Canada Day At Grundy Lake Provincial Park

At 4am on Canada Day, 2015, on a cloudy drizzly morning,  I headed out, car packed, kayak on top, and mom in the passenger seat, to Grundy Lake Provincial Park in Britt, ON.

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I was really excited to see this park as I had joined Twitter a few months ago and someone tweeted some photos from their trip there. Once I did some research on it I was convinced it was a park I wanted to go to, so I went onto the Ontario Parks site and after more research, picked what I heard was one of the best sites in the park.

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We arrived at 8am and the site, 118,  had been empty the evening previous so we were allowed to check in and start unpacking.  We were extremely pleased with what we saw, except we had no picnic table. I didn’t have the parks direct phone number so we drove back to the park office and asked for one.  No problem, one would be brought over immediately.  Sweet! Everyone was very nice so far and helpful which also made me smile!

After unloading the car and setting up my princess glamping site, the sun came out and we were ready to explore.

Site 118 set up and ready to celebrate Canada Day with pride!
Site 118 set up and ready to celebrate Canada Day with pride!

We had some lunch and then set out on a walk around our loop and to see the Interpretive centre and check out our surroundings.  There was beauty and nature everywhere we looked and it was awesome!

along the park road from the office to Hemlock loop
along the park road from the office to Hemlock loop

We met Autumn at the interpretive centre, she was so sweet and kind and told us all about the animals in the park and anything we wanted to know, she had an answer for. As we were being very inquisitive, she asked if we would like to do the park scavenger hunt and we both replied… sure! What a great idea this is!  It’s basically a list of items you have to take photos of such as taking a selfie with a park ranger, with 3 types of flowers in the park, while fishing, photos of park wildlife, picking up trash in the park, etc, etc.  What a wonderful way to explore the park and if you get enough points, you get a prize, a tote bag full of goodies.

scavenger-hunt-list

So off we went to take photos of the items on the list and get as many done as we could.  We spent the day celebrating Canada, exploring nature, had a nice fire, some steaks cooked on it, a few bevvys and watched the sunset via Gurd lake on my kayak.  The sunset was amazing and the sky was full of red clouds, no doubt, mother natures way of saying Happy Canada Day to us! The sky was incredible!  It was a great day!

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Immediately after the red sky sunset, we were in awe of the moonrise!  it was one of the brightest moons I’ve seen and we had clear shadows from it.  Here is a shot of it:

Moonrise over Gurd Lake
Moonrise over Gurd Lake

Thursday we awoke to a beautiful sunrise.

beautiful sunrise on Gurd Lake from site 118.
beautiful sunrise on Gurd Lake from site 118.

I got some great shots while paddling on the mirrored lake, and then afterwards Mom and I would hike Gut Lake Trail.

mirror image from Gurd Lake morning paddle
mirror image from Gurd Lake morning paddle

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Gut Lake Trail is 2.5 km and took us about one and a half hours to do. The first half you are hiking along canadian shield rock on Gut Lake and weave in and out with gorgeous views of the lake. There are many spots to stop and sit by the water, go for a swim, take photos or just take in the view.  At the end of the lake there is a small waterfall and river, and then you head into the forest for a short time and come out to a view of 2 other lakes opposite to Gut Lake. The trail is windy, a good portion on rock and some parts on the beautiful soft forest floor covered in roots and pine needles. We didn’t see any wildlife but I have been told there is quite a bit around.

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The dock at Gut Lake
The dock at Gut Lake

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After finishing the Gut Lake trail we headed back to our campsite to pack a lunch and then went to a spot in the Red Maple loop. There is a small trail behind the bathrooms that takes you out onto large rocks beside Grundy Lake. We spent the afternoon there sunning, swimming and enjoying a very peaceful time.  The evening was again wonderful, with a great fire, delicious food and a sunset paddle. As the sky was very clear, however, there weren’t too many colors in the sky.

Friday we awoke to another beautiful sunrise at 541am.

sunrise on Gurd Lake
sunrise on Gurd Lake

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sunrise on Gurd Lake
sunrise on Gurd Lake

I jumped in my kayak and went out for a morning paddle on calm Gurd Lake, then headed back for a nice breakfast with mom.

swan lake trail map
swan lake trail map

After breakfast we headed out to Swan Lake Trail. Swan Lake Trail is 1.5 km loop that took us about an hour to do, well, a little more as we stopped for a few photo shoots along the way and a snack!

These are some of the great views from the Swan Lake Trail.  

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Swan Lake trail views
Swan Lake trail views

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The views are totally breath taking and we even saw a swan in the lake!  There are many blueberry bushes along the trail and they were full of delicious blueberries.  We saw a snake, and some butterflies, a turtle, and a few frogs! The scenery was gorgeous and the hike was mostly near or on the water.  I really enjoyed this trail and would highly recommend it to anyone who is in the area exploring!

After our hike we once again headed back to our site, we packed lunch and headed to a huge rock along the Gut Lake trail we spotted the day before, and again, spent the day sunning and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Gut Lake.  We walked around many of the loops of the campground over the 3 days we were there, noting on our map, sites that we would like to book in the future, and spoke to many of the park staff and guests as well. Everyone was extremely friendly and happy and very helpful!

When we completed our afternoon adventure we headed to the showers to clean up a bit and found them to be very clean and the water to be hot with good water pressure. Everything about Grundy is stellar and top notch and I believe it is one of the best parks I have ever visited!!  We finished off the day with a visit from a racoon who didn’t stay long as we don’t keep food out and are very careful to animal proof our sites. We also had a resident chipmunk who didn’t come near us, leading me to believe the people that come here are true nature lovers, and know not to feed the animals, which made me very happy.

The only thing I encountered that bothered me were people washing their hands and dishes in the water tap as the sign wasn’t on the post. For those of you that don’t camp, or aren’t aware, the water tap is to fill containers for your site. When you wash dishes there the food bits and dish soap either sit and attract wildlife or contaminate the water source if it is within 30 metres. (that # might not be 100% exact, but something close to that, lol).  This water tap was right next to the lake, probably within 10 feet, plus it was right across from our site and I didn’t want to see a bear that close up because someone else didn’t know the rules of the park.

Saturday morning,  after we packed up to leave Grundy, we went to the interpretive centre to show our photos matching our scavenger hunt list and advised Jessica who works at the park that the water tap sign was missing.  She immediately radioed the maintenance crew to have them put a sign on the post, which impressed me greatly.

The staff here are wonderful and the park is totally gorgeous!

If you are thinking of visiting Grundy, book a site at  Ontario Parks and go! It is a great place to spend a few days, or even a few weeks, and I personally can not wait to go back again!!!!

Thanks to everyone at the park for making my stay a memorable one!  Shout outs to Jessica and Autumn! You ladies rock!

Happy Camping!

Scavenger hunt prizes and happy campers!
Scavenger hunt prizes and happy campers!

 

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22 thoughts on “Canada Day At Grundy Lake Provincial Park

  1. That’s a great Canada Day! Love the scavenger hunt and it’s so great your Mom joins you on these adventures. Happy Camping!

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  2. Great write up about Grundy Lake! This is my all time fave park. It is also the only park where we have ever seen bears. Reading this makes me excited for the trip we have planned to go there in August. Happy to have found you and your blog! I

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  3. Thank you so much Gayle! I can’t express how much I appreciate your feedback! I think the Grundy post is one of my best posts and it is also one of my favourite parks! My goal is to document my adventures and excite people to get outside and have their own, so I guess I’m succeeding somewhat in doing so? I hope you enjoy my other posts and you have a great time at Grundy! Say hi for me! Thanks again! cc

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  4. Great write up about Grundy Lake Christina! This is my favorite park which we now visit annually. Your site is very interesting and I must say I truly enjoy your blog.

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  5. Thank you for this amazing post. I stumbled on it while researching site 118 🙂
    Have booked this site this summer and after reading your post I’m more excited than ever to camp there!

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    1. YAY!!! Thanks so much for the comment and for letting me know! I am super jealous of your trip! You will love it! It’s funny because when I first arrived at that site, I didn’t like it at all, but like many sites, once you make it your own, everything changes. I hope you send a message when after your trip and let me know what you thought? Have an awesome time!

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      1. Thanks and yes I will let you know how it goes 🙂 We are going in late August so still a while to go.. I am already wishing the summer away haha.
        What did you mean by not liking it when you first got there? What didn’t you like about it? Aside from the picnic table not being there.
        I know what you mean about not liking a site initially. Though last year we encountered sites at various parks we disliked and didn’t grow on us over time, although we made the best of it.

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      2. I just didn’t really like the positioning of it, that you had to park kind of below and hike up this hill to the part where you would sit and put the tent etc, but it all worked out in the end and after I saw the other sites, I was happy I had the one I did. I think partly it was pre misconception. Because the parks photos, any photos really never look exactly like the site in person. I also thought it was right on the water, not across the park road, but rarely anyone ever drove down the road, just to leave and come in so it wasn’t busy at all. 🙂 Don’t wish away your summer! Book another trip sooner to now!! 🙂 Make the most of every day!

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  6. Couldn’t reply in the thread so starting a new one.
    Thanks for explaining and I think sites that are raised as you described are great so no problem there! Yes it isn’t apparent from the Ontario Parks photos but noticeable from your blog photos. I learned not to rely on Ontario Parks photos either. Too few views and often too old. Another impression I got from your photos is that this site is quite large so that’s a plus.
    I was aware 118 has the road separating the site from the water but glad to hear there wasn’t much traffic. Hoping there is a place to swim right across the road as it would be handy to keep my son busy while keeping a close eye on him 🙂

    We have a few other camping trips booked already so plenty of fun awaits starting this month already!
    Love your blog and will keep reading.
    Bella

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    1. yes, he can most likely swim right there, if not, the beach is just to the left (when at the site facing the water) not far away at all. I do the same and that is part of why I post alot of photos of the sites, to help others figure out what to pick etc. Glad it helped. Have an awesome time! Can’t wait to hear how it went! 🙂 Thank you so much for checking out my blog and glad you will keep reading! Happy Camping Bella!

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  7. Just checking back to report on our trip last week 🙂
    We arrived in the pouring rain so the canopy was certainly nice, but my bf still hated the site due to its slope and worries of where to place our 2 tents. We put both in the same spot you did and luckily the rest of the week was fairly dry weather!
    Personally I didn’t find this site private at all. I don’t expect 100% privacy anywhere, but it was really open to 116 especially since we couldn’t put a tent in that area that would block the view somewhat. Being up on the hill, we were always fully visible to people walking by but friendly hellos were nice.
    I did like the placement of the firepit by the cluster of trees where we spent a lot of our time.
    The location was convenient for using our rented canoe and canoeing was the best part of our trip! We checked out the “easy paddle” backcountry sites on Gurd Lake and tentatively planning to try one next year.
    We drove around the other campgrounds to check out other sites and thought Popular had some very nice ones right on the lake. I think we will try for one of those but in Hemlock, 114/111/113 looked good.
    Overall we liked Grundy Lake and can’t wait to go back next year 🙂

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