We popped out to Islet Lake for a late afternoon paddle recently. A rain shower gave way to bright blue skies just as we pulled in.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Just south of Tofield is Black Nugget Lake Park. This flooded coal quarry offers an interesting paddle.
To access the lake, you need to enter the campground and check in at the office (form but no fee). Then you get directed around the west side of the lake to the boat launch. There is a nearby parking rea with picnic tables and pit toilets.
The most interesting aspect of the lake is that is follows the old coal seams so the lake has a lot of reaches and narrow passages. Basically, you are almost always going around a corner or past an island and seeing a new view. The trees and grade mean there is little wind to worry about despite the lake being located in the middle of a prairie.
There is a campground here that you can reserve spots in (meh). The water is not suitable for swimming and you wouldn't want to dump or pitch off a SUP.
There is probably about 90-120 minutes of gentle paddling here if you do the whole perimeter. We were the only boats on the water most of the time. A couple of folks fishing out of canoes arrived as we were finishing up. There are no motorized boats.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Every time I come back from Athabasca and pass through Morinville, I look to the west and think that I should stop and paddle at Heritage Lake. We recently had the chance to do that.
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Jess and I went out to Nakamun Lake for a paddle. We'd previously been here in the winter when I was a chaperon at band camp (sadly, sober) and I've always meant to come back in summer. The drive is about an hour--better to drive up to Morinville or Legal on Highway 2 and then west than trying to work you way up from Highway 16.
The only public access appears to be on the south side of the lake in the summer village of Nakamun Park. There is a boat launch here with conflicting signage: one says residents only and another says use at your own risk. Overall, there were a LOT of rules and speed bumps in the community.
The launch is very long and ends in a hard-to-read ramp.
Sadly, the lake was in the middle of an algae bloom when we arrived so we decided to not paddle.