We left Mississagi on Wednesday morning and started the 260km drive to Grundy Lake. I was admittedly sad to leave the tranquility of Mississagi and not ready to go to a busy park. We stopped in Sudbury for lunch and groceries before continuing down the highway to Grundy Lake. Grundy Lake had recently reopened after being closed due to the forest fires. We arrived to find many open sites! People must have cancelled their reservations when the park closed down. After driving around, we ended up changing to a lovely campsite in the radio-free Red Maple campground.
Our site, #426, was in a great location – we could walk to the beach! After setting up camp, we walked across the camp road to the water where we watched the sunset on the warm, smooth rocks under towering White Pines.
The girls had fun playing with rocks and sticks by the waters’ edge, always a popular activity wherever we go!
We awoke the next morning to some grumpy kids. So much whining. I think they were feeling tired. After struggling to feed the girls breakfast and cover them in sunscreen, we loaded everyone in the canoe and set off to explore Grundy Lake.
Everyone relaxed once we were on the water. It was a beautiful morning to explore! Because of the lack of rain, water levels were low, and some of the routes listed in the campground newspaper were too dry to paddle. We paddled through a marshy area on the north end of Grundy Lake to see how far we could get along the creek to Bucke Lake.
It was slow going, but the scenery was beautiful! We lots of frogs including several Bull frogs.
After lifting over a shallow area, we continued on to a beaver lodge blocking the water. We decided to turn around instead of trying to lift the canoe and both girls over the lodge. It felt so wonderful to paddle again, and the scenery brought back memories of back country canoe trips that Kory and I had taken before kids. Em declared that she loved canoeing! I’m really looking forward to taking the girls on a canoe trip – hopefully next year! We paddled back to the beach where we ate lunch.
We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and sliding on slippery rock. Slippery rock is a smooth rock covered in algae that descends into the water. The slope makes it a perfect slide! There are ropes set up to pull yourself up out of the water and back onto dry rock – it really is that slippery! Em was brave and went right in. Lyssa preffered to slide in on her bottom, but was not a fan of trying to get out of the water.
After dinner, the girls still had some energy and it was beautiful out, so we decided to hike Swan Lake trail, a 1.5km trail over wetlands and rocky ridges.
The trail was a bit more challenging than we expected, and the girls were getting pretty tired. The trail in itself was not that challenging, moreso that our 2 year old wanted to hike much of it on her own 2 feet.
The scenery was beautiful though, so we still enjoyed ourselves. I think it would be a lovely hike in the morning (or without 2 small children) for wildlife viewing opportunities.
We drove back to our campsite and settled into our cozy tent for a good nights’ sleep. I did bring a portable, battery-powered white noise device on this trip. I find it incredibly helpful to drown out the campground noise and make the girls feel at home.
We woke up the next morning to wet and humid weather, but we donned our rain gear and remained in good spirits.
After breakfast we decided to hike the Beaver Dam trail, a 4km trail through wetlands and forest.
The water level was low, so the trail was dry and overgrown at times, especially by the end.
The skies cleared but it remained humid, and super buggy! Our brave girl Em (5 years old) happens to be a mosquito magnet. She was a real trooper and hiked the entire trail on her own 2 feet. I think we may have bribed her with promises of ice cream or treats or something.
Lyssa enjoyed a Tula nap, though I may have enjoyed it more. I always cherish these snuggles, especially as she grows older! This Tula was such a good investment for us – both girls have used it and it’s still going strong!
After lunch, we went back to the beach for a much-deserved swim and some more time at Slippery Rock.
We were determined to cram as much exploring as we could into our few days at Grundy, so after dinner we drove over to the pet exercise area and put the canoe in the water to paddle around Gurd Lake.
We enjoyed a beautiful evening canoe ride. We paddled over to Picnic Island, and the girls had fun exploring the island and running around the smooth rocks. It was getting to be past bedtime, so we had to drag the girls away from the island to paddle back to our home for one more night.
The next morning, we reluctantly packed up out tent and started the drive home. Grundy is an excellent park! It has beautiful hiking trails and excellent paddling opportunities. The beaches are wonderful for small swimmers. Although I was sad to leave Mississagi, I’m certainly happy that we experienced Grundy.