Killarney Provincial Park - La Cloche Silhouette Trail

July-August 2005

Andrew Smith

This is an illustrated account of my vacation to the 'one of the few in Ontario' wilderness parks. Mostly I wanted to relax (mentally), get away from people and computers and also get some excercise (a programmer really does sit on his ass all day). It was a successfull vacation. The pictures are not all perfect as I wished they would be, I have very little experience using a digital camera. All that automation makes it very different from the good old Zenit I'm used to (soviet era non-digital camera) so some things are darker or lighter then I wanted them. Still, a couple look great on the computer's background. There aren't as many pictures as I wished because the camera was in the pack and I wouldn't often take it off just for a snap.

I started on the evening of the 30th of July. Left Toronto at about 11:00 but spent an awfull 4 hours just getting to Barrie, never found out whether something happened on the highway or that's normal 400 traffic. As a result I arrived at the park much later then I wished, around 18:00. Having made no reservation I was lucky to get in, this is the busiest time of the year for parks. Was supposed to get to my first campsite later that evening, an easy 2 hour walk to an unnamed lake south of Acid lake (H3).

Now it may have been my fault (this was my first wilderness trail in Canada) but that stupid sign was pointing left! I ended up going the wrong way (left) on the plateau north of Lumsden lake. Now that I look at the map it's dead obvious what I did but at the time it wasn't. I set up the tent across a stream from site H2.

Found my way easily after being told the general direction to go by the campers at H2. A couple of hours later it started to rain. Lasted on and off most of the day. Later i would become sure of what I suspected at this point - rain is better then scorching heat :)

Nothing much happend then until I got to the Baie Fine - Threenarrows portage. That seemed a seriously long and relatively steep straight climb. Don't see myself carying a canoe across that. At the top of that climb I made a picture. The picture's not bad but the reality is better. of course it could have been that I was very happy the climb is over:

Baie Fine -
        Threenarrows portage

A few minutes later I was enjoying a magnificent view of the Threenarrows lake and the green, steep slope down. The picture just doesn't do it justice:

Threenarrows from south

Going along Kirk creek I spotted a small deer (or whatever it was) lazily standing in the water. This was taken with a 3x optical zoom:


Some time later along the same creek I saw this impressively big evergreen standing all alone on a tiny protrusion from that cliff:

Tree on rock

The last picture on Kirk creek. To take this one i had to crawl about 5 meters into the water on a dead tree trunk. Fun but the picture isn't so good:

Water lily

Oh wow, that wasn't the last one.. here's another. I don't know if you can tell but these plants are almost as tall as me. They seem to only grow in or very close to swamps:

Swamp flowers

Some place not far south of my campsite for the night, looking across a narrow part of the Threenarrows lake:


Set up my tent at H18. Looking down across the water was a rustic-looking cabin on an unnamed island. A family came there and made a lot of noise with a small motor boat and a loud child excited avout catching fish (I think). They left after a couple of hours:


Have no nice pictures of the next day. Slept at H23, between the Threenarrows section and the Hansen Township section on the (nearly dead) creek flowing into Threenarrows from the north.

Day after started early and immediatly had a steep climb onto the top of the La Cloche 'Mountains'. They're hills really but from the following pictures you may think I was above the clouds. It is simply fog. Again, much more impressve in reality:

Above fog 1

Above fog 2

These three are looking south from the same hills. Don't remember where exactly. They're different places in between the above and the following :)

Looking south

Looking south 2

Looking south 3

My campsite for the night was at beautifull Little Mountain lake. These were taken as I was going down the steep hills west of it:

        mountain lake 1

        mountain lake 2

Next day I had a nice view looking south from up the hills east of the Boudary-David portage. Didn't make pictures because of the mist.

The following two are of the swamp in the east end of Bondary lake:

Boundary lake swamp

Boundary lake swamp

Soon after the trail split - one end went into what I expect are the real mountains, ending at the Silver Peak. Didn't go there because I didn't feel up to a tough 300 meter climb with the pack on my back. Instead I continued east and this is looking north onto an unnamed long lake, can only see a small part of it:

Small lake

Camsite was H37, the one more to the north of Silver lake. Didn't make pictures probably because I felt disgusted by the mess some poeple left at the campsite.

Next day was supposed to be the toughest on the trip. Silver lake - Sealy lake across all the rest of the hills. It ended up being even tougher since I decided to forget Sealy lake and go directly to the finish. A twelve hour marathon - both up/down a lot of steep hills and 2-3 hours across the final section of the trail.

This is looking west from up the hills just south of Silver lake:

Looking west

Can't remember which lake this is but it would be one of those north-west of the trail before the Norway-Kakakise portage:

north west

This one is either Proulx or Little Superior or Shingwak lake:

Across the lake

From up on top of the last serious climb:

Last serious

There are a lot of very impressive rocks on the way down the last hills. This is one of them.


By the time I reached the flat area past Sealy lake, I realised I never had the option of stopping there because there are no lakes with clean water there. All I could see was swamps and having no water filter I would only drink out of them if it was a matter of survival.

No pictures there for several reasons. One is that I was so excited I would hardly stop at all. Two is that I was so tired I didn't have the energy to make pictures when I did stop. And three, it started to rain.

Anyway, this portion of the trail is the least impressive, possibly it is the most traveled.

There are granite rocks to be seen west of the Wagon Road lake all the way to the George lake campground. They make a nice change (red) from the white quartz everywhere else. Now I wish I made at least one picture there.

Some final notes:

You have to be fit to finish the trail. Either that or crazy like me.

If you start the trail going west, know that the first day or two (before the La Cloche mountains) are the easiest, there is much more challenging terrain later. If you start going east, know that the nearly flat terrain before the Kakakise creek is unique to that section of the trail but the Killarney ridge that follows is of the toughest.

Don't be a disgusting pig. It costs you almost zero effort to put that bit of tinfoil or paper napkin into a ziplock bag and carry it back to George lake. Remember that tinfoil doesn't burn at all (dry soup packets are made of tinfoil covered with paper) and plastic looks like it burns but sometimes it just turns black and you can't see it. Please keep the park clean, a tiny bit of paper can easily spoil the feeling of wilderness you get in this park.

All pictures on this page are mine. They are, whatdoyoucallit, copyrighted? Feel free to copy them and whatever but please mention the author and a link to this page.

If you have questions for me, please use this form.

Other trips of mine.