46° 28.2246' N 83° 21.9828' W
Picture this – my first new spot of the year, a hidden treasure nestled off Highway 129, right by Cummings Lake. I was bombing down the highway, my destination being my Aubinadong campsite, when I caught sight of a small turn-off after a causeway. Curiosity piqued, I couldn't resist the urge to explore. What I found was a cozy, unmarked spot with a welcoming fire pit and open space. The locals knew about it, coming here to launch their boats regularly.
But my stop at Cummings Lake is about much more than just the beautiful scenery. This year, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of Muslims, one who needed help building decks and other things. In return, he provided me with much-needed gas money. I'll probably write a blog post about them soon, but for now, let me share the magic of Cummings Lake with you.
Tucked just a short drive away from Thessalon, this place is a hidden gem for campers. With ten-dollar showers, a charming little beach, a handy laundromat, access to fresh water, and groceries in the nearby town, it's a camping/working dream. I ended up spending a good chunk of three weeks camped out here, soaking up the beauty and tranquility.
Now, let me tell you about the quirks of Cummings Lake. This year, the ticks were out in force, and I counted a whopping 14 of them on me. Even my dog got three, despite his tick treatment. It seemed like they had a particular liking for this neck of the woods. But that's all part of an adventure, right? Years of climbing through the bush, they don’t really freak me out anymore.
The long fire ban this year left me craving protein and sipping cold coffee. That's when a kind-hearted fisherman named Dennis came to the rescue with an egg salad sandwich and warm coffee. Sometimes, it's the little things that make a place special.
Cummings Lake isn't about the human encounters though; it's a thriving ecosystem of wildlife. From semi-tame chipmunks to acrobatic fish, I watched in awe. One day, I watched the transformation of a nymph into a dragonfly. I may have even used a twig to help it out of its carapace. But the real cool part was watching its eyes change from gold to green.
And then there were the beavers. They'd built a dam near my campsite, and if I stayed still in the evenings, they'd venture right to the edge of the campsite to nibble on birch saplings. I also became well-acquainted with a local owl, his raucous "who, who, who" echoing all night. It was novel and cool, but I can tell you, after a long night, I’d started to wonder about owl stew.
Cummings Lake isn't just for wildlife enthusiasts; it's a kayaker's dream and a swimmer's paradise. Surprisingly, the lake was warmer earlier in the season compared to Lake Huron, which is known as the warmest of the Great Lakes.
Chatting with the fishermen coming and going, I learned some fascinating tidbits about the lake. The sheer face on the far side drops over 100 meters, and they use some impressive lures for sport, all with a commitment to throw everything back, preserving this pristine ecosystem. Allegedly, did they even catch them? We’ve all heard the fishermen jokes.
Whether you're on a cross-country journey it’s just a short hop off the Trans-Canada or seeking a tranquil escape, Cummings Lake, you can't miss. Even more surprisingly, despite its dead zones around this location, cellular and data reception were top-notch.
So, why not experience the magic of this hidden gem, and let Cummings Lake become a personal story of your Ontario adventures.
© sleeping under the stars 2021