Into the Crack!
Within Killarney Provincial Park resides the infamous “The Crack Trail” (insert muffled girly giggling), yes that is its official name. The trail begins nice and easy, as you follow an old logging road winding through the forest. Bug spray is definitely a must, as you meander through the dense green woodland and along the groomed trail. It definitely brings up the question, why is this trail labelled difficult. After crossing a crumbling bridge with a spectacular picturesque view of Kakakise Creek, the trail escalates in difficulty.
The path becomes quite littered with exposed tree roots and rocks galore. While passing along the edge of the beautiful clear waters of Kakakise Lake the terrain began to incline quite sharply. Quartzite outcrops glisten in the sunlight as you scale up and over these beautiful white ridges. The markers for the trail start to appear on rock faces and trees, so more attention needs to be paid when looking for the next step. From this vantage point you can see the a high ridge to the north, which is Killarney Ridge, where you will be standing with a bit more time and effort.
We met many people once we reached this point on the hike, they were all super nice and encouraging, saying the view was worth it. It is almost as if you are part of a club with many people motivating and cheering you on. When you finally make it towards “The Crack” you may gasp and simply want to turn away. The ascent is quite literally a crack in the quartzite ridge enabling hikers to get access to the top. You will climb up and over a cascade of car sized boulders, using both your hands and feet skillfully navigate the way. The Crack can be quite challenging, so it is best to take your time. Once at the top you have finally reached Killarney Ridge, within the La Cloche Mountains.
Congratulations! The reward for your perilous climb is a spectacular view second to none. You will view lush green forests sprawled out beneath and pristine blue waters of many lakes and rivers. The panoramic vista allows you to look upon Killarney Lake, O.S.A. Lake, and further past you may be able to get a glimpse of Baie Fine, a freshwater fjord off Georgian Bay. While on Killarney Ridge take a look around, there are so many views to behold. Take a few extra steps in a different direction than everyone else, and maybe you can find a view that is new to behold. Even though the second half of the trek is much more difficult, the accomplishment is immense, as it is rated one of the best hikes in Ontario.
Quick Trail Information:
***This trail is not a loop! Upon reaching “The Crack” hikers must return along the same trail. If the trail is continued hikers will be on the 78km journey along the Silhouette Trail.
Access: The parking lot for this hike can be quite difficult to find as there is no signage on Hwy.637. The location of the parking lot can be found on the northern side of the highway (left hand side if driving from the George Lake camground - KPP main office). It is approximately 7km east from George Lake camground and 1.5km west of Carlyle Lake Access Rd.
Trail Length: Approximately 6km round trip
Time: Approximately 4 hours
Difficulty: Difficult includes steep terrain
Caution: Involves some steep climbs and difficult sections, should feel fit and have sturdy footwear
Helpful Safe Hiking Tips:
- Sturdy hiking boots are recommend.
- Know you limits and respect them. You are ultimately responsible for your own safety.
- In wet conditions, the rocks are very slippery, so be careful!
- You have to pay attention and look for the trail markers, no groomed trails!
- The trail goes through marsh/forest bring bug spray!
A few good essentials: first aid kit, map, compass, sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, snacks, camera, binoculars, rain gear.
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