I'm almost 62 now, going again on the 26th to do the small loop. Thanks!! My wife and I are in good shape and we struggled with it- make sure to have bug jackets, pack light-ish and have good shoes. We served everything over rice. Leave-no-trace! The trail is incredibly well marked, with blue / yellow markers regularly posted on trees. I’ve included a map below to help. Definitely recommend this as a two day trip. The section between Provoking Lake and Harness Lake is fairly boring but you are more than rewarded with the amazing campsites right on the beaches of Harness and Head Lake. There were still some challenging ascents and descents, but nothing compared to what we had just finished in the previous section. Downtown eatery with lots of options, close to the trails and parks. We hung out here resting our feet and rehydrating for about 45 minutes before we began our final section of the trail for Day 2. Don’t be like me – break in your shoes ahead of time. During this section there is a lookout for views of Starling Lake and Lake of Two Rivers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until June. If going clockwise, the next section of the trail is 6.6 km, and along the way there are six campsites. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail itineraries, directions and more on TrailLink. Do we need to bring a shovel? The campsites are not all equal, but all are near the lakes they are located at. Also, for beginners: do not rely solely on the trail outline in AllTrails. From there it is 3.9 km to Provoking Lake, during which you will pass Provoking Falls. Here is the first fork in the trail: the direction you choose here dictates whether you will do the trail clockwise or counterclockwise. Have a great time! Although these obstacles looked difficult to navigate with a heavy backpack, they all were manageable to get around. Do you need to book campsites in advance? Campsite Complication: We arrived at the first campsite on Head Lake and thought about stopping for camp, but I wanted us to get a little more distance in to make the following day a bit shorter. Asherwood Nature Preserve 7496 W. State Road 124 Wabash, IN 46992 Breakfast: Oatmeal again. I don't know about the fishing, since I don't fish. I had cooked the chicken the night before and transported it to the trailhead with a massive ice pack. Overnight trail shelters must be reserved in advance. Explore the best trails in Highland, New York on TrailLink. beautiful trail, I got a little lost around the second loop. The USGS Topo Maps above are inaccurate.Spicer Meadow Reservoir now extends Northeast, covering Gabbot Meadow and extending to the three trail junctions pictured on the far Left, or Eastern side of the map above.. Highlands Trail Guide Introduction. This part of the trail is the most trafficked because a lot of people visit Provoking Falls for a picnic or swim. First loop around Provoking Lake is an additional 10.8 km and the second loop to Head Lake and Harness Lake is an additional 19.4 km plus 4.2 km of the loop 1 trail. Yes, definitely bring the trekking poles! Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Map (PDF) Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Shelters . It does at times feel a bit like the trail that never ends as it is dense forest with no open areas or lakes. The trail is very easy to follow, but if you ever aren’t sure which way the trail goes, look out for the markers. We had two filter bottles and that was under what we required (we had a reserve thermos that we used on the 17Km hike back from Head to Provoking West.) Good site with lots of privacy (only one bench though, not good for larger groups), steep path down to the lake but the rocks made for some great drying after a quick swim. At least by September there won’t be any bugs. Horse & Hiking Trail Map Salamonie River State Forest. Examples: park "national park" or hiking, trails. A Garmin InReach would be even better, but those get pretty pricey. It was absolutely brutal. Lots of elevation and mud but certainly very manageable for non-experts. We did the full trail in one day under 7 hours moving time. buddy 6 times. Not all campsites are created equal in Algonquin, and we lucked out by visiting three stunning campsites – two for overnight camping and one for a long lunch and swim break. A few bridges/crossings were a little dodgy but overall we were able to keep our feet (mostly) dry around creeks and rivers. TRAILS MAP. Although this is a well maintained and moderately trafficked trail, it is important to be prepared in case something goes wrong. Lake campsites are really nice and well kept. How difficult is the trail? The 3 Falls Trail provides hikers with a scenic view of waterfalls & rock overhangs. Our campsites were beautiful. Yet many people are not aware that there is great hiking and backpacking within the park as well. Read more on my About Page! Overall the walk is very nice and I especially liked the campground at harness (2nd or 3 rd sites). Bugs were BRUTAL though - worse than they were in the upland trail in June. The open meadows are filled with wildflowers in the late summer, providing beautiful views and excellent opportunities for photography. Each site was pretty and clean (very little trace of others). During high rains make sure you give yourself adequate time to traverse from point A ot point B. The challenging trail can be accessed from the Highland Backpacking Trailhead near the Mew Lake Campground. From Provoking Falls, we only had 2.5 km to the parking lot, a hike we did at a quick clip with no stopping. Dinner: We cooked Thai Red Curry for dinner (this is one of the recipes in my backcountry cookbook). The forest is thick, the bugs were atrocious and the trail was very rugged. About 1/4 of the trail is mud which means constant detours unless you plan to walk right through it. Oh man, did this trail test me to my limits. During the last two sections, the sky turned grey and I kept expecting it to rain (which would have been a welcome relief – I was drenched in sweat and the bug were having a time and a half on my exposed hands). Do you need to do a bear hang? Nothing? Old Railway Bike Trail: Rock Lake Campground to Lake of Two Rivers Dam, Centennial Ridges Trail via Coon Lake Campground. I couldn’t believe how steep some of the sections were – and how they just kept going! The trail is full of roots and small switchbacks, especially from Faya to Head lake, followed by very swampy areas from Harness to Provoking East lake. Lots of chances to take a breather with small waterfalls, a look out, and more open area. Quite tricky. The Highland Backpacking Trail is one of three backpacking trails in Algonquin Provincial Park (the others are The Eastern Pines and Western Uplands). Tensor bandage and SAM splint – falling on the trail could easily result in a sprained ankle or fractured foot, Advil / Ibuprofen – To manage swelling and pain if there is a sprain, Foot care – Bandaids, medical tape and moleskin for during with blisters. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Despite the nearly 5000' of elevation gain, the climbs are fairly gradual and the steep parts don't last very long. So much for that idea. It was around 12:30 that we reached the trailhead, had our backpacks on and were ready to start the trail. Especially between Head and Faya Lake, the trekking poles saved me. The Highlands Trail HT_JessupTrail_Schunemunk.jpg The Highlands Trail highlights the natural beauty of the New Jersey and New York Highlands region, and draws the public's attention to this endangered resource. It takes many long nights (and many cups of coffee) to keep Voyageur Tripper running, so if you like the content please consider buying me a coffee. This is also the section where I became aware of the full force of the mosquitos (or so I thought). Highly recommend trekking poles if you don't already use them. And what a great (though also difficult) introduction to backpacking. The. Awesome day - bugs were totally manageable. Quite an adventure! On a side note - bummed at the amount of trash and things left behind on the trail - not okay! In this post I’ll cover everything you need to know about the trail, including stats, packing, safety, route options, a detailed trip report and video, plus my reflections on what went well and what could have gone better. Just completed the full loop clockwise over 3 nights, staying at Provoking E, Harness and Faya. The mosquitoes were brutal. We ended up having to double back to the initial campsite, in the end adding 2 km onto the 16 km we had already hiked to get to Head Lake. Normally I would bring one just in case it rained the whole trip, but we had enough food that didn’t need to be cooked so I wasn’t too concerned about it. I was happy to have a more experienced, backcountry camper along with me. Highland Mountain Bike Park's 2019 Downhill and Cross Country Trail Maps We had a reservation for Provoking East on the first night and Head on the second night. It’ll be so beautiful with the changing leaves. Harness Lake to Head Lake: The final 4 km to Head Lake went by pretty quickly. In normal times you are supposed to stop in at the Algonquin Provincial Park Visitor’s Centre and pick up a permit to place on the dash of your vehicle. I’ve called out some places on the list below where I could have shaved off some weight. Note: Once you begin the second loop, the trail markers change from being Blue Diamonds to Yellow Diamonds. The Current Status of Highland Creek . Mosquito central as well. Stayed at Faya, Harness and Provoking East. Next time I’ll be more attentive with using strategies for lightweight backpacking to get my pack weight down. I bet the trail was gorgeous in September! First Loop to Provoking Falls: Once we had rejoined the First Loop and were following along the west side of Provoking Lake, the trail returned to the reasonably mild ups and downs we had encountered on the first day. I hope you find this helpful in planning your own trip to the Highland Backpacking Trail – it’s a challenging hike but well worth the effort. The correct amount of water is also important. Full loop (counter clockwise) 2 nights. Then we added crushed tortilla chips, lettuce and cheese to the bowl. canoe camping) and a decent level of fitness. I’ve included a map below to help. Subscribe for exclusive content, giveaways, new products and more! Was able to wake up and look out to the fog rolling off the lake which is incredible. From there it is 3.9 km to Provoking Lake, during which you will pass Provoking Falls. Lunch at Provoking Falls: Instead basking in a shower of rain, however, we decided to go for a lunch-time swim at Provoking Falls. Waterfall to south as crossing wooden bridge. ***As a side-note would like to remind campers that they need to burn or pack out ALL of their garbage! She previously worked as a canoeing guide in Canada, and spent a season guiding hiking and kayaking tours in the high Arctic. Intermediate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until June. Shopping Cart ended up in a cattail swamp, and as we reached the blueberry field close to home, a Ministry truck rumbled up to us, asked if we were the boys who were lost and said they were just about to start a search. Watch for a bridge down between Harness and Head Lake. The trail has all types of typical Algonquin areas: deciduous, coniferous, marsh and swamps. For example, there is a spot where you need to cross a beaver dam. when we finally reached the Stsrling L lookout and knew where we were, we decided to take a shortcut back, off trail. Trail entrance/exit Trail is 3.9 km to the beginning of the first of two possible loops. For the entire trip we had been very diligent in stopping for a break every 3 km, but this section we had to drop that down to 2-2.5 km. At this point, the First and Second Loop reconnect on the westside Provoking Lake. This trail also provides views What’s up for bathrooms? I brought 2x more rice than was necessary, 2x more apples than we ended up eating and we had 9 extra protein bars and a whole lot of trail mix. the signs warning of difficulty and possible unplanned overnighting are not wrong. No bugs to speak of at all, not even in ‘Mosquito Creek’. I usually carry some Watkins Bug Cream but couldn’t find it for this trip. I kept it in airplane mode and started an “Activity” when we hiked. Don Hall’s Restaurants. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Do not camp on the lake shore. That is actually an equestrian trail. There is a small flat rock area at the end of Fly Lake for a lunch spot to. I thought about this question a lot of the last day, when we were navigating the most challenging section of the trail. This section of the trail is was of the furthest points from any large body of water. And Faya use them also able to use this trail but must be on., mileage, shelter locations, and the majority of ground snow had melted not. Days / 2 nights on the steep sections previously worked as a canoeing guide Canada! No great spot to a wilderness first Responder and Whitewater Rescue Technician at 15, and the actual.. Call out is that I was happy to have a friend living in the trail was manageable. 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