|"O.K. I'll make you a deal. Don't tell your family where we are and I'll stop giving you the stink eye," Deer.|
"Stupid deer" Me.
|Bev in welcome/tah dah pose at site 236 at Restoule.|
|Pave this trail and it's a scene from Miller's Crossing.|
I now must confess. We decided that we were only going to stay one night at this park sometime during our first day and when you do that, you have to be choosy on what you do and what you skip. I don't feel right anymore only going to a park for a night and reviewing it, because I find that you always miss something (maybe a second night?). On that note, the other two hikes are Gibs Trail (? km) which is a linear trail meaning at some point you have to choose to turn around and travel the same path back. Gibs travels outside the park into crown land which I worry about because I think I would want to see the end of the unmarked, unmaintained trail and may never be seen again. If we had the time I think this would have been our favourite trail and many a mushroom would have perished. Lastly, Fire Tower Trail (7km) is a challenging hike to the top of the bluffs and a historical fire tower. We did the tiniest bit of this hike through a pine bush and enjoyed it, however I have to assume if you have seen one fire tower you have seen them all.
|There, now you've seen one.|
It may seem like we didn't enjoy ourselves at Restoule and that is simply untrue. We walked down to the beautiful beach, we did as many hikes as we had time for, and we checked out the entire campsite which is mostly a smart set up, with many sites at various elevations so no site is staring at their neighbours. Due to this, I was confused by a bit of the history. This park was originally a farm, but with all the hills I have to wonder what they were farming?
|One of the Beaches at Restoule. Pretty eh?|
In an effort to include other points of view I want to say that a friend of mine, Charles Lehmann, really had a bad time here. Upon further questioning (using the comfy chair and the pointy cushions), he admitted his drive to the park was long and uncomfortable, the water was too warm, the floor of the lake was mucky, he had a run in with an Ontario outhouse cobra and there was a fire ban.
|Charles after his run in with the Ontario outhouse Cobra!|
|Steak, and wild mushrooms. I'm sure we had a vegetable not pictured here.|
Privacy: Decent. There are private sites (look at the suggestions) and if you set up your equipment you can block sight lines to other campsites.
Hiking and Activities: Very Good and by that I mean there are quite a lot. I was impressed with the amount of hikes, if you like canoeing you could easily spend 5-7 days at this park. They also have programs run by the campground during the high season.
Park Class: I'm guessing recreation.... and I am wrong. This park is a Natural Environment class of park which means: "Natural Environment Parks are selected to protect large, representative, and ecologically viable areas throughout Ontario." I really am no good at this game.
Beach Quality or Ease of Getting to the Water: You can get to the water from every site within minutes. The beach quality was good, but to be honest we just got our feet wet due to the weather so I can't be sure Charles wasn't correct in his assessment of the water quality. Note that you can also swim at Stormy Lake.
Recommended Length of Stay: If you are canoeing then you could stay for two weeks in the back country enjoying yourself, but if you are on a family trip I would suggest 4 days. A hike a day, a swim a day and rent a canoe for a day to check out some of the close lakes and fishing.
Overall Impression: I liked Restoule, but we were there at a good time of year for me. Privacy I think would be an issue if this park was full and it wouldn't be hard to fill that beach in the same circumstances and if the bottom is all weeds and muck well then you might not want to be in the water for long. Two of the hikes were silly easy, but they had three that were/would have been fun.
Rating out of 107: Tough call really because I liked it and it has drawbacks, but I think it has to fall at #52 for all those times I played cards with my family and was left cleaning the floor of the cards.
Again if you're keeping track:
#22 Wakami Lake
|Hygrophorus Russula. Edible.|
|Amanita Flavoconia or Yellow Patches. Poisonous.|