Thursday, July 13, 2017

Miquelon Lake

We drove out to Miquelon Lake provincial park today, about 70km SE of Edmonton (near New Sarepta) for a paddle. The last time we were here was maybe 11 or so years ago.

The lake is melt-water fed (so salty) and shallow and today had hundreds of pelicans nesting on the west side. We came at the lake from the south off Highway 623 (through the campground) and put in at the boat launch (about two-thirds of the way down the east side of the lake). The boat launch has pit toilets and lots of parking! The whole park has this feeling of being way over built for the modest lake it sits on.

The launch itself is a good carry (maybe 60 or 70 feet) down an easy embankment. The water level looked lower than the last time we were here. I had to wade out about 15 feet from shore through some mildly stinky mud to get enough water to float my kayak with me in it.

Once on the water, we had a lovely time. There was a decent breeze to keep the bugs off but the lake was very calm. We could see the bottom most of the time. We went north around the island on the east side (more of peninsula right now) and there was an interesting rock formation with friendly gulls.

We then turned south to check out the main beach. I recall this was a very long carry from the main day-use parking lots the last time we were here. The lake has receded since (I'd guess another 30-40 feet of beach and grass was there).

Despite the wind pushing the boats around, there was hardly a ripple on the lake. There could have been a much longer paddle here (the lake is maybe 3 x 4 km) but we were mostly out to get Jess some experience paddling on her own and see what the facilities are like.

We stopped back at the day-use lot for a picnic lunch. There are flush toilets, picnic tables, a playground and beach access. Water quality was low so there was a swim ban. We walked around some slews to the south of the day-use lot and I wish we'd brought our bikes to check out the trails. This was an interesting paddle but I'm not sure we'd go back unless it was for an extended tour of the lake.

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