Wednesday, September 6, 2017


The last of our two visits to the cottage this summer was without Rudi, who had a one week session at Camp Oochageas near Huntsville.  We left Tavistock before lunch on Sunday, driving across country via Arthur and Creemore to arrive at the camp for the three pm drop off time, then drove to the cottage via Highway 60, the West and East gates of the park Park, and Whitney and Madawaska, arriving in time for dinner with John and Susan.

I had decided sometime during our week at the cottage to take Alexander on a day trip into Algonquin, and rather than the Barron Canyon, which is always spectacular, I felt that finding High Falls would be a great in and out trip for an enjoyable day.  Two summers earlier, Rudi and I along with uncle John and his friend Chris did an overnight into Achray and Barron, and on the second day we went upstream on the Barron river, eventually seeing a series of waterfalls draining into High Falls lake, but only on returning home and checking maps did I determine we did not find High Falls themselves, but an imposter on an adjacent arm of the river.

So later in the week, with the canoe already topped on the van the night before, Alexander and I left the cottage bright and early at 7:30, arrived at Sand Lake Access at 8:45, and after buying out permit, driving to the small lot at Brigham Lake, were on the water before 9:30 AM.

Canoeing up "The Cascades", a series of small lakes separated by short stretches of the Barron River with low cascades and rapids and small waterfalls... There are four portages from the Brigham Lake put in to High Falls Lake

Looking west along the north shore of High Falls Lake, it appears a small swath of the forest ahead of the bow is suffering from disease, likely a bark borer.

The river inlet into High Falls Lake.  This is the easiest to locate, as it is very open and plain to see, and near the take out for the portage to St. Andrews Lake.  About three hundred metres to the right of the canoe, however, is a second inlet, that drains Stratton Lake via High Falls.

After leaving the canoe near the put in, we located the unmarked and unofficial trail that leads along this second river (that drains Stratton Lake) and to High Falls, pictured above... Well it probably is one of three decent waterfalls that could be called High Falls.

Another view of what is likely High Falls, the lower of three waterfalls on the Barron River draining Stratton Lake into High Falls Lake.

A small water slide that drains a small amount of the flow of the one arm of the Barron River from St. Andrews Lake into the other arm from Stratton Lake. Alexander jumped in to provide some scale, the slide was about twenty feet in height.

These are not High Falls, but are one of the falls on the Barron River draining St. Andrews Lake into High Falls lake. My bowman Alex for scale, this step of the staircase is about fifteen feet tall.

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