Lost hiking on Bonnie’s Pond Trail – Silent Lake Provincial Park

This summer, I went to Silent Lake Provincial Park to hike Bonnie’s Pond Trail.

It was my first time, so I was careful to begin at the clearly marked Bonnie’s Pond trailhead, but I had not travelled farther than 100 meters before I lost sight of the hiking markers. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw one.

Getting Lost At The Start

Only having just started the “trail,” I knew that I couldn’t have gone that far off course. With a slow 360, I was able to spot a hiking marker 100 feet away, down the hill below me.

It seems I had inadvertently followed one of the skiing trails.

Be warned: winter trails are well worn. It’s easy to start following them if you follow your feet instead of first looking for the next trail marker.

A little peek at Bonnie’s Pond

Up a little hill to a lookout over Bonnie’s Pond

At the wood footbridge

A few more views of Bonnie’s Pond.

Into the woods…

A little wetland from Bonnie’s Pond drain off

It’s starting to get muddy | Streams are following the trails

Bonnie’s Pond Trail intersects with a dirt road that’s mainly used as a bike trail. Here, you cross the road and continue on the path, where, if there have been heavy rains or pond overflow, the way will be muddy and mini-lakes to walk through.

If you’re not keen on mudding, turn left (uphill) on the road if the possibility of slippery conditions daunts you. You’ll see a blue sign indicating where you reconnect with Bonnie’s Pond Trail, returning to the parking lot.

I went downhill.

There are no photos from the mud-bogging section of what I now call Bonnie’s Pond Part 2. When the terrain became treacherous, I secured my cameras in my waterproof backpack.

I didn’t want their pendulum weights to throw me off balance, and I needed to concentrate on navigating flooded sections safely. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about ‘saving’ my camera if I fell.

A Birding Break

Shortly after descending the little hill, I came into an area that was heavily populated with warblers and other birds. Fledglings were chirping from the branches as the adults hunted prey to feed their young. Photographing these birds was a welcome break from hiking.

Mostly out of the mud

Until I was sure I was out of the mud, I only stopped a few times from here on to take photos.

One last stream to cross | It’s all uphill from here

I got lost again

Hiking upwards, I was watching my step, so I followed the well-worn path ahead of me until there, in my way, was a blockade of fallen trees – and not one hike marker in sight.

I retraced my steps for the second time on this hike.

I stopped every ten paces to breathe and look around for markers, and about 150 feet later, I saw one. Bonnie’s Pond Trail had veered off to the left, where I had continued straight. I couldn’t find the last marker I’d seen, but at least I was back on track.

It’s hot and humid

This trail felt longer than 3.5 kilometres. Maybe it’s the sun beating down on me, the moisture in the air so thick I can chew it, or it’s the fact that I’ve soaked through all my clothes, but after I got lost again. The heat and humidity were taking their toll, and all I could think about was getting back to my vehicle.

I take a break. I refill my easy reach bottle and pour in some electrolytes. I breathe. I drink. I think.

Slowing my pace

I don’t want to rush to the parking and risk making another error. Now, if I were genuinely lost, I would have pulled out my Garmin to use the trackback options to guide me.

I don’t check my location, nor how far I’ve gone on the trail – I feared being crushed to find out I’m only halfway.

Almost there

I spot a flash of colour through the woods and think it’s a car at my parking lot – excitement rushes through me, and I feel my steps quickening. I discovered all too quickly that it’s an Ontario Parks structure on higher ground, but it was not my destination.

I’m about to discover something

I eat a granola bar and hydrate, then keep moving and come across that old dirt road-turned biking track from earlier in the trail.

Now I knew where I was. I was farther away from the parking than I thought, but not terribly far. I’d survive.

I thoroughly enjoyed my hike, and plan to return and explore the trail every season.

Thanks for reading through this journal!

Save to Pinterest

More Hiking Adventures

Doe Lake Trail
Loudon Peatland Trail
Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary