This trail has been active for a LONG time, and I know I’m late to the game. However, try searching google for information about this trail and you’ll notice that here isn’t alot of information out there. Now, maybe that’s on purpose? The less people who know about this trail the better? I agree, but I think enough people already know about this place and the secret has been out for a long time.
Here’s the description on the McCrae Lake website. “Consisting of 2.8 km of trail one-way, the McCrae Lake Conservation Trail winds its way to the Crow’s Nest Lookout, situated on a 100-foot granite cliff, overlooking the untarnished waters of McCrae Lake.”
See below for the location of the parking lot. The green arrow is where the trail head starts.
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A quick note about parking. Depending on the time of day or year, the parking lot can be really full. When I went on this trail, there wasn’t a spot to park. Cars and trucks were lined up all down this roadway, and parking lot was full. To park, I drove down Georgian Bay Road West, and parked right past the snowmobile entrance, and right before it turned gravel. I’m not sure how legal this is, but it was all that was available.
When you start on the trail, after a hundred or so yards, you’ll come up to a wide snowmobile trail. If you want to stay on the McCrae Lake Trail, you must keep going straight, across the snowmobile trail. If you turn left on the snow trail, you’ll end up back on the road. If you turn right, it will take you down to a large bridge, crossing over a stream (it’s worth checking this out as well. The stream is nice to wade in if it’s hot).
I won’t really describe the trail in detail, mostly because I don’t remember. Some thing to note, is that if it’s been wet out, there will be some wet spots in the trail. Most times, you will see a smaller trail going around the wet spots. There are also some creek crossings, but there have been some small bridges made. The trail is fairly well marked. The only spot in question would be the large rock you walk out on, just make sure you keep right.
After 2.7 kms, the trail brings you to McCrae lake. You are standing 30 meters over the lake, and have spectacular views of the lake. You will see other people canoeing, and camping on the side of the lake. There are also rock climbers that are climbing this 30 meter cliff. When we went on this trail, we had a lunch ontop of this cliff, and enjoyed the scenery.
At this point, you can either hike back to the car, or, keep following the trail along the 30 meter cliff. I’m not exactly sure where it goes from here, but I think it winds around the lake some. You will see paths off to the right that lead down the cliff to the water. This is as far as we hiked, but the trail kept going so if your up for it! Keep hiking.
Below are some pictures.