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9. Round Lake

Bonnechere Provincial Park | A very nice sandy beach. BPP - Boat Launch | Access to Bonnechere River and Round Lake.BPP - Observation Deck | Accessible by canoe or kayak.Morning mist | Near the mouth of the Bonnechere.BPP - Pine River Ranger Cabin | Beside entrance road.McNaughton Trail | Lots of surprises including a Black-backed Woodpecker.Racket-tailed Emerald | Common dragonfly near wetland bridge.Orange Bluet | A county rarity on McNaughton Trail.Ovenbird | A common songster.White-throated Sparrow | The "Oh Canada" bird. It canBPP - Interpretive Program | Very good programs all summer.Foy Provincial Park - Admin Entrance | Better to enter just up the road.Access to lake side trail | This is the best entrance to the lake.Be prepared.  Bring a bathing suit!Foy PP - Beach | A nice beach and view of the lake.Trail from the beach | The trail heads north along the shore.Trail Chairs | Nice touch!Foy PP - north exit lake trail | Exit here and go back on the road.Foy PP - Mountain Trail | Across the road from the park gate.Foy PP - Mountain swamp | Swamp past end of trail.Whorled Loosestrife | Found beside swamp one.Foy PP - mountain swamp | North of trail and other swamp.Blue flag moths | Blue flag with attendant moth.Foy PP Otter | Surprise in the north swamp.

Round Lake is on the Bonnechere River system, which has its headwaters in Algonquin Provincial Park.  The lake is 35 kilometres west of Pembroke along the Round Lake Road (County Road 58).  Two destinations on Round Lake are featured:  Bonnechere Provincial Park (BPP) and Foy Provincial Park (FPP).

Bonnechere Provincial Park

This park is on the northwest side of Round Lake. Bonnechere Provincial Park

(BPP) is a recreational park which offers camping, rustic cabins, sand beach with roped swimming area, and facilities such as showers, washrooms, recycling, gift shop.  

The trails are well maintained and provide easy walking.   The main feature of the park, aside from Round Lake, is the Bonnechere River.  This river flows east from Algonquin Park, through Round Lake, Golden Lake, Eganville, Renfrew and empties into the Ottawa River east of Renfrew.

Bonnechere River Park  connects BPP with Algonquin Provincial Park to the west.

In BPP, old oxbows are features that are visible along the trails.  The park is mostly forested consisting of White Pines, White Spruce, Large-toothed Aspen, and other species typical of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest.  The McNaughton Trail passes through conifers and mixed forest, wetland, passes oxbows and the banks of the Bonnechere River.  Black-backed Woodpecker seems to be a permanent resident as it has been recorded in 30 years of breeding birds surveys.  In 2010 it was heard between the road to the rustic cabins and the oxbow bridge.  Other commonly heard birds along the trail are Broad-winged Hawk, Blue Jay, Hermit Thrush, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Swamp Sparrow and Purple Finch.

Foy Provincial Park

The main entrance (locked) is located at 933 Red Rock Road across Round Lake from Bonnechere Park, the 148 hectare Foy property is one of the last undeveloped sections of natural shoreline on the lake.  Eight forest communities are protected within the park including remnants of the hemlock-white pine and hemlock-white cedar forests, which once covered large portions of Renfrew County.   The best way to the beach is from a foot trail 100 m. north of the park gate.  From the beach area, a nature trail follows the shoreline going north and exits on Red Rock Road.  The shoreline is rugged along this stretch.  Some of the birds that can be heard between the road and the lake are Northern Flicker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Hermit Thrush, Veery, Winter Wren, Red-eyed Vireo, Ovenbird, Black-capped Chickadee and Blue Jay.  Many other species are possible, including a variety of warblers, Brown Creeper, woodpeckers and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

 

The rugged area of the park starts across the road from the main gate but you will need a GPS unit and/or topographic map (31F/12) and compass.  An old bush road heads uphill but disintegrates into a semi-hidden trail and ends after a few hundred metres from the road.  At this point, head northeast around a wall of rock. You should encounter a marsh/swamp beaver pond.  Watch for Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser and listen for Blue-headed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler and Eastern Wood Pewee, Belted Kingfisher.

Another swamp is found by heading west northwest and this swamp may hold surprises such as Otters and Fragrant White Water-lilies.  Head west to return to the road.