Stratton Lake 2017

Stratton Lake, Algonquin Park – Family Trip Report

Friday August 4, 2017 to Monday August 7, 2017

20170806 185519The weather forecast for Friday was looking pretty bad…70% chance of 15-20 mm rain, chance of thunder showers and 40+ km/hr wind gusts. After a lot of discussion the Dignard family (Cory, Kylah, Dylan and Riley) decided to take a chance and still go up on the Friday, and the Henry’s (Chrystal and Paige) would join us on Saturday.

Luckily our gamble paid off, and after a short walk on the Barron Canyon Trail and a picnic lunch we launched from Achray under sunny skies. With Cory and Riley (8) in one canoe and Kylah and Dylan (10) in another canoe, we made our way across Grand Lake, over a short 30 m portage and headed for the far end of Stratton Lake. After checking out some sites around the point near the High Falls area, we went back to the last site before the point, which had lots of open space and a small sandy beach. We managed to get our site setup and have a late dinner before a thunder storm rolled into the area around 8pm, so we climbed into the tent for some much deserved rest.

We had a few sun showers throughout the day, so we spent the day collecting fire wood, reading books and fishing from shore. Dylan caught a small Pumpkinseed fish, but the fish were mostly just eating the boys bait.

Chrystal and Paige (12) arrived in the early afternoon, just in time for us to have lunch together. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of chili and garlic bread that Chrystal had prepared, then relaxed around a nice campfire and of course roasted marshmallows and s’mores!

Thankfully the weather on Sunday turned out to be great for the highlight of our weekend, a trip to the High Falls area. Dylan wanted to practice his sterning skills so he and Riley ventured out in one canoe, Cory and Kylah in a second, and Chrystal and Paige in a third. After a short paddle and hike we arrived at High Falls. We all enjoyed going down the natural water slide, jumping off rocks, swimming, relaxing in the currents, and an excursion to see the High Falls. 

We headed back to our site to start preparing for the second highlight of our trip, stone oven pizzas! After building up a good bed of coals, heating the rocks, cutting all the ingredients, and building the stone oven we were finally ready to start cooking pizzas. The pizzas were great and was just icing on the cake of an already wonderful day.

Paige went for a swim and discovered she could still touch bottom in the middle of the lake, which made her mother nervous of course! Chrystal and Paige went for a short paddle to enjoy the beautiful sunset. We built up the fire again (not as good as Xuan’s though, haha), enjoyed each other’s company and of course more roasted marshmallows and s’mores! Under a bright moon and some stars, we all went out for a late night paddle to further take in the view, just in time before the clouds rolled in. The weather was beautiful again for our return journey, giving Chrystal and Paige a chance for a swim in Grand Lake. 

We would like to say a special thank-you to the past and present executive and volunteers of the RA Centre Canoe Camping Club (formerly known as the Y Canoe Camping Club), for all the effort they put into making adventures like this possible! For our trip we borrowed a tarp made in 1989 among other equipment more than 20 years old, all still in good shape, thanks to the care and effort of many volunteers in the clubs 65+ year long history.

See below for some photos of the trip.


Riley taking in the view from Barron Canyon Trail

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Paige and Chrystal

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Dylan's Pumpkinseed fish he caught

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Riley (bow) and Dylan (stern) on their way to High Falls

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High Falls area

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Riley, Kylah, Chrystal, Cory and Paige at the top of High Falls


Kylah relaxing in the currents


Stone oven pizza's

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Saturday evening sunset

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Paige and Chrystal out for a beautiful sunset paddle

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