Day Hiking Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Park — Trek Report

We’d been wanting to visit Halfway Lake Provincial Park north of Sudbury for a few years now, but we somehow never managed to get there. We used to think that we’d go to Halfway Lake on a backpacking trip, but we realised this year that we were better off going for a day hike instead. So last weekend saw us day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail, Halfway Lake Park’s longest loop.

Scenery while day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Provincial Park.

At 15 kilometres long, we knew day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail would take several hours. We were really excited about the landscape we would be traversing, as the park was struck by a microburst in 2002, which we knew had created some unique features. But at the same time, we figured it would be really bushy, so we were a little afraid of the bugs!

We got to Halfway Lake at a reasonable time and soon began day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail. There was pretty scenery from the get-go, and we enjoyed the more northern atmosphere of the predominantly pine forest.

The trail itself wasn’t all that challenging most of the time, and the inclines were welcome fun, but many fallen trees did make it tougher.

Still, we could have done without the overgrown ferns covering the trail. I’m probably exaggerating by saying we didn’t see our feet half the time day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail, but that’s what it felt like!

Just joking. I didn’t really mind the ferns, but I did regret wearing shorts since I got lots of little scrapes and bruises. I usually wear my field pants no matter what, but it was just such a hot day…

Lake scenery while day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Provincial Park.

Until it started to rain a little. Huh? The forecast called for clear skies all day! But that they weren’t. It was overcast most of the time we were day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail, but at least the rain held off other than some droplets here and there.

It wasn’t enough to detract us from enjoying the outing, and in fact, we decided to check out each campsite we came across. None was too far from the trail, and we were curious to see what a camping trip would have been like.

Well, the first site we saw convinced us we’d be miserable there overnight, and until we got to the next campsite, we couldn’t help but comment on how glad we were to be day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail rather than backpacking it.

But the next few sites changed our minds. They were nice and open, with some good amenities (winky face).

Yet we thought it was odd that they were all within about the last 5 kilometres of the trail. It seems like such a weird way to plan trekking the trail — 10 kilometres one day and five the next? So we’re ultimately glad we stuck to day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail.

Rocky shores along a lake while day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Provincial Park.

It was passed all the campsites that we finally crossed the area affected by the microburst, which is a wind event not unlike a tornado, but without the funnel. It was sad to see so many large and venerable trees torn down, but Marc knew how to cheer me up. He noted all the new growth that was being given a chance to thrive.

And come to think of it, that section of trail overgrown by ferns was in this same area. Well then, I’m glad it wasn’t cleared!

At some point in a bushy area, a partridge started hopping around beside the trail next to us. I was confused. Why wouldn’t it just fly away as usual? Marc told me it must have a nest near the trail because that’s how partridge’s lure away potential predators. Ah… It’s always nice to learn about wildlife, though just why I’ve never seen a partridge behave this way before is beyond me, because this behaviour was confirmed by all the hunters in my family — lol.

So we had fun day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail. Now if we were to come back to Halfway Lake, we’d probably like to try a paddle trip.