North Shore Rugged Trail, Parry Sound
There are no shortage of provincial parks or trails along the eastern side of the Georgian Bay so to be honest I’m not sure how I chose the North Shore Rugged Trail. I’m guessing that since the trail followed the lake shore – which was pretty much my only criterion – and was close to where we were staying it seemed like something we should do though it does seem pretty random looking back almost 6 months later.
The trail is about 6km long but in characteristic fashion we somehow ended up walking a bit more than that do the combination of explorations of all the peninsulas and the occasional losing of the trail. The latter wasn’t difficult to do since the route was overgrown in many places and/or crossed bare rock but we each time we got off track we just turned toward the bay so it wasn’t a big deal. The overgrowth and narrow track pointed to the trail’s relative disuse however, and that was what made me question why I had selected the it.
The hike featured abundant sections of fractured Canadian Shield and brushy, lakeside vegetation as well as some areas of windswept pine for which the Parry Sound area is famous; much of it was quite striking. As we wove our way in and our of the tree cover we spent time inspecting the twisted gneiss and rock pools, watching the soaring hawks overhead, and enjoying the views across the cloudy bay. As the heavy gray clouds moved off over the course of the afternoon I was able to capture some bright shots with sunny, blue skies, but many of my photos were darkened and I was unable to capture some of the more interesting textures of the rock which was too bad. But it really was a pleasant jaunt and I’m glad that – however it’d happened – that I’d discovered it.
Looks interesting, but I understand that it is hard to follow at times. Is there are proper trailhead location or can people just park at the end of the Smelter Wharf Road?
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Thank you, Glen! We did find it difficult to follow in places, and we often just kept an eye on the shore. We parked at the end of the road/parking lot right next to the water; there is a trailhead sign there which is how we knew we were in the right place.
We’ll have to check it out in the spring I think. The Parry Sound area is a great location to get to.
Happy New Year!!