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Author Topic: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31  (Read 861 times)

Offline Marko_Mrko

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Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« on: December 31, 2018, 08:33:33 pm »
Hi all,

We were gonna visit Algonquin, but changed our minds because of the rain - went to Cyprus Lake (just south of Tobermory, ON). It's a national park on the tip of the Bruce Trail.

Camping options:
1) Front country - Tamarack campground. Park in a designated parking lot - walk 50-100m to the campsites. We chose one closest to the lake. There were only two other groups. Two suboptimal things:

  • The wood. The website says you can't bring own wood. Cutting down any wood is forbidden. There is no wood at the self-check-in, and it says you should bring own wood. Once you get to the campground, there is a shed with wood for purchase right inside the Tamarack campground (by campsite 237 - $5 for a fairly decent amount). However, it's completely waterlogged. Totally. It's worse than burning wet wool socks. We had to drive to Tobermory and purchase dry wood.
  • Privies. There are none, despite the fact that the website says there's a privy at every campsite. The only bathrooms are at the day-use trailhead. It's a bit of a walk, as it's not cool to dig cat holes 20m away from summer camp sites.


2) Back country:
- Stormhaven, Half-way dump and High Dump (seriously, who made these names?)
- there is no burning of any kind of fire at all, and the camping is on wood platforms. So only cold-camping.

It's only 3.5 hours from London, so we left at 7 and were at the camp by 11. Temps were around -10C. Had a lovely walk to the grotto. The next day, it was around -2C, hiked to StormHaven, then the grotto again. There were lots of day-trippers checking out the grotto, but only a couple of groups hiking to StormHaven. There was only a dusting of snow, but the rocks were pretty icy. The $45 Yaktrax running crampons (I stole them from my wife) worked well, the cheaper knock-offs kept slipping off my buddy's feet, and one broke.

I was with two other buddies, they slept in the Atuk Alaskan, I slept in the Uber Bivy (with the WM bag). I was toasty all night, but there was quite a bit of moisture on the inside of the bivy and outside the sleeping bag in the morning - I was glad to dry the bag in the tent in the morning. I was also glad to not have to make breakfast in -10C temps: +25 C in the tent was very lovely.

Beautiful scenery, I think it's worthwhile visiting for a couple of days (bring your own wood!!!)











Happy New Year!
Marko

PS. Yes, there were two guys wearing wet suits, swimming and cliff jumping. People think winter camping is crazy, so who am I to judge...

Offline cousin Pete

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 10:13:34 am »
Hello Marko_Mrko:  Congrats on getting out for a trip.  I am glad you finally obtained some decent wood to burn in the stove.  Nice scenery.  Thanks for sharing. 

Take care,
Cousin Pete
"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." - G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908

Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 09:13:20 am »
Well I am very glad you enjoyed BPNP. Other then the first few years it was a NP when the wood was free the wood has sucked.( pun intended) . In the good old days when the Bruce was being clear cut they name Stornmhaven, one of the few places to hide from the justly famous Tip of the Bruce storms, all the ship wrecks might be a clue, Half way dump and High dump where places that logs were pushed or dumped over the escarpment.
Now the toilets. They are a big problem for BPNP. When Parks Canada took over from the Provence the Park was closed for the winter. CLPP a big day at the Grotto was a few hundred visitors now a big day may make it to a thousand per hour. Why you must book a visiting time. Putting in a sewer system would cost million.
I have a feeling you and your buddies will enjoy Deep Freeze ( Crown Land Camping) . There are several people from South West Ontario that come . If you post an inquiry on MYCCR.com Canadian Canoe Routes or just watch Wintertrekking you can pick up all the info. The camp is Family Day weekend February 16 to 24. 2019
Macgregor Provincial Park at Port Elgin has winter camping. An hour closer to London but not near the quality of scenery as BPNP. Deep Freeze only has a parking fee to pay for clearing the lot. Free wood up to you to split.
Enjoy. Winter is the best camping.
Cassin/Dave
“ We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” Stephen Hawking. 1942 - 2018

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Offline walknabout

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 11:29:21 am »
Looks like you guys made best of the conditions, thanks for sharing the adventure.
Cold campers get mad respects for what they do....crazy dudes cliff jumping into Georgian Bay in December are sooooo on another level of wickedness ;D ;D :o 8)

Offline K.

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 07:06:25 pm »
Great photo! BPNP is a bit of a cautionary tale in some ways. They've overachieved on summertime visits, but it sounds like they aren't making much of an effort in the wintertime. But the numbers are now saying the opposite should become the strategy. Maybe these guys tried to go cliff jumping in the summer and couldn't get grotto tickets! so they came back when there was no more crowds haha.

Offline GearFreak

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 08:00:47 pm »
Wanted to add - great report as well.  A trip to Tobermory is on my Dive location bucket list.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline Marko_Mrko

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Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 09:03:59 am »
Thanks guys!

Very interesting about the history. The last time I was at the park was in the late 90s - it's certainly changed! Lottery for access?!?!! Nuts. Nice place to visit in the winter though...

I've been wanting to go to the Deep Freeze for the last 4 years - something always comes up  >:(   This year, I'm in Hawaii until the 17th (haha poor me).



Cheers
Marko