killarney provincial park
Silver Peak, Killarney Provincial Park

Paddling west from the lodge, you enter that section of Bell Lake not visible from the Hill Top trail lookout. The view is soon dominated by the impressive Silver Peak. It looks gentle and welcoming as a climb, but knowing that looks can be deceptive I wonder if I will be up to the task.

As fate would have it, however, the question becomes moot. Forest fires in the area have closed the trail.

While I enjoyed a quiet shore lunch on Bell Lake, water bombers and fire-spotting planes circled overhead, working an active burn just south and west of us.

It has been a record dry season, water levels are down across the province, bears have come down from the arid hilltops and into the campsites in search of food.

The Silver Peak trail, and in fact all of the overnight hiking trails, have been closed to campers not just because of the active firefighting, but because of the forest fire hazard from hiker's campfires. Business as usual in Ontario Provincial Parks in summer.

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