Hardy Lake is a beautiful place to go for a hike and I am grateful that it is one of the parks that is very close to where I live.

On Wednesday, October 10th, after I finished work, I headed over to the trails to get some videos and pictures of the fall colours before it was too late.

The weekend before I had spent canoeing in Temagami and although the area is extremely beautiful, the falls colors had not fully arrived there when I visited.

So I packed my backpack, put my hiking boots and socks in the car and hoped one day this week would be nice enough for me to go.

And was it ever nice! It was 32 degrees out this day and I was literally sweating walking along smelling that fall smell we all love…. rotting leaves. hahahaha.

The parking lot was full so I headed down a side trail that I often use when the parking lot is full and I assume the trails are busy.  The trail I was on was very quiet and I only saw 3 people during my visit on the last section of the trail which is also the exit for the 3km loop.

As far as wildlife goes, I only saw this cute little squirrel, but the fall colors made up for not seeing any animals.

I was also lucky enough to find a patch of black trumpet mushrooms.  I had just seen them on someones’ facebook the other day and recognized them immediately.  Shortly after I was carefully picking them and putting them into a ziploc bag to take home and dehydrate for camping meals.  YUM!

Black trumpet mushrooms are one of the few mushrooms that do not have any impostors so they are easier to recognize.

I was so glad I’d come. The views were absolutely breathtaking and the weather was incredible.

I couldn’t believe it was 32 degrees either.  When I was in Temagami just a few days earlier, it was snowing and hailing.

When I arrived at the Hardy Lake portion of the loop I was doing that runs beside Hardy Lake, I found quite a few different types of mushrooms.

I was happy to see them as in the Spring due to lack of rain, we barely had any mushrooms in the forest at all.  Some of them are so unique and interesting looking.   I enjoy taking photos of them and checking them out.

My favorite part of the trail is the last third of the loop I did.

It takes you past a few smaller lakes and they are so quaint and pretty.

And they are almost always in mirror state and I usually am lucky enough to get some pretty shots there.

I completed the loop about an hour after I started and was so glad I’d come.

The views were so pretty, I decided to go back 4 days later on the Sunday with my friend Beth who was visiting from Niagara.

We hiked the 3km loop and once again, I was so glad we came.

We arrived nice and early to avoid the crowds and seemed to do so which was awesome.

There were just a few cars in the parking lot when we got there.

But by the time we left a few hours later, not only was the parking lot full.


But there were people parked on both sides of the highway for quite a ways down each side.


I was also lucky enough to find a few more black trumpet mushrooms which surprised me.

I assumed on the busier 3km loop someone would’ve picked them already.  I also saw some tiny green trumpets on this log. These are incredibly small and hard to see and I was happy I discovered them and got a photo of them.

The end of the 3km loop has the same last third of the trail as the loop I completed on the Wednesday.

But because it was a totally different time of day, the lighting was different making the pictures look different as well.

I took more photos of my favourite places, even though I’d already photographed them just a few days before.

I wish I was able to capture the true beauty that I saw on my two visits to Hardy Lake for my fall colors hike, but I did my best. Sometimes you just have to be there.

The day after my hike at Hardy Lake with Beth the temperatures dropped in Muskoka and the rain began to fall accompanied by very high winds.  Soon afterwards, the beautiful coloured leaves fell to the ground and were no longer brightening up the forest.  The time to see fall colours is so short it amazes me every year but I am happy I made the time to catch some of it before it blew away.

I hope you enjoyed my hikes to Hardy Lake and the beautiful fall colours.  For a virtual hike, please check out my video on my youtube channel.  It is dedicated to the people who follow my channel who aren’t able to hike and is a compilation of short clips from my hike set to music to give you the feeling that you are actually there hiking yourself, right along with me. I hope you check it out and enjoy it and I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the gorgeous fall colours in your area.

Happy Hiking!

Camper Christina