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Climbing Again
Slide Lake
Slide Lake
Southern Rib
The flies ensured that we did not linger too long at our high lookout over the lake, and soon we were moving northward again. The trail quickly descended to lakeshore level, and then quickly again back up onto the crest of another rib, then down again and then back up again. Then came a nice long section of high ground immediately above Slide Lake's western margin. It was more in the open than not, giving good views across the lake and to the opposite shore, which was actually quite close (the lake is long and narrow). Soon we'd be hiking in the forest over on that side, on our way back south towards the completion of our loop.
Down at Lakeshore
Rocky Shoreline
Scenic Shoreline Hiking
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Orange mushroom growth
Whale's Back
Lakeside ridge hiking
The northern part of Slide Lake offered us the most challenging bit of hiking on the loop. A couple of deeper trenches between the rock ribs allowed water from neighbouring lakes to pour in, and to negotiate these sections, the trail had to switchback down into and then back out of these low areas (sometimes across bridges) and then back up again. I'll repeat that against the grand scale of hiking difficulties, these were not very big down and ups - perhaps a hundred feet at most, and probably not even that. Still, the twisty-turny back and forth and small downs and ups made the hiking interesting.
So many ridges
About to Bear Right
Crossing an inlet
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Curious signage
Beaverland
up to the next rib
courtesy JInnes
Open laneway
Ochre Moss
Expansive open bit
Along this stretch we came to the North Slide Junction, where the larger Slide Lake Loop route rejoined with our smaller version. We continued following the trail parallelling Slide Lake's shoreline. Here there is probably the biggest and steepest climb of the whole day, a 75-foot ascent up a brushy gully. Above the gully, the trail immediately resumed its general tendency towards easy grades, leading gradually down and then around the very northern tip of Slide Lake, which at this point is only a shallow little finger of water.
courtesy JInnes
Inflow Bridge
North Slide Junction
Beaver Engineering
courtesy BConnell
Crossing the inflow
Steepest Climb of the day
Northern tip of Slide Lake
The trail immediately bent south after rounding Slide Lake's northern tip, and climbed onto a fairly high ridge. From here the trail began a very nice stretch were it traversed along, now with views to much larger Buck lake to the east. A few paces beyond one sees the waters of Slide Lake on the right. The rock rib we were on is a fairly narrow strip of land that bisects the two larger bodies of water.
courtesy BConnell
Buck Lake Panorama
courtesy BConnell
Beautiful path between Buck and Slide
Slide-Buck Portage Point
Little forest ponds
Looking to where we were
Nearing the Slide-Buck hydro connection
Slide-Buck drain
Slide Lake and Buck Lake are in quite close proximity here (Slide Lake being the higher), and soon we came to a very nice spot - the spot where Slide Lake's water has managed to find the way over to lower Buck Lake: a very pleasant winding connector stream, in a shallow gorge, with several little cascades and waterfalls. This is a very cool little spot, and one of the nicer attractions along this hike.
Cascade down to Buck
Ontario's Wildflower
Negotiating the connector
The others went on ahead for a bit while I endured some particularly bad black flies to get some long exposure shots of the cascades and waterfall, until I couldn't take it anymore, and ran to catch up with the rest of the group. The narrow strip of land separating Buck and Slide got even narrower here, and it was easy to take a shot from the narrow crest - a shot that shows the waters of Slide on the right and Buck on the left. It wouldn't take too much work to blast a deep trench through this rib and there would soon be nothing left of Slide Lake...
courtesy JInnes
Rushing Connector Stream
Falls into Buck Lake
Still, Shady Rock Pond
Not much separation between lakes
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