View topic - Loop Route Help from George Lake in Killarney

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2020, 8:30 pm 
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Hello!

Can someone familiar with the area help me with a loop route? I'm planning to book a route for August. 3 kids and 3 adults. I'm open to suggestions but I'm thinking of putting in at George Lake. Here is what I would like to do but I know it's too ambitious for 5 nights 6 days. Please help me figure out where to cut! My biggest hope is to hike up the Crack for the views! Plus I love to hike...

1. George Lake to Freeland and camping at Kakakise lake
2. Kakakise to Norway and camping on Killarney
3. Killarney on our way up to Three narrows.. not sure where to camp since three narrows is a bit far from killarney i think...
4. Make our way from three narrows toward Topaz then maybe camping on muriel
5. Muriel to O.S.A., Killarney, camping near the crack entrance hikes
6. Hike early morning then back through Freeland to George

Any input is appreciated. Anything major in the park that we would be missing out on?

TIA


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2020, 11:00 am 
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First thing is, August is peak occupancy time so reserving campsites in those places may be an issue since many may be booked and unavailable. Maybe best to check and see what is actually still available and then plan around that.

Near George... OSA and Killarney lakes are some of the most scenic and try to get campsites on those if by some amazing stroke of luck there are any... almost everybody else will be trying for those, so... who knows.

Grace is also very scenic and if the previous two aren't available, maybe plan a trip in that area. Also Nellie with clear blue water.

The Crack is nice but IMHO scrambling through the rocks on the central quartzite ridge is nicer (there are three ridges separated by lakes)... an alternate is a trail going to Silver Peak, the highest point in the park (there will be others there)... and many other places to climb up into the rocks if you look at the sat photos on google for bare rocky ridges to climb up on. Off the trails you probably won't see anybody else and there's some remote quality to it all.

On 3-narrows the campsite on the point nearest the two long ports to Killarney is nice with a view of the central ridge and sunset and so is another on a peninsula with a view north near The (dreaded) Pig, the port to Baie Fine.

I didn't find any of the Norway campsites to be very good but it's been a while. Sandy is a nice small dead-end lake that might offer some peace and quiet but the campsite is less than ideal, small and crowded with pines.

The thing with Killarney in August is finding campsites in the first place... maybe worth repeating, find what's available and then make plans with those in mind... anyway, good luck.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2020, 12:51 pm 
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Thank you so much for your input! According to the reservation site, I’m not able to reserve for August until March 1st.... is there something I’m missing?

I’m glad you suggested some alternate routes. I will come up with a few backups in case I don’t get my first pick!

Again, thank you so much for your detailed feedback!


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2020, 10:33 pm 
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IMO, the best hiking in the park is up to the crack from the trail off kakakise. Killarney and OSA are 2 of the most beautiful lakes in the park. There is some excellent off trail hiking on the N side of Killarney. So I would recommend just doing a loop thru Kak and Kill with a side trip to OSA. Three Narrows is not nearly as spectacular as Kill or OSA. IMO, that's plenty for a week with kids(depending on their ages, I guess). Have fun!! Get on the net at 7AM 5 mo ahead of your trip date.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2020, 11:44 pm 
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Agree with wotrock, dump the Three Narrows portion!

You didn't mention the age of the kids, besides the Crack, hike the portage from Killarney to Three Narrows, hike the hills on the north side of Killarney, if you luck out with a site on OSA you could hike the old trail south to George Lake or just up to the top, great views from any of those peaks.

To me (who has none), kids mean shorter travel days, more stuff to carry and more camp chores.

Ideally, one night on Kakakise, two on Killarney, two on O.S.A. (or Muriel).

If it was my trip I would do three nights on Killarney (maybe on 2 different sites) and access the Crack from the Killarney to Kakakise portage trail eliminating over 4k, of portages, then off to O.S.A. for a couple of nights.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2020, 8:21 am 
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recped wrote:

If it was my trip I would do three nights on Killarney (maybe on 2 different sites) and access the Crack from the Killarney to Kakakise portage trail eliminating over 4k, of portages, then off to O.S.A. for a couple of nights.



I would do the same, but the OP had requested a loop. One of the great things about Kill is that you can combine very scenic hiking with very scenic paddling.(as the OP seems to recognize) On our first trip there we camped on Kill, hiked up to the crack and spent a fair while up there just soaking in the view, watching the vultures soar etc.

We have done a short but spectacular hike on the hills of OSA as well.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2020, 8:48 am 
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OfftheGrid wrote:
Thank you so much for your input! According to the reservation site, I’m not able to reserve for August until March 1st.... is there something I’m missing?


You are not missing anything. As others have mentioned, the will be quite a lot of competition for reservations on those lakes. Also, watch out for cancellations for those lakes in the coming months. I was fortunate to get OSA for 3 nights a couple of years back when somebody canceled.


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PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 2:11 pm 
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I'd be wanting to start my hike to the Crack at daybreak to avoid the crowds. I had thoughts of doing the crack in early Aug. 2019, but the sheer number of people and the pandemonium at the trail head parking lot quickly erased that idea. Even if you are starting from the interior, it'll be standing room only at the crest if you arrive mid-day.


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PostPosted: February 28th, 2020, 11:46 am 
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Thank you everyone for your great responses! In August my kids will be 12, 11, and 7. They’re active kids and have a lot of hiking experience (smokies, Yosemite, white mountains, Baxter, etc.) so I’m not too worried about their ability but will certainly take into account the amount of time I should allow. I’m lucky that my kids are homeschooled so we have flexibility in the dates we choose. I guess if I don’t get the lakes I want in the first try, I’ll wait a day?

I’ll drop three narrows. The crack will be a must early. I’m thinking of staying on Kakakise the night before so we can be close.

Can anyone chime in on a day trip to Topaz if we were to get a site on O.S.A. or Muriel? Is it worth is? Thanks!


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 8:17 am 
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Hello everyone! Just wanted to update you all since you were so helpful and reassuring when picking the route.

1st night on George Lake
2nd night on Kakakise (will hike the crack in the a.m.)
3rd night North East end of Killarney Lake
4th night on Killarney (moving sites so that we can paddle around, maybe do a hike...explore 3 narrows? still deciding on how we will fill each day)
5th night on Muriel so that we can take a side stop to Topaz!
6th night we will either keep our site for Killarney or move on and head back home. Added this as a buffer day since we have the kiddos

Please chime in with any thoughts on how to fill the days!


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 12:08 pm 
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Remember you only reserve a lake so there maybe no sites open in the north end of Killarney lake or if you move you may have to return to site you have
just vacated

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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 1:47 pm 
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Topaz Lake is beautiful, but if you hear the tour boat chugging up Baie Fin as you are approaching The Pig, it'll be dumping off 40-50 yahoos who'll you'll be sharing the Topaz experience with. If this is the case, I'd suggest you bushwack your way up to Pearl Lake and hang out there for a bit until they depart.


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 7:00 pm 
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Three Narrows does not have much of the stunning scenery that Killarney is famous for----just the run-of-the mill Cdn Shield gorgeous! :D I would not port a canoe up there. I might hike along the trail and check for opportunities for off-trail hiking. There are quite a few places you can do that from K and OSA---e.g. right behind site 24 just E of the 3N port. I would much rather do that than port to 3N. Bear in mind that you unlikely to not cover much dist in off-trail hiking.---photo ops etc.

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PostPosted: March 4th, 2020, 9:44 am 
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To add to Wotrock's site 24 info... if you happen tp be there on Killarney lake, it's an easy walk uphill to another "crack" feature. This one is a smaller thin crack about 1-2m wide which opened up at some time after glaciation since it isn't filled with boulders and gravel. Probably post-glacial rebound opened it as the earth's crust rose up unevenly afterwards. Anyway, it's a narrow and long crack showing movement in the quartzite... if anybody ever fell in there, they'd be wedged in tighter than a cork in a bottle... no skeletons visible.

Going further from there up and onto the ridge, there are several ponds easily accessible with maybe beavers swimming in them. Then Quartzite lake in a very rough cliffy area... not smooth going at all like before, and along some of the other glacially-smoothed ridgetops.

On Muriel, walking the port back to OSA leads to an easy climb up onto a high point on the north shore that overlooks OSA. A harder climb is up Gulch hill opposite the Muriel campsites... the eastern of the twin GH peaks is the one with the view that overlooks Georgian Bay, and a beaver pond in the hollow separating the two peaks. There's also a view north, to the central ridge and beyond... IIRC GH is second-highest peak in Killarney.

I didn't find Topaz lake to be all that spectacular but didn't climb any cliffs there, and didn't camp at the hiking trail campsites... Pearl on the east side of the port has a nice high point next to it that overlooks Baie Fine... anyway, enjoy.

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