Wednesday, 2 April 2014


 Sandy and I have hiked most of Killarney Provincial Park’s hiking trails. Although we’ve hiked bits of the La Cloche Silhouette Trail we’ve not hiked it in its entirety probably because we’re not hard core backpackers, and also because we landed up in the park at the wrong time in our lives. Make no mistake the La Cloche Silhouette Trail is arduous, and scarcely a person finished this hike without a few bumps and scratches, so if you’re to challenge this trail do so when your young and adventurous. But, if the La Cloche Silhouette Trail is not your cup of tea, don’t be put off because there are many trails all of which have their own challenge, and vistas enough to provide artists with a lifetime of sketching and painting.

Wind-shaped Pine    Chikanishing Trail      Graphite Drawing 

Chikanishing Trail      Killarney Provincial Park        Graphite Drawing

Little Sheguiandah   Cranberry Bog Trail      Graphite Drawing

Cranberry Bog        Graphite Drawing

Beaver Dam  Cranberry Bog      Graphite Drawing

Granite Ridge   Graphite Drawing

Johnny Lake        Graphic Graphite Drawing

Storm Clouds over Georgian Bay  Graphite Drawing

Shoreline - Tar Vat Trail      Graphite Drawing

Killarney Landscape   Pen and Ink Study

Shoreline - George Island    Graphite Sketch

White Pine - George Island    Graphite Drawing

Well, that's it for now. I could go on, but it's time for you to get in the car and head up to Killarney Provincial Park to experience for yourself it's incredible landscape, and abundant nature. We'll meet up again when I've had a bit of a break. It's time to head out to the marsh to witness the waterfowl migration, and perhaps make a few sketches. Until then like the song, once the theme song for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans films (tells you just how old that I am), I'll wish "Happy Trails to you, until we meet again.............

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Quoting from IMPRESSIONS - An Artist's Introduction To Killarney Provincial Park..........

Were you to hike the entire La Cloche Silhouette Trail loop, the Hansen Township section would lead you to Silver Peak. At 539 meters above sea level, it is the highest point in the La Cloche Range. On a clear day the panoramic view, which takes in the entire park area, is breathtaking. The City of Greater Sudbury can be seen 45 kilometers to the northeast, as well as much of Georgian Bay to the southwest. There’s scarcely an artist that, although a bit overwhelmed by the view, isn’t inspired to attempt a sketch or two.

For those who choose not to hike the La Cloche Silhouette Trail loop, don’t despair for there is a way to reach Silver Peak without hiking and backpacking for several days. Silver Peak can also be reached in a single day. A cautionary note, however. This is a long one-day trek and shouldn’t be undertaken without proper preparation.

My wife, Sandy, and I undertook to make the trek on one occasion. I was approaching my mid sixties and beginning to feel a bit creaky so I decided one day in late July that the time had come to challenge the peak. There’s no easy way to get to Silver Peak let alone climb to the top. We chose to drive in to the Bell Lake access point and then to paddle to its western inlet to pick up the trail. As we begun our trek, the day held promise. It was warm and the sky was clear. As we set off in the canoe, there was a light breeze in our face. That summer had been an exceptionally bad year for mosquitoes. One would have thought, however, that by late July the worst

Bell Lake with Silver Peak in the background.
Graphite Drawing
would have passed, but no sooner did we touch the far shore a cloud of blood-thirsty mosquitoes descended upon us. We quickly pulled the canoe ashore and set it in the bushes out of the way. We then raced off along the trail with the mosquitoes in hot pursuit. Despite the fact that it was very warm, bordering on hot, we wore our jackets with the hoods pulled up to avoid being bitten. By the time we reached the turn off leading to the peak, we had managed to leave the mosquitoes behind. Tired, we began the ascent to the top. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the trail to the top is challenging. However, it was with a sense of pride that we climbed steadily and overtook, and passed, a group of younger hikers who were huffing and puffing at only the half way point. By noon, the temperature had increased by a few degrees so it was with some relief that we broke out of the trees and climbed into the bright sunlight near the top of the peak. A wonderful breeze was blowing that stiffened into a bit of a gale as we approached the top.

View fromSilver Peak         Pen and Ink Drawing
The view from the peak was awesome. There was Sudbury to the northeast and Georgian Bay to the southwest. 
As we had been told to expect, we could almost see the entire park. It was worth the climb and the inconvenience caused by the hoards of mosquitoes. However, we were, to say the least, a bit exhausted. It had taken us more than three hours of paddling and hiking at a brisk pace to reach the top and the thought that we now had to retrace our steps was a bit daunting. I made a couple of quick sketches, took some photographs, then sat and rested in complete awe of the scene that lay before me. Rested, and with the afternoon shortening, we decided to descend and head back to our canoe. Fortunately, during the hike back the mosquitoes were no bother and it seemed as though in no time at all we were back in the canoe and out on the lake.........with the wind, once again, brushing our face. There’s an interesting phenomena about canoeing. One can set off on a paddle with the wind in your face thinking that the paddle back will be easy as the wind will be at your back, right? Why does it never seem to work out like this? Perhaps it is God’s way of testing canoeists! A little wind is the canoeist’s friend. It makes the canoe handle easier. A full force gale which turns the lake into a frothy mess of whitecaps, however, tends to cause the stomach to lurch just a bit. This is what we faced when we hit the open stretch just off Blue Mountain Lodge. With no way around it, we headed out and up the lake into the waves until, in the middle of the lake at an opportune moment, we swung around and headed down the lake surfing all the way to the shore. As I pulled myself out of the canoe and took a moment or three attempting to straighten up, I thought to myself that this day had been a fantastic experience. I also thought that it was good that we did what we did because next year Silver Peak was bound to be just that much higher!

View from Silver Peak      Graphite Drawing 

View from Silver Peak     Pen and Ink Drawing

A View from Silver Peak     Graphite Study

View North from Silver Peak      Graphite Drawing

Well, time to climb down from Silver Peak. Next time out we'll wander by the Bay and visit the Chikanishing Trail and George Island where we'll finish up our visit to Killarney Provincial Park..................