The Blue Seas Lakes are an unsurprisingly popular destination for most people visiting the park. The turquoise waters are rare to see in a Lake, especially in Ontario, where you wouldn’t find a glacier lake like you would in the Rockies. But how do you get there? What can you expect for the trip out there?
Earlier this summer I made a trip up there, both hiking and paddling my way there. To start off, the Blue Seas Lakes are located in the far North-East corner of the park. To get there, you must drive across MacKenzie lane, the only vehicle passable road in the park. This road is an old logging road, and although we’ve tried to fill in pot holes and remove large rocks, it’s rugged terrain weaving through wetlands and forests and even some sandy patches. You need to drive slowly and carefully, but this allows you to take in the scenery around you and maybe even spot some wildlife.
Once you reach the turn-off for the Blue Seas you will drive up a hill to the parking area. From there, you set off on foot. The trail is wide and follows an old ATV trail that we are letting narrow over time. After a few minutes, you will be able to see Dixon lake peaking through the trees. You will see the turn off for Dixon, but we passed it and continued on, heading North.
There’s a creek crossing that has some active beavers. Sometimes the dam is strong and the creek is easy to cross, sometimes the dam has broken and you might get your feet wet. On our way out, the creek was flowing and we hopped on the board walk. On our way back the next day, the beavers had built a dam using the boardwalk. It’s practically a full time job keeping up with the beaver activity in this park.
There’s also a second creek with a boardwalk which we crossed. It was a hot day so our dog decided to swim across to cool off. We considered it too.
We started to begin a gradual ascent to higher ground. No more creek crossings up here. Eventually we reached another fork in the trail. The option to continue straight would have kept us on the turquoise trail and wound around the East side of the lakes. You can hike directly to campsite 114 from here. Instead, we went left towards the South Canoe Cache. It was about 450m from the trail to the canoe cache. Eventually we stopped going up hill and took a steep descent down to see the lake and the orange boats waiting by the shore. Overall, the hike was just over 3km and took us about 45 minutes.
We grabbed a canoe and loaded up the boat with our gear, grabbed some PFD’s and paddles and set off. We decided to paddle around the lake to check-out some of the campsites. We paddled right from the cache and spotted campsite 115. This site is set up from the lake with a rocky shore and a bench overlooking the waters. Around the bend we spotted 114, which faces into it’s own bay on a little peninsula.
From there, we paddled back out and went North towards the Northern-most Blue Seas Lake. Towards the end of summer as the water levels go down, it was a marshy landing reaching the portage. It had also been raining a lot recently, so the ground was soft. We heaved the boat up and portaged it the ~10m to the otherside. Once we got to the other side, we realized there was a trail that took us to campsite 110. We normally would have paddled over, but it looked like a storm was rolling in so we decided to turn the canoe over and make our way to the campsite on foot. It took only a couple minutes before we were there.
Typically, we don’t let guests camp right on the North lake very often because of how sensitive the ecosystem is. Campsite 110 is usually used as a day-use spot. The ground there is also really rugged so it’s hard to find a good spot for a tent, unless you have a very tiny tent!
The best thing about this site is the rock that jets out from the shore. There’s a steep drop off at the end of it, which makes it a wonderful swimming spot. After we had arrived we were sweaty and tired and it was the most refreshing thing to jump off the end, into the turquoise waters. Some light rain had started which made the water feel warm.
On the opposite side of the lake, you can spot a few of our orange canoes on the shore at the North canoe cache. If we had hiked around the lakes instead of paddled, we would have wound up at the North end and been able to paddle in from there. The trail around the lake has some steep ridges and incredible views of the turquoise waters below.
The trip back out was just as easy as the trip in. We went back the way we came, hiking back to the canoe, portaging it 10m then paddling 500m to the South cache. We pulled the canoe back up and put away our paddles and PFD’s and hiked back out to the car. The deer fly’s were pretty bad, so we made sure to wear bug jackets on our way out which made a big difference.
For anyone looking for an easy way to reach the Blue Seas Lakes for a night or two (or more!), with some canoeing experience, this is the route that I would recommend.