DAY 3:  Harness Lake to Head Lake

  • Total Distance Paddled: 3 kms
  • Total Distance Portaged:  1035 m
  • Witnessed Reptile and Amphibian Encounters – too traumatized to count.

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It was hard to leave the life of luxury at our “Summerfell” campsite, but we knew this would be a super short paddle day for us so that we could enjoy a day with a slower pace to have some much needed down time at our next lake campsite.   A relatively forgiving 1035m portage actually seemed manageable heading into Head Lake, especially fueled on raspberry protein pancakes for breakfast.

The weather was perfection.  We basked in the sun and paddled into a beautiful waterfall on Head Lake in search of a nearby epic campsite.

The waterfall we found, an epic campsite, we did not.



For two sweaty, stinky, bug bitten gals,  this seemed like the perfect place to take a refreshing dip in the lake to cool down our bites and enjoy a magical place.   We parked the canoe at nearby campsite and jumped in (carefully, to avoid the leeches), blissfully??? unaware of what was lurking in the waters.   We swam halfway across to the waterfall, snapped some pics and enjoyed a nice float before Sarah pointed out an enemy lurking in the water and bobbing towards us before it disappeared under water. Snakes and Glynis are not friends. A perceived lake snake threat in the same vicinity of water to me, is a downright emergency.   I booked it so fast out of the water, I felt like I could have given Michael Phelps a run for his money.  Whatever it was, I was not having it.


Back on solid ground, we make a beeline for our gear to get back into our bug threat suits. Sarah had a brief land snake encounter, so close she almost stepped right on it.  After witnessing a giant toad try eat a baby turtle at the same location, and after two potential snake encounters; we took heed that this area, though beautiful, was not meant for us; so we packed up our paddles and booked it on out of there in search of a less slimy-creature infested campsite.

After a short paddle, we found a gem on the western side of the lake on a isolated peninsula.  As far as commodities, this campsite was the Ritz Carlton.  It had a fully loaded kitchen, beautiful stone fireplace, groomed firewood collecting trails, several bedrooms, a wine drinking porch (not screened-in, unfortunately) and a rock fishing dock.





We lazed around all afternoon, dining, reading books, drinking Moscow mules (Oh yeah, I’ll show you how) and fishing (with no luck).  The bugs on this lake were the least horrific of the trip.  For this and many other reasons, this lake and campsite made for a perfectly chill day. Mother Nature even granted us our first clear night for star gazing.





We drifted off to sleep to the cry of a lone loon and chorus of chatty peepers, hoping not to be plagued by dreams of lake snakes and killer toads.  It twas just another day in the backcountry.

Stay Tuned for the final leg of our 5 day Algonquin Adventure, and of course,  more food and drink creations.


Head Lake Reference Map:

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