Glen Rouge

GLEN ROUGE CONSERVATION AREA – AUGUST 2012

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We arrived at Glen Rouge CA around 7pm on Friday of the Civic holiday weekend. The traffic was rolling along great through Toronto, so it took us an hour and a half to get to the park from St.Catharines. We were looking forward to camping here because it was a new park for us. We weren’t too sure what to expect, but the pictures online looked good. We arrived and went in to register at the gatehouse only to find our permits printed and ready for us. Quick and no fuss. The park itself was grassy and our site large and level. It backed on to the Rouge River and from the back of the site you could see the river. Here are some pictures of our site #4:

We enjoyed a nice campfire Friday night and woke up to a warm but beautiful day on Saturday. We’d planned on launching our kayaks at Rouge Beach Park, a few km away from the campground on Lake Ontario. The park attendant had told us of an alternate launch just inside the campground. We checked it out, but the carry was pretty rough and we’d have to portage around some rock to get into the river below rapids. We opted for the Rouge Beach option. I’m glad we did, what a beautiful park along the Rouge River where it empties into Lake Ontario. We paddled out to the lake first and found it to be pretty rough. I enjoyed a little “kayak surfing” but without my skirt, my boat took a couple waves and took on a bit of water. So, we opted to travel up the Rouge as far as possible, hoping to get to at least the Hwy 401 or Kingston Rd overpasses. Made it we did. The trip was about 3.5 km up river and then the same distance back. The current picked up in places where it became shallower or on corners. We seen herons, many types of birds and some interesting archeological remnants along the way. It was unbelievably quiet. Unimaginable that we were kayaking in the city. Beautiful! We reached the Kingston Rd overpass and could go no further without portaging. The current was strong as well. We turned around and headed back to the take out. Here are some photos the launch and us kayaking into Lake Ontario:

And some photos of beautiful Rouge River!

We arrived back at camp after our 7 km paddle Saturday afternoon and began reading storm warnings on our phones. The forecast was calling for severe storms Sunday morning but other than a stiff breeze, it looked okay Saturday. We enjoyed dinner then sat around a campfire. I fell asleep watching the fire and woke up to lightening later in the evening. Soon afterwards the storm arrived much earlier than expected. It wasn’t too bad though, lots of rain and lightening but that’s about it. We moved under the awning when the heavier rain drove us from the campfire and watched the storm. It was still going on when we called it a night. We awoke on Sunday morning to more rain and still a pretty stiff SW wind. Kayaking was not an option so we decided to head to Duffins Creek and the Rotary Park in Ajax along Lake Ontario. What a beautiful park with a very nice boat launch. The park along the lake had a nice pavilion and splash pad for the kids. The lake was pretty rough and stayed that way all day. Here are some photos:

Do to the inclement weather that rolled in Saturday night and stayed around until Monday morning, we found Sunday to be a pretty relaxing day. After our little road trip, we hung out around camp and drank cold beer and read books. It was too wet for hiking, too windy for kayaking and every now and then just relaxing is a good thing.

So, for the park review – we liked Glen Rouge. We would come back. I can’t fairly review any facilities such as showers or washrooms because this time around we didn’t use them. However, here are some observations we made of the park; it was very clean, very well kept. There was not any litter around anywhere that we could see.  The sites had a water hookup and 15amp30amp connections. The site next to us had a 50amp hookup. The park staff seemed friendly and it was really cool to drive in and have the permitregistration taken care and ready for you. If you are an “rver”, you will appreciate the dumping station. The dump out had a hose, an actual hose that you could connect to your flush out valve or the connection for your water tank flush out on the trailer. Here are a couple pics, sorry I was so impressed!

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So, honestly, if I had to look hard for a down side to this campground it would be a few tight corners on the campground roads. Our rig is a KZ Spree 261RKS with the actual length of the trailer at 28.9 feet. With our truck, our unit is pretty long. Of course there are a lot longer units and negotiating some of the tighter turns could be a little difficult, but doable, which is the main thing. The only other negative thing would be the lack of privacy at the sites, but that is subjective to your own opinion. This park was about as private as Long Sault at Parks of St.Lawrence, Selkirk Provincial Park or even Byng CA and you could hear slight highway noise from the 401. What I’m trying to say is it’s all about what you’re looking for. For us, this park was close to home and a gem with lots of hiking trails, close proximity to the Toronto Zoo if you’d like to visit and many places to launch our kayaks. The campground is open from April until November 1st this year which is a nice bonus. This park is part of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority which runs two other campgrounds, Albion Hills and Indian Line. Here are some links:

http://www.trca.on.ca/

http://www.reservations.trca.on.ca/en/

http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails-a-z/duffins-creek/

http://picasaweb.google.com/Adventurer67/

http://plus.google.com/photos/116741237613027767021/albums/5774044949730966337?banner=pwa

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