With a single day devoted to exploring, I thought I would venture to a region that is technically not part of the park, and therefore appears on maps as an "unmaintained" region. An added bonus is that it is only 20 minutes away from our Cottage.
Access is from a little trail right off Highway 60 which leads into a boggy section of "Park Lake". On the Algonquin Adventures forums a while back, a question was asked about the worst/ugliest lake in the whole park...someone answered this "Park Lake". Wasn't that bad in my opinion...but its unfortunate location running parallel to the busy Highway 60 corridor means you certainly hear transport trucks rumbling over the hilly terrain. Not much of wilderness experience here.
Start Access Point
View across the length of Park Lake
Hills stating to change
Despite this, the lake had lots of wildlife, owing to some boggy areas along eastern and western edges. Plenty of waterfowl like bufflehead ducks, loons, and even a great blue heron in these areas. My goal was to paddle to the small chain of lakes tucked behind the hills and scout the "unmaintained" campsite on a little spit of land jutting into Victory Lake.
After paddling the canoe through some weedy shallows and over an old beaver dam, I entered Victory lake and landed the canoe at the base of the site.
Clean, sweet little site
Pleasantly surprised! It was an clean, elevated site with a nice fire ring and some perfectly spaced out trees for my hammock. Someone also built some two flat benches with some stones around the fire pit. For an unmaintained site not officially part of the park, this was one of the cleanest I've ever encountered...no bit of food or junk in the firepit and even a nice pile of wood stacked up for the next visitor.
The lake has plenty of dried wood along the shoreline and a nice creek at the end which begged for more exploration. A little upstream I just missed snapping a pic of a beaver.
Solitary maple turning
Just missed the beaver
In any event, time was running out and I had to head back. While certainly not a deep backcountry location, I'll be heading back here again for an overnighter eventually. The added bonus for my worried wife is that there is cellphone coverage at this location so she can call me to rush back home at the slightest emergency.