Flack Lake Loop

Day 2 - Astonish Lake to Upper Mace Lake (7 km)

Map provided courtesy of Toporama which contains information licensed under the Open Government Licence – Canada. I have marked my route in blue and portages in red. 

Day 2 - Astonish Lake to Upper Mace Lake

The rain stayed away for the rest of the night and when I poked my head out of the hammock, it looked like I was going to have a great day.


I got up and went fishing for a while before having breakfast and coffee. The fishing yielded no results,  but it was lovely being alone on the water and later listening to the birds chirp as I sipped on my coffee.


Soon after, my canoe was loaded and I was paddling through the narrows into the southern pond at the south end of Astonish. I did notice another campsite on the western shore of the narrows that I didn't know existed from my trip research.


As I approached the 605m portage into Ezma, I doubted my eyeballs for a second when I saw aluminum fishing boats floating amongst the trees.

I suppose that is one way of 'winterizing' a boat.


The trail into Ezma was loads-better than the ones from the previous day. It goes to show what a little maintenance by the Ontario Parks people can do. Fresh blowdowns had been neatly chainsawed and the trail avoided any horrible, swampy bits. I made a mental note to hug a park warden the next time I saw one. (Glad I didn't follow through on that. It was a few weeks later in the Kawartha Highlands when a pair of young wardens came to our site to check our permits. They might have unloaded bear spray on me had I attempted to move in for the hug.)


Ezma Lake was also very nice -- a fairly large body of water sporting a beautiful shoreline of tall coniferous trees.

I had a gentle, but steady, breeze coming from the northwest that pushed me down the lake to the second of two portages into Swamp Lake. I took my time and trolled along the way.


The 200m carry was straight, clear, and easy. Swamp Lake, a glorified lily pad pond, yielded no smallmouth bass despite Fish On-Line's declaration that they exist there.


At the very south end of the lake, I found the 265m trail to Upper Mace Lake between two swamps through a grove of poplar and birch. I made quick work of this one in an attempt to lose as little blood as possible. The rains from the previous day did much to help the local mosquito population.


Paddling west through the shallow east end of Upper Mace Lake, I smiled. Upper Mace was my primary goal on this trip. Other online trip reports that I had read discussed the lake's beauty, the awesome campsites, and the great splake/lake trout fishing. 


When I emerged into the central bay of the lake, my smile widened. It truly was gorgeous. The lake was dotted with rocky islands, the water was incredibly deep and clear, and best of all, I had it all to myself! Not a soul as far as the eye could see.


I paddled among the islands for a bit and found an incredible campsite on a large island at the south end of the lake. It had views looking toward all of the main parts of the lake, and, best of all, west toward the sunset and the beach at that end of the lake. It also sported an incredible rocky front porch that seemed to drop off into clear deep water. I knew I would spend a couple of nights on that one.


The weather clouded up again by late afternoon and it started spitting. I put up my tarp over the firepit in case the rain really wanted to come down. Luckily, the rain was short-lived and I spent the rest of the evening relaxing, swimming, and fishing.