The whole drive we had beautiful weather, and the moment we arrived in Maitland Bridge, it began to rain. We didn’t care; we were PUMPED! We checked in, had a picnic lunch, geared up, and off we went hiking to our site. We were to hike 5km on Channel Laketrail to our site. We noticed where several trails split that ours looked immediately beautiful but also a bit more rugged than we expected to see right away. Two-year-old H was excited by the natural beauty surrounding us and ready to go! So much moss, colourful fungi, and stunningly tall trees! The rain was present but light enough to still snap photos at first!
Channel Lake trail
Our stroller hiking plan made me uneasy pretty early on as the trail was narrower than expected and we were trying not to interfere with the infringing plant and fungal life. As a result, we seemed to be stroller-portaging much more than we had hoped. But I talked myself out of worry by telling myself I was over-anxious as it was our first time backpacking with H. Well, a few kilometres later and we decided one thing was clear: Channel Lake trail is NOT for strollers! We parked the stroller and carried on with plan to return for the stroller in the AM. At this point, we were soaked to our undies. (It was pouring beyond photos!) A boardwalk, a few bogs, some flooded trail, and a fallen tree so enormous that the only way around it was to army crawl under its enormous piercing branches later and… we decided that it might be best to take up that offer by the park attendant for a campsite with a shorter hike! With a sad feeling of quitting, we hiked out as fast as possible to keep up with daylight (30ish lbs on our backs and taking turns with 30 lbs of baby in our arms). In the end, we wrung out our clothes in the visitors’ centre and proceeded with a small change of plans: shorter/easier hike in on Big Dam Lake Trail. We settled in a cozy, dry tent and felt grateful for shelter and each others’ spirits! All in, we had hiked approximately 10 km on Day 1.
What a fantastic morning! After a loud night of rain that was rhythmically hypnotizing, we were up and ready for warm beverages and oats in our bellies! We had not planned on much hiking on Day 2, but we had to return to Channel Lake Trail for a bit to retrieve yesterday’s abandoned mission: the stroller. Garbage bag-lined boots and off we went! It was a fabulous day! H loved hiking, the acorns, seeing our food hoisted in the air, and fetching water. Potty training in the backcountry was a little bit on the unsuccessful side, but hey! She was in her glory to spend all day outside spying on woodpeckers and toads!
Fetching water for breakfast
An exciting moment for a 2-year-old: Food hoisting time!
Big Dam Lake trail
She was thrilled to nap on her sleeping pad!
My favourite little fungi!
Once she was asleep, Mama and Papa built a fire, observed some really bright stars and meteors, and listened to the coyotes howl.
Sunset on Big Dam Lake
Not the last day already! We had such an awesome time even with our change of plans. We ate well, snuggled lots, sang a tonne, and giggled like crazy! After packing up and hiking out on a much easier trail, we returned to civilization and checked out Mill Falls and Merrymakedge Beach! Beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery! Til next time Keji! You rock!