Monday, April 11, 2011

Algonquin Park ice report: yes, there is still ice.

Satellite image from April 9, 2011
I drove through through the park on Hwy 60 last evening, on my way home from spring skiing in Vermont (which was great, by the way). A lot of snow melted in the three days I was away, and with the torrential rain last night and mild weather today, even more will be gone by now. The ice is locked right up to the shore on all lakes you can see from the highway. Even small ponds are still frozen, though they look pretty mushy. So, what's the conclusion? Slow progress is happening but personally, I would estimate ice-out on bigger lakes in Algonquin Park is at least two, if not three weeks away. I have been wrong before. Golden Lake, to the east of Algonquin Park and at much lower elevation, is still ice covered though there is open water along the shoreline. As you can see from Saturday's satellite image, Lake Simcoe, Muskoka and Haliburton area lakes are still ice-covered (Opeongo is in the upper right corner).

If you decide to take a drive up and see for yourself, be careful on the roads. "Ice fog" can roll in during the evening and morning hours, making it difficult to see big critters like deer and moose. I had to stop near Cache Lake last night and wait for two shaggy moose to amble off the roadway, and a friend reported seeing a dead moose at km 15 when he drove through the park about two hours later.

Tea Lake Narrows from the highway bridge, April 7, 2011

Possibly the most-photographed island in Algonquin Park. Lake of Two Rivers, April 10, 2011

It's a lonely road on a Sunday in April. Just me, the fog and a few moose.

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