LONG SAULT – McLAREN CAMPGROUND – AUGUST 2010
This was our campsite at McLaren campground on the Long Sault Parkway. This was the second park we stayed at during our 2010 holidays. I didn’t know what to expect when I booked this site, but I was pleasantly surprised. The park is different from our usual provincial parks that we visit. It reminded me of the Niagara Parkway with it’s well groomed lawns and parks. We were very impressed with the campground and not just because we had a water hookup. The sites were spacious with a nice gravel pad and the grass short, so no worries of ticks. The washrooms were very clean as were the showers. Our site was close to the park washrooms and we noticed staff cleaning four times a day or so. Park patrols were pretty regular and there was never a problem with noise the entire week we were there. McLaren is just one of many islands that are joined by a causeway called the Long Sault Parkway. The islands are actually high points of land left above water after the flooding of St. Lawrence River during the creation of the St.Lawrence Seaway in 1958. There’s a lot of history in this area pertaining to this and of course the Upper Canada Loyalist days and wars and skirmishes with USA during the 1800s. One of our first trips was to Upper Canada Village. We learned that most of the buildings there were recovered from the areas flooded during 1958 and some were reconstructions of originals. Cool place.
This was by far the coolest wildlife encounter on our trip. I walked our garbage to the dumpster and when I threw it in, there was a flurry of noise from the bin next to it. When I looked in it, I was surprised to find not one, but five raccoons. They looked pretty little and very scared, but I’ll bet they had a good meal! I reported it to the park staff and they said they would take them out of the bin.
We spent a lot of time kayaking in the St. Lawrence River and Lake St.Lawrence. Every day we were out, sometimes twice a day. According to my gps, we logged close to 40kms on the water during our stay. The coolest thing while out there was just drifting and watching monster carp swim below the kayak. The water was so clear due to the zebra mussels. A couple times the wind picked up and we were paddling back in white caps which was kind of fun and really refreshing on a hot day! Here are some pics below of kayaking on the St.Lawrence River.
As well as kayaking on the St. Lawrence River, we kayaked on Lake St. Lawrence which was on the North side of the Long Sault Parkway. Here are some pics
And, here are some pics of the fish that we caught while here. Dave fished from his kayak and from shore and I fished only from shore. We caught some nice bass!
Below, I’ve included some cool pics of how some things have changed since the Seaway flooding. The photo on the left is old highway 2 running into the water. You can see where it emerges on the other side. At one time, parallel to this highway were the cornwall canal locks and the Long Sault Rapids. All this is gone now, but at this location, McDonnell Island, you can still dive to the old locks and lock house. Remnants still remain from before the flooding of the St. Lawrence but you have to look hard, as nature is slowly reclaiming.
This stone marker marks the 45th parallel of latitude which means we are standing halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. Pretty cool! Other day trips we took included a visit to the Lost Villages Museum which commemorates the villages lost to the flooding from the St. Lawrence Seaway Project. Three pics of this museum are located below. As well, I’ve included some photos of the no longer used Cornwall Canal. This lock is above the Long Sault and Saunders Dam and was not flooded. As well, I’ve thrown in three more random pics of the park and us. Hope you’ve enjoyed this page!
If you’re interesting in some good reading on the history of the St.Lawrence, pick up the book “The Golden Dream” by Ronald Stagg. It gives a great background on this area and the changes brought about by the Seaway Project. As well, here are some links:
Well, that’s it for this page but if you’d like to see more pics visit my Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/Adventurer67/LongSaultAndAreaHolidays2010#