Restoule Provincial Park, 8818 Highway 534, Restoule, ON P0H 2R0
The Fire Tower Trail was one of our favourite during on 2015 summer camping trip up north. The day was absolutely perfect for a long hike – not too hot, a cool breeze but sunny. The trail is 7 kilometers long and has some very steep, rocky terrain in parts. The 300 foot climb up to the Stormy Lake Bluffs was challenging for Maya but we were shocked and amazed as she made her way up and down rocky inclines with minimal help. The views from the bluffs is worth the hike and a trip to Restoule wouldn’t be complete without completing this trail.
After a slight uphill climb we came across a flat section with pine trees planted in unnatural rows. In this section we came across a ruffed grouse and her chicks. Maya was very excited and Chitra had a hard time keeping her from chasing them.
The trail then turned into a mixed deciduous forest with moss, ferns and rocks all over the place. It reminded us of the Bruce Trail. Some of the boardwalks along the way were in need of some repair.
We came across a lovely inland lake while we were up the trail. Amber Lake was surrounded with rock cliffs and the reflections were very beautiful.
At the very top of the trail you will see the fire tower.
The top of the bluff was a fantastic place to stop for lunch and enjoy the panoramic views of the forests and of Stormy Lake
You will definitely want to sit a while and take in the view. If hiking has to have a destination, this is definitely the spot to reach. This trail becomes significantly more challenging at the intersection of the two loops that make up the trail. If you’re not up to climbing 70 degree or so inclines covered in rock, you should attempt the second section of the trail.
Many other hikers passed this lookout by without a second glance. Maybe they’ve done the trail several times before or maybe they didn’t realize what they were missing.
This was one of the easier inclines we had to go up during the 7 kilometer hike.
The forest changed several times during the trail and the birds were singing to us the entire way. We spotted several different warblers and heard many familar songs during the hike.
The trail was not overgrown and the breeze kept the insects from becoming too bothersome. Perfect day for a hike.
There were several sections of the trail that were covered in various fern species.
We can not recommend this trail enough. We enjoyed the various challenges the trail offered, the amazing views and we loved the fact that Maya completed the trail. While planning this trip, we weren’t sure how much Maya would be able to hike. We started conditioning her in May with increases in walk lengths and regular swims. I guess it paid off.
Pack lots of water, food and snacks for this trail and take your time and enjoy all it has to offer.