Peat Mountain—Lake Superior Provincial Park, 8x10 watercolour, looking easterly from the peak.
I tried to figure out the elevation gain, but I’m absolutely hopeless at it. If you like maps and want to figure it out for yourself, map below.
But let’s put it this way. You begin at Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground, just off of HWY 17, and you start walking up, and then up some more, and then more up. Then, just as you think you are peaking the edge of a vast ridge, you begin walking down again, and then up, and up and more up, and once again, just as you think you are about to be led to a breathtaking view, you have to walk up some more. Well, eventually, you do get to the top. This is a day hiking trail, perfectly doable for ordinary folks in reasonable shape—maybe you’ll need to take a breather or two on the way up and make sure you have 3 or 4 hours (which will include enjoying the views, and stopping for lunch). Maybe you’ll need to eat an energy bar or a handful of peanuts when you get to the summit, but that’s really about the worst of it. The scenery on the way up, is, of course, gloriously deep and shadowed deciduous woodlands, heavy on maple, and by mid-September, usually colouring up nicely. It smells like nirvana—something about the odour of freshly fallen autumn leaves. And when you do reach the top, the views are magnificent. One vista lets you glimpse the North Shore of Lake Superior as a deep blue line on the horizon, but mostly you see the endless undulation of high granite hills. If it’s overcast, you may find yourself right inside the clouds, which is a little disappointing if you came for the view, but this year we hiked under glorious blue skies and enjoyed the fall colours at their best. The painted view is looking eastwards across the wetlands leading to Peat Lake.