It’s hard to believe that only 9 months ago, I had my first visit to Silent Lake! It was a wonderful experience and I was hoping for more of the same this trip.
I had planned on going for just one night when I discovered yurt #5, the same one I stayed in, in March, was open, but there is a two night minimum for booking yurts, so I took it for two.
I left work at 2:30 pm and with a drive just a little over 2 hours from Port Carling, I arrived just as darkness set in. I registered at the office and then drove to the Bonnie’s Pond Trail Parking Lot where my sled was waiting to put my gear into it, and take it to my yurt!
It was pretty cold out so I didn’t get many pictures, plus it was pretty dark by that time. I put my stuff on the sled, covered it with a blanket, bungeed it so it was secure, and off I went. After unloading my stuff inside the cold yurt, I headed straight for the wood shed so I could get a fire going and warm this place up. I was so cold from sitting in the warm car and needed heat pronto!
I got the fire going quickly as there was some spectacular kindling and lots of dry wood available. Once I had the yurt warming up I headed outside to get dinner started. The yurts here come with their own barbecue and propane is also provided! Sweet deal! I started the barbeque and then quickly noticed something was wrong and shut it off immediately!
I was very glad for my quick reaction as I would’ve had a raging fire going! Some little animal, I’m guessing a mouse, had a lovely nest built inside the whole left side of the barbeque! I cleaned out as much of it as I could and ended up with quite a bit pile on the ground!!! I felt bad for destroying some little creatures home, but hey! I have to eat!! LOL
With the crisis avoided, I relit the barbeque and continued on with my dinner preparation. I was so hungry and could not wait to eat. I had brought a delicious steak and some leftover roasted potatoes from a dinner a few nights ago and I couldn’t wait to sit inside the semi-warm yurt and eat! It was only up to about 4 degrees at this time, but eventually it would make it to 11!
For the first time ever I had brought my ipad loaded with a few movies to watch. I knew the nights were very long at this time of year and I wanted something to do since I was alone and besides reading, which I also planned to do, I didn’t have much else going on. I certainly couldn’t sleep from 5pm to 7am, so I thought this would be a good idea and honestly, I was loving it!!!!! GLAMPING definitely has it’s moments!! LOL
As the yurt got warmer and warmer, I got sleepier and sleepier. Time for bed. But it’s only 830!! LOL . As I started to fall asleep, I heard the call of an owl in the distance, WHOO WHOO WHOO WHOOOO!!! Ah the sound of Silent!
I woke up to a balmy -16 degrees. It wasn’t bad actually as I had a nice warm place to sleep and to shake the cold off whenever need be. I did plan to spend all of daylight, outdoors, if possible, so I dressed myself carefully.
Shortly after, I headed out for a morning hike on Bonnies Pond Snowshoe trail. I was hoping if I got out before sunrise, I might get to see some wildlife!! I have a feeling my swishing sound from my snow pants and jacket keep them away. It’s not easy to walk quietly in the quiet. Swish Swish Swish….
I had snowshoed on Bonnies Pond Trail in March and loved it!
It was a very scenic trail that ran along Bonnies Pond and had some really pretty lookouts.
The trail was challenging at times, but not too difficult, and perfect for an early morning hike!
There were lots of interesting things to see on the trail as well, no matter the time of year.
While travelling on Bonnie’s Pond Trail, you have the option to take a side trail to the scenic lookout.
It is well worth the trip!
The hike back is lovely as well. I came across this small stream I had to cross. I initially stepped on some rocks to cross but my foot slipped right off as the rocks were all covered in ice. I grabbed a nearby piece of wood and used that to get me safely to the other side! Thanks piece of wood!
After I got back to the parking lot, which is where Bonnie’s Pond Trail ends, I decided to drive over to the main beach on Silent Lake, just down the road a ways.
In March I had been here and got some great photos of the waterfalls and was hoping I wasn’t too late today as it was already around 9am.
Thankfully, with the sun coming up at 7:45 ish, it wasn’t too high at 9:00am and I got some pretty cool photos!
I also took this video, so that I can listen to the lovely sound of the water flowing over the falls and down the stream. One of my favourite sounds of Silent!
There was steam rising from the water, as it was warmer than the air.
I headed over the bridge to see what this part of the Lakeshore Trail looked like. When I was here in March, this was a designated ski trail and you were not allowed to be on the trail unless you had skis on.
After a bit more exploring and a few more photos, I headed back to my yurt for some breakfast. I was so hungry and needed some sustenance. It would also be nice to change my socks and warm myself up for a bit. I hope my fire was still going!
I had just brought two eggs and some buttered bread which I toasted in a pan on the barbecue. In a pot I heated water for hot chocolate and in another pan I cooked some over easy eggs. This barbecue made things so simple and I was loving my glamping trip! I went into the yurt and warmed up my feet while I fuelled up for my next hike.
I decided to hike down through the campground towards the lake and then take the lakeshore trail from there. Along the way I spotted many many animal tracks, but sadly, not one animal. (story of my life! haha)
The lake was really pretty. It was frozen on top in most areas and it gave the water a pretty glow when the sun was out.
It was pretty cold out so I thought it would be a good idea to stop for a cup of sun!
LOL, warmed me right up!
I enjoyed the scenery immensely and had not hiked on this part of the trail yet, so I was happy to be exploring a brand new place for me!
As I walked along, looking for a place to stop and have some lunch, I heard the strangest sound I’d ever heard! It was a shrieking, creeking, high pitched sound and I thought an animal was being attacked or maybe mating? I didn’t know exactly, but I wanted to see what the sound was?
The ice… really? I pulled out my phone and put it on video and tried to capture it but didn’t get much of it recorded. You could still hear the ice moving and creaking, but not how I’d first heard it. This was a new sound of Silent for me as this lake was frozen solid when I was last here and it didn’t make a peep! (good thing, I think?)
I stopped there to have my lunch and had my phone out set to video hoping to catch what I heard initially, but I only got more creaks and moans and nothing further.
I started back on the trail, stopping every so often to take a few pictures and then put my hands back into my warm mitts. It looked so warm with the sun out, but it was very cold indeed!
I saw this cool dreamcatcher and had to take a photo of it. It looked neat and creepy at the same time! I had gotten off the trail at this point, and was heading back to my yurt on the campground road.
I had been hiking for about 7.5 hours in total today, and my legs were pretty tired. With a few hours of daylight left however, I didn’t want to waste them in the yurt, so I decided to get some firewood and sled it into the site and make a fire.
I heated up some chicken noodle soup to drink and warm me up and sat still hoping a bunny, or a deer, or anything at all would walk by and give me a little show. The crackling fire broke a bit of the quiet for the time being. Another great sound of Silent.
After a few hours, the light was starting to fade and the only thing that showed itself was darkness. No bunnies, no deer, not even the little mouse who’s house I tore apart last night. Oh well! I did try pretty hard! Not much more I could do?
Since I already had a fire going outside, I decided to heat up my supper on it and give the barbecue a break. Dinner tonight was chicken, potatoes and carrots. Just a leftover meal I’d had in my freezer that I could easily heat up and eat. I ate, headed into the yurt and got the fire going. I got comfy and read a book, then eventually headed off into dreamland. I was so tired after being outside in the cold all day and was ecstatic about having this luxurious yurt to relax in. What a great day I’d had. I couldn’t wait to see what tomorrow would bring?
I let myself sleep in until 730, then got up, packed up most of my stuff and headed to the car for a drop off. I had the yurt until noon but figured I might as well take a few things if I was going that way anyways. My plan for before breakfast was to explore the campground as I had noticed many tracks there yesterday. Sooner or later I’d have to see an animal, wouldn’t I?
I mean, seriously… look at ALL these tracks! It was almost ridiculous that I couldn’t see one little animal, a bunny, a fox, a mouse, anything???? Swish Swish Swish… LOL.
At least the mushrooms never let me down. They were always there looking unique and interesting.
I walked around for almost 2 hours, even stood still in one spot for about 45 minutes of that swishless, but still I saw nothing. I headed back to the yurt to make breakfast.
Todays breakfast was english muffins with strawberry jam and a bacon and cheese omelette. I had premade the omelette and the english muffins were already buttered. I used one pan to heat them both up. The butter toasted the english muffins in the pan and made them crunchy and brown. Easy peasy!
I ate, cleaned out the rest of the yurt, cleaned up the yurt, and headed to my car to pack up. From there I went back to the main beach at Silent Lake and headed out on the other side of the Lakeshore Trail.
I had never been on this part of the trail and it had taken me a while, and the advice of someone in the parking lot (the only other person here except me, it seemed) to find the start of the trail. I had looked for it in March, but never found it. Today, I saw why.
To get onto the start of the trail, you have to walk behind the main comfort station. They are doing construction there on some cabins and there are construction fences all around as well as snow fences, which added to my confusion. If you go over one of the fences, towards the cottages up the hill, you will find a road.
And if you walk along that road a little ways, you will see a sign that says where the trail is.
Once you are on it, there is no doubt you are on it, and there are lots of trail markers to make sure you don’t get lost.
As an added bonus, I had animal tracks leading me most of the way. They knew where the trail was and I was grateful, because I was trailblazing today, well, I guess they were, but human-wise, it was me! haha!
Seems beside the animals, I was the only person to hike this part of the trail since the snow had started falling almost a week ago.
I thought that was pretty cool indeed! I was all alone out here, and it was so peaceful and beautiful! I felt extremely privileged and grateful and during this hike, I found my favourite and the truest sound of Silent…. silence!!!
I hiked to the lookout between kilometre 11 and kilometre 12. It was very pretty! It had taken me around 20 minutes to hike a kilometre and I was pretty happy with that. I had no snowshoes on and the snow was about 6″ deep. Plus, I never really rushed when I hiked unless I had somewhere to be, and I did not on this lovely Sunday Funday!
There were a lot of ups and downs and I stopped quite a few times to take photos and have snacks, but eventually, I made it back to the cottages, and then the parking lot.
I headed into the comfort station to change my clothes for the ride home. It was just over 2 hours and I wanted to be comfortable. After that, I waved goodbye to Silent Lake and headed back to Port Carling.
I had had another awesome visit here full of some cool new sounds! I couldn’t wait to come back.
While visiting I scouted out a nice site to put my tipi on. Although it isn’t the backcountry, I do have to sled into the site and think it would make a great place to test out the sled and my tipi reno’s before taking it farther out. I hope you come back and see what I am up to next week! Winter has begun and I can’t wait to get outside and do all the great winter activities that come along with the snow!
Thanks for checking out my post! If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, please leave a note!
Nice post! I have never been to Silent Lake, despite growing up in Havelock. I have been thinking of reserving a yurt over the holidays as a gift to myself for completing my first semester. Do you have any recommendations for locations? Have you stayed in any of the yurts in Killarney? I have been thinking about going there.
Thanks so much Cobi! I’m not sure if there are any yurts open for the holidays. they book up really really fast, just like summer sites in August. All the yurts are nice there, there is only one loop in the park open. I have not yet made it to the yurts in Killarney or Killarney in the winter even! It is on the list for this winter for sure! Thinking of sledding the tipi in there somewhere as it’s all ready for the backcountry? Wanna come? 🙂 I’m also doing a few overnights next week. Get in touch if you wanna meet up? Day at Arrowhead? Algonquin? Silent lake, etc? 🙂 Cheers!
Sounds like fun! I’m back in Muskoka on the 27th so will touch base with you next week. I’m off until January 9th.
Sounds good! I’m off next week and have the 1st weekend in Jan still open. LMK. Happy holidays to you and yours! 🙂