Algonquin Provincial Park: Western Uplands Backpacking Trail. Rain Lake Entrance. 2011

This is our first trip to the upper loop of the Wester Uplands Backpacking trail in Algonquin PP. We had a limited amount of time for this trip, so we decided on going in through the Rain Lake entrance, via Kearney ON. A small town about 3.5 hours north of Toronto.

The above photo is in Kearny at the LCBO parking lot.

To get to Kearney from Toronto, take 400 north to highway 11 north. Get off at exit 244, Emsdale Rd. Follow this road parallel to hy 11 to Emsdale and turn right on 518. Follow this all the way to Kearney and turn right at Main Street (public library). You’ll see the Algonquin PP office right across the bridge on your right. After obtaining your permit, continue down Main to Rain Lake Road. There’s an LCBO on that corner. Get booze, and then continue on Rain Lake Road to Algonquin.

The road eventually turns to gravel and can be quite narrow. Watch out for ATV’s, trucks, and turtles. None of them will give you any room, so take care and take it slow around the corners. It’s a bit of a drive, so just enjoy the scenery.

You’ll see the official park boundary sign long before the actual entrance.

The start of the Rain Lake entrance is really quite easy for about the first 8 kilometers. Expect to make great time during this period.

Rain Lake is the first camp  you’ll come to. There are two here and it takes about an hour to get to it. Take the first site if you have a choice. It’s right off to the left of the trail, but water access is decent, the pads are level and needle bedded. The latrine is very close to the trail. It’s also across from an old logging camp. A large clearing stands out as being out-of-place there and is visually quite interesting. Though we searched the area, we were unable to find any artifacts. Then again, the weather was awful, and the mosquitoes were insanely out in force, so we didn’t try very hard.

The second camp site is horrible. While it offers more privacy, it’s on the other side of the railway bed that separates Rain Lake. The water access is awful, and there’s about enough room for one tiny tent. Don’t expect much of a breeze there on a hot day either…

The first 8 km of the trail is mostly level and sandy and runs along part of an old railway line. Many artifacts will be seen along this route. Lots of railway ties, building foundations, a bridge, even a surprise in the first campsite. Look around and you’ll see it.

Pink Lady’s Slipper?

Sally the Salamander. Ann is our intrepid life form finder.

The clearing across from the 1st camp site on Rain Lake.

A Heron on Rain Lake

Tom and myself lounging in Ann’s tent playing cards and having a wee nip of whiskey during the rain…



One Response to “Algonquin Provincial Park: Western Uplands Backpacking Trail. Rain Lake Entrance. 2011”

  1. BTW, Ivan, we misread the map when we went looking for that abandoned ranger’s cabin / logging camp.

    It’s at the second area where the path cuts right through Rain Lake and the lake is on either side… past the second Rain Lake campsite.

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