Birch Cove Lakes 2004       Picasa Photo Album


Time may be quickly running out for this wilderness gem. The provincial government is seriously considering the construction of a $30 million four-lane freeway directly through the heart of this proposed wilderness area. The purpose is to save a whopping 8-minutes of driving time for commuters traveling between Highways 102 and 103. If built, this ill-conceived highway would do little to ease traffic congestion on nearby Kearney Lake and Hammonds Plains Roads. The proposed road, tenitivly called Highway 113, would forever destroy the wild character and ecological integrity of Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes by carving the wilderness into two small pieces. Wetlands and old forest stands would be lost or degraded, and the area's outstanding aesthetic and wilderness qualities would become history.

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Our Trip

What a nice loop, Susie, Quarry, Fox, Ash, Crane, Three Finger, Big Horseshoe, Cranberry, and back into Susie Lake----------and the trail head just a couple minutes of Bayer's Lake Shopping conglomeration--certainly a future overnighter.

Parking on the Bicentennial Highway at 5:00pm, the boys figured they had plenty of time to do the 8 lake (9?, Susie twice), 8 porrtage (11kms paddling, 3+kms portaging) well before dark--8:00pm.

Being warned that it took 5 hours to do a couple months ago, but noting that the portages were just 'cleaned' up (from Juan damage), off we went--once in an hour there was no returning--we did carry minimal gear if an overnighter was necessary--albeit it would be a cold one.

The protages were cleaned up, power saw cuts obvious, but not a walk in the park by anymeans.---mud, single track, rocky, and some difficult to locate at first. It seemed the paddles were too short (some lakes 'very' small) and maybe a bit too much time spent walking but still a great evening.

The water was like glass most of the night, the sun warm on our bodies, and the stillness (knowing there were people shopping a few kms away) was well appreciated.

Timing was perfect, if not maybe a bit close--We were on the water at 5:10 and back at the put in at 8:00pm sharpe---it was now DARK. The 15 minute portage back to the vehicles was no problem as this 'logging type' road was very open from all the traffic.

Highly recommend to anyone in the future--very much an 'entry' level adventure with everthing you could look forward to---There are 'many' places to camp on all the lakes.

And you don't have to drive to get there, eh!