Friday, 15 June 2012

Charleston Lake camping

At the beginning of June we went camping with my parents to Charleston Lake Provincial Park near Gananoque Ontario. We were very impressed with the park, it completely exceeded our expectations and we would definitely camp there again. The campsites are nice (except the poison ivy), the hiking trails are beautiful and well maintained, and its not too far from our place.

We arrived late Saturday afternoon and went on a hike about an hour after arriving. We did the Shoreline Centennial trail which had some very unique rock formations that were almost cave-like. After the hike we ate supper at our respective campsites and then my parents came over to play some cards. It was a great night.

Sunday morning the four of us went hiking again. This time we did two trails that are beside each other. Hemlock Ridge has a trail guide that talks about the different types of trees that are on the trail. The most interesting was a Shagbark Hickory which I've never seen before. Charleston Lake is at its northern limit. Along the trail we ended up seeing a deer and a pileated woodpecker. This trail also had some nice rock formations that were covered in moss and ferns. We also hiked the Beech Woods trail.

 Shagbark Hickory, really unique bark

After lunch Eric and I hiked the 10km Tallow Rock Bay trail that was listed as strenuous. The best part of the trail was the picnic area at Tallow Rock Bay halfway through the trail. You're walking along and all of a sudden, in the middle of nowhere, there's a cove with a beach and a picnic table. We took a break here and munched on some granola bars. It was a beautiful peaceful spot. The start/end of the trail was through a bog with a boardwalk where I got a few nice photos of bog plants.

Wool sower gall.
Internet research says it is created by wasp larvae and their favourite hosts are oak trees.

Beautiful native wood lily.

A very impressive bridge for a hiking trail

Blue heron as seen from the hiking trail bridge

The picnic spot half way along the Tallow Rock Bay trail

Grass plant in the bog along Tallow Rock trail

There were a lot of irises in the bog,
I kept searching for the perfect bloom.
I believe I found it.

Sunday evening we sat by the campfire at my parents site. My brother Daniel and my sister Louise and her boyfriend Bruce came by to celebrate my dad's birthday. Monday morning we left fairly early after a great weekend. We really enjoyed camping with my parents and hope to make it an annual event. I highly recommend this park!

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