Pukaskwa: Returning for Willow River

Pukaskwa: Returning for Willow River

 I have decided that I want to return to Pukaskwa National Park for a week-long hike at the end of July into the beginning of August. I have been thinking about it for a while, but decided recently that it is going to happen. Specifically, to return to Willow River and have a damn good time.

It seems that I cannot reserve anything until Wednesday, February 5th at 8:00AM so I will set an alarm. Until then, I can determine where I want to stay. I have a pretty good idea so far: 

  • Day 1: Hattie Cove to Hook Falls (8.8km)
  • Day 2: Hook Falls to Willow River (7.6km)
  • Day 3: Stay in Willow River (0km)
  • Day 4: Willow River to Playter Harbor North (11.9km)
  • Day 5: Playter Harbor North to Hattie Cove (4.5km)

Total distance for the trip is 32.8km.

I want to take it easy and enjoy myself. Last year when two of us went, we hiked straight from the parking lot to Willow River, and that kicked my ass at the end of the day. The destination was worth it, but I kind of want to stroll along and not feel so rushed. Willow River was most excellent. The view was stunning, and the white sand was always nice and warm on the foot. I picture myself bringing a nice camping chair with me to sit on the beach, and am even considering bringing my raft along to make the most of the day. I want to have a good time and meet others on the trail.

I just felt that the last time I was at Willow River, the time spent there was not enough. We arrived there at approximately 7:00PM that day and by 9:00PM, the sun was already setting. The next morning, we couldn't spend too much time around the campsite, as we had to leave by a decent time to try to beat the rain that was expected to drop. I've always wanted to return on my own terms and take it all in. We have nothing like this in Thunder Bay, and it is totally worth the hike in.

For the time being, I am going to attempt to revamp my gear list and start pre-purchasing all of the Mountain House meals that I would use for summer time. I have never gone on a solo 4 night/5 day trip before, but I think I can handle it. It will only be good, and never bad.