If you’ve never visited the Depot Lakes managed by Quinte Conservation, you need to.
This past weekend, Sean, Jane, Doug and I pitched tents on one of the larger islands at Second Depot Lake – about four hours from Hamilton, north of Napanee.
Believe it or not, we were the only campers on the island’s three campsites, so we had the entire place to ourselves from Friday through Monday.
Another bonus of this particular site? We were feeling ready for relaxation, with optional (rather than mandatory, a la paddling and portaging Algonquin) adventure. Quinte offers all the hiking, paddling and swimming you might be after on a backcountry camping trip, but because you can have your gear shuttled to the island, you’re able to pack like it’s car camping.
This means we were able to take Pepper, who went wild over such activities as rolling in a dead squirrel’s carcass, ripping circles around the shore, guarding our site against small animals and passing out.
We were also able to bring all the fixings for gourmet meals.
Just our Sunday roast, NO BIGGIE.
Had to resort to this after my hours of fishing proved fruitless…
I’m told there’s great fishing on this lake and even though I didn’t catch anything big enough to gut and grill, I believe it.
My reasoning? Exhibits A and B, below…
A) Many bites eventually led to the little guy on the left (I threw him back).
B) One of those bites was (he swears) suffered by Doug, who insists a fish nibbled his side here, where it’s red.
Also biting? Horseflies.
No matter! Break out the drinks and swimsuits and we’ll forget all about bugs!
Bust forth ye books and sharkboat!
Light fires and lick smores off your fingers!
Quaff coffee to your heart’s content!
And oh-too-soon we had to head back.
Please take note of Pepper’s hilarious lifejacket. After succeeding on the trip to the island and making it through the weekend without drowning, three minutes after this photo was taken (and three minutes before we packed her in the car and drove off), Pepper tried to climb from the dock onto a paddleboat and fell in the water.
Panic! Thank goodness for Outward Hound water safety gear.
Anywhooooo, highly recommend this campground if you’re looking for a less ram-jammed place to spend some weekends this summer. It was a great time and good prep for our fast-approaching bike trip!
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