Fushimi Lake Provincial Park
Access by canoe to Hanlan, Wolverine, Pivabiska and Ste-Thérèse Lake. Countless service roads to explore the wilderness, far away from the daily noise
|GPS Coordinates are 49.841314, -83.960877.|
Link on Google Maps
The park is just over 40 km north-west of Hearst in Ontario. From hwy 11, exit to Fushimi Road. The 13 km gravel road leads to the provincial park sign. From there, it is another 3 km to the campground gate. This is a small campground with less than 50 sites. The facilities are up-to-date. The campground is far away from any highway traffic noise. The Fushimi Road that got us to the park continues for many more kilometers into the wilderness. But more about Fushimi Road later.
The Carey Lake near Hwy 11 has an airfield and it is an active float plane aerdrome. We could hear and see some planes and helicopters. This is a popular spot for fly-in fishing and hunting parties. We thought that this added some authenticity to the whole wilderness experience while we were staying up there.
Hwy 11 is the northern east-west highway corridor. Hearst is 580 km from North Bay, and 950 km from Mississauga (or Toronto). A big sign in Hearst claims that here is the last McDonald for over 500 km. From our previous travels we know that this is correct.
The highway has some truck traffic, but the road is in good condition and about every 10 km is a passing lane. There are countless service roads exiting to the north and south. These roads allow access to amazing fishing lakes and rivers. They are also great access roads for wildlife encounters, camping in the wild and escaping from civilization . There is simply nothing else than raw nature up there.
The distance to any larger city makes Fushimi Lake PP not very appealing for weekend camping. We came here during the second half of September. Actually, we picked the last two weeks before the park closed. We noticed that only a few other sites were occupied.
Most sites are big enough to fit any size of camper and they are nicely spaced to provide some privacy. The night sky is filled with stars and the milky way can be seen without any effort. That's when I noticed that I left my tripod at home.
Two hiking trails start from the campground, the Achilles Lake Trail and the Fire Trail. The Achilles Lake Trail is only 400 meters and ends at a dock and a bench. The Fire Trail is more demanding.
When we hiked the Fire Trail, the forecast promised rain in the afternoon. We left early to take advantage of the 15 degrees and mostly sunny morning. According to the sign, one way was 3.5 km, the tracker app on the phone showed over 9 km by the time we were back.
Don't be fooled by the wide and flat trail after the trail head. This changed very fast. The trail got narrow and some parts were wet. We have had rain the past few days and the mud had taken over in a few places. With the exposed roots and uneven terrain, this trail is best enjoyed with good shoes. The trail follows the beach and the view over Lake Fushimi is amazing.
The Fire Tower cabin is falling apart and a skeleton of the wood stove inside is rusting away. A backcountry campsite is down by the lake, complete with a fire pit and a bench. The hike up to the fire tower is longer than we expected. The platform on top is in bad shape and, as we found out later, home to an Osprey. The 'No Climbing' sign is meant to keep people from going up to the top, but the condition of the structure is reason enough to stay on solid ground. A soft carpet of lichens around the tower covered the rocky ground. Looking close, the miniature world is beautifully complex and colourful.
Dramatic clouds were rolling in, we could see the rain in the far distance. Not even 5 minutes after we returned to the campsite, the heavens opened and would have soaked us in no time.
North of the campground is the Achilles Lake. The hike is very short but well worth multiple visits. In the evening, the sun sets over the lake and, with some luck, the lake may be calm and the red sky reflects on it. Well, we were not that lucky. However, I spent some time on the dock to catch a fish and I was lucky.
All my successful fishing was from the dock at Achilles Lake. We had a Northern Pike with potatoes and zucchini for lunch. My fileting skills do need refining, there were too many bones left in the filets. The fish was very tasty without any fishy taste, firm flakes and perfectly dressed with olive oil, pepper and salt.
I went out on Fushimi Lake in a canoe, but didn't catch a reasonable-sized fish. When I was reading about fishing in the lakes, they were highly praised for the abundance of Walley and Pike. The only access to the lake is from the Provincial Park (not counting the connector streams). It was overcast with some very light rain at the time. The scenery was breathtaking.
Our first off-road trip was on Fushimi Road. Click 'Next Page' below to read all about it.
On September 17, 2022, the Moose hunting season started. We noticed the many hunting camps on crown land during our Bannerman Road trip. Our second week here will be busier than expected. With hunting in full swing, we try to stay out of active hunting grounds.
The last trip was along Missinaibi River Road. We were trying to catch a glimps of the rapids and waterfalls. Instead, we caught a flat tire. Keep on reading the next pages to see the beauty of the north.
With the canoe on the lakes
Fushimi Lake is in a provincial park. From here, four other lakes are accessible by canoe. We had a look at them all, by canoe and by Jeep. The area here is breathtaking, a great mix of service roads to explore the wilderness, lakes to fish and canoe and Hearst very close to the park to buy supplies. This was not the last time that we spent time up here at Fushimi Lake Provincial Park.