Just the Paddle: Killarney Bell-David Loop
As always, for those who just want to check in on paddle routes and time without the extra fluff I am capturing a nothing pretty, "just the paddle" blog.
Killer time in Killarney Access point Bell Lake> Balsam Lake> David Lake > Back
September 26th-28th, 2020 - loop
Trip Length: 3 days, 2 nights Total Portages: 4
Level of Difficulty: Beginner (if you stay on Balsam)
Day 1, Access Point Bell Lake > Three Mile Lake > Balsam Lake
Start time 9:15 AM End time 11:28 AM Total Time: 2h13 min
If you have never been backcountry camping before, this section in Killarney is a great intro to it! The lakes are easy to paddle and you can expect one very easy 40m portage. We set up camp on site 113 which was well maintained, had a great supply of "dead wood", and a peninsula feel with great views.
Balsam Lake, Site 113
Day 2, Balsam Lake > David Lake
Start Time 10:30 AM End Time 11:45 AM Total Time: 1h15
So Killarney is known for elevated portages, the 620m portage into David Lake is no exception. It was challenging no doubt, but having done our last trip in Northern Algonquin it was doable for me - don't know if I would recommend for a beginner though especially with what's to come! David is a beast of a lake, we caught a mean headwind and big waves which made for a challenging paddle. We settled on site 99 on David, it was sheltered and featured TWO fire pits with ample tent space - would be great for a group trip!
*turns out I have no pictures of site 99, David Lake - OOOPS!
+ hike to Silver Peak (total time 4h15)
Additional to our paddle, we completed the Silver Peak Hike. We accessed it from the portage into Boundary (30 min paddle from site 99). Would definitely recommend if you're a fit human being prepared to tackle lots of elevation (for Ontario - haha).
Watch outs: beware of slick conditions and give yourself ample time before sunset - note our 4h15 time was because we literally DID NOT STOP!
Day 3, David Lake > David > Bell Lake
Start Time 9:45 AM, End Time 12:13 PM Total Time: 2h27
Home time! One very easy 210m portage between David Lake and "David" (just make sure you don't accidentally portage into Clearsilver) and another 700m portage into Bell - this one is harder, mainly just because of the length but not worse than Day 2's. Then a quick paddle back to Killarney Kanoes (which btw is the best outfitter for this loop!).
As always, our route is marked with brown paddles and our campsites with yellow tents! (credit to Jeff's Maps)