go in this year on the Solstice and staying until the following Monday.

Cheers,
Ken

*"an experience": something you get, when you don't get what you want.....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 5:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 23rd, 2004, 1:39 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Yellowknife
i wondered about this same trip two christmases ago.
in the end i decided not to go. i was told that there are no fires allowed at the backcountry sites.

the ice formations are beautiful though. if you go please post more pictures.

_________________
 


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 6:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 10:41 am
Posts: 37
Location: toronto
Thanks for all the thoughts! I will give the park a call next week and see what their take on it is. I'll let you know if it's good news!

And rhumline, thanks for the Algonquin tip - I'll keep it in mind!

Montreal_80 there are a few more pictures here: http://www.kaydi.ca/?p=418


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 4th, 2010, 10:36 am 
Offline

Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:50 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto
If you're talking late December-early January, chances are the snow wouldn't be too deep. I don't think the snowpack in the north Bruce is ever quite as deep as it is further south. But no fires allowed in the off-season? That would be a show-stopper for me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 4th, 2010, 2:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 30th, 2006, 1:31 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Hamilton ON
We had a great time winter camping there. But that was long ago (1976 ?) when the area was still a provincial park.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 7th, 2010, 8:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 10:41 am
Posts: 37
Location: toronto
Update: I spoke with a woman at the park - she also highlighted the dangers of hiking along the trail and reccomended being a very experienced winter hiker so as not to step out onto any false snow bridges.

But - as somone else mentioned - the park doesn't get nearly as much snow as we do a bit further south so end of December timeframe might be a great time. Right now they have maybe an inch.

Also, she pointed out that there is a snowmobile trail that runs from the group campsite all the way to stormhaven (stay left at the fork ... And bring a map). That may be the best option if you want to get out there in deep snow.

Anyways, still not 100% sure if we'll go - the fire ban is a bummer - but I'll post some pics of that awesome ice if we do!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2010, 12:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:50 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto
Hiking on snowmobile trails is not a good idea. If there's too much snow to take the hiking trail, then there's enough snow for the sleds. I know, you can always hear them coming but still, accidents do happen. More to the point, any non-motorized use of snowmobile trails is expressly prohibited as far as the OFSC is concerned, so I'm surprised a park staffer would say such a thing. Of course, there's no love lost between the park and the OFSC!!

Having said that, I use snowmobile trails all the time when I'm out. They've saved my a** on a number of occasions. But, it's still not a good idea.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2010, 2:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1670
Location: Guelph, ON
KDP:
Have you thought about just camping at Cyprus Lake and doing a day trip out to the coast, to the Grotto, Overhanging Point etc?
There shouldn't be a fire ban in the campground.

I think the fire ban out on the coastal sites was to keep people from consuming the ancient cedar trees in their campfires.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2010, 3:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: September 9th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 555
Location: Kemble, Ontario Canada
Mac is correct day trips work best.
As the park is only an hours drive for me,I have camped in it both Provincial (illegal) and National (Legal) over the years. The Cypress Lake Winter Campsite is a Parking lot in summer. Last year it had a large wood pile. I do not have the patients to work my way threw the Parks switchboard. You can give them a call and check the rules. Family member now has a cottage in Tobermory I don't camp in park any more.
Not a lot of snow here and rain forecast for the weekend. I hope to be in the park next week birding. I'll post a report on conditions.
Stay safe
OAF


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2011, 8:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 10:41 am
Posts: 37
Location: toronto
Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread - I did head up to Bruce Peninsula for a night a couple weeks ago but ended up staying in the Cyprus Lake campground instead of hiking back to Stormhaven.

The ice near the Grotto area was spectacular - feet thick on some of the trees. Many trees were bent almost double and some were even snapped in half. A crazy sight and a very enjoyable trip!

A trip report is on my blog here: http://www.kaydi.ca/?p=1096

A few pictures:

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 25th, 2011, 11:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 16th, 2011, 7:11 pm
Posts: 68
Amazing pictures. That would be really amazing to see in person. Was it even possible to make it into the grotto or do you have any pictures of it?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 29th, 2011, 8:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 10:41 am
Posts: 37
Location: toronto
Thanks, newbman. We weren't able to make it into the grotto - I didn't even want to get too close to the edge and it'd be impossible to make it down safely with all the ice.

The below photo is about as close to the grotto I got (though it does seem farther away due to the super wide lens).

Image

Definitely worth the trip!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group