Sunday, September 27, 2015

Away to Awenda


After leaving Algonquin Park Wednesday morning, I headed southwest.  I took Muskoka Road 3 from Huntsville to Rosseau, then Road 141 to highway 400 south.  I would have taken 141 from highway 11, but the bridge was being rebuilt over the Rosseau River.  That bridge is a familiar spot from my youth when I spent part of summers at a camp right near there!

Just before Midland, I headed into Port McNicoll to visit the SS_Keewatin.  I have been on it twice before, but not for two years.  I wanted to see what changes were made.

This ship is a national treasure, being built in 1907.  It is nothing short of remarkable that it still exists, more or less in its original condition. Many of the staterooms have been restored for display.

The steam engine and shaft are actually in working order.  There is an electric motor that turns the shaft, hence turns the connecting rods of the engine.

Tours are available and the full tour takes about 1.5h.  Unfortunately it does not visit the wheelhouse, but three years ago a friend and I got a special tour that included the top deck and wheelhouse!

After lunch in Midland I headed to another favourite, Awenda_Provincial_Park.  I have camped there a few times as you know from past blog posts.

It consists of over 29 square kilometres of mostly hardwood forest, but with lots of Hemlock as well. Giant's Tomb Island in Georgian Bay is also part of the park.

September 2014

Barred Owls are resident in the park, and you are always guaranteed to hear them!  Last year I was lucky as one perched in my campsite.

On this year's visit, I did not hear them at dusk, but did at dawn.  At first I heard a loud shriek, then the familiar "who cooks for you" rendition.  Back at Algonquin I heard that same shriek one night (woke me up!).  I did not realize what is was, but I assume a Barred Owl.

I also heard Whip-poor-will at 19:40h, then again at dawn. Latest I have heard one in the season.

Wednesday afternoon I hiked a couple of the trails.  There is a total of 32 km worth of trail within the park.
The Robitaille Trail is a linear (3 km) one to a high dune.  It is good for birds, and I saw a few warblers and vireos on my walk.  It used to be a farm (hence the name) and more recently a Christmas Tree farm.  Several of the pines were left to grow.

One of many Black-throated Green Warblers

Thursday morning I hiked Wendat Trail (5 km).  It goes around Kettle lake in the east part of the park.  Just off the parking lot is a boardwalk/dock.  Early morning is good for birds along its edge.
In the opposite corner of the lake is a boardwalk over a marshy area.

Second Lake

On the way home, a stop at West Perth Wetlands (Mitchell) was in order.  Nothing of note was seen, but it is always a nice stop on a long drive.


  1. Blake--am enjoying your new photo at the top of your Blog !
    Very peaceful and calming pic !

    1. It was time for a change! That photo was at Rock Lake and I found that a nice walk along the shoreline in the fog.