Weekend in the Woods

Nic and I took a little weekend getaway to Canada. My parents kindly met us in Mackinaw City to take the dogs off our hands. We enjoy taking the dogs with us on trips, but we were bringing paddleboards and I didn’t want to leave them in the car. The weather on the drive was amazing. We drove through black storm clouds and ended up with some great rainbows. We arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, ON around 7 pm and did our grocery shopping. Is it just me, or does food and beer in Canada seem much more expensive?

We stayed at Stokely Creek Lodge, just North of the Soo. Stokely is an all-inclusive cross-country ski lodge in the winter. They just started renting out rooms in the summer because of the new bike trails. Conservation groups and local bikers built some awesome trails that intertwine with the ski trails. We were the only ones staying at the lodge that weekend but the owner showed us around the premises. It is really beautiful. They said they have weddings booked there this fall and the dining room can accommodate 100+ people. I would like to come back here in the winter and do some skiing and snowshoeing. It was an impressive place.

I found out about the bike trails via Facebook on a biking forum. I was warned by locals that the trail had a brutal climb, and they were not lying! Nic and I had to get off our bikes multiple times. The terrain was rough and technical. We are so used to well-groomed and smooth single track in Marquette. These trails were challenging to us. The single track took you almost to the top of King Mountain, where it meets up with a snowshoe/hiking trail that goes to the top. We left the bikes and hiked to the tippy top and the view was just incredible. You could see Lake Superior, miles away. After we jumped back on the bikes, the single track thankfully started going downhill. They were a blast! I must commend the local bikers for building and maintaining these trails. We even saw some people working on it while we were there. Another plus to these trails were the signs. We never got lost because there was a trail map at every intersection!

The second night of the weekend, we planned to camp. My dad gave us directions to an awesome campsite along the Goulais River. We set up camp along a waterfall and just hing out there all afternoon in the autumn sunshine. The tree colors up there were about 40-50%. We pretty much had the place to ourselves besides some people on ATVs cruising around the dirt roads.

That night, after making a fire and roasting some veggie brats, we started to wind down for the night. The stars were the brightest that I have seen them in years. The sounds of the waterfall had us drifting off to sleep. Until…we heard ACDC blaring from someones car! A couple in their 40’s parked a few hundred yards from us and set up camp that night also. They were loving on the 80’s music a little too loud and we were so upset that our night in nature was ruined. Nic finally got up around 1am and went and asked them to turn it down. They were nice about it and complied. Nic and I laughed about it later. The 20-somethings asking a couple that was our parents age, to keep it down. Have we become party-poopers?!

The next day, Nic and I packed up early and drove to Lake Superior in hopes to stand-up paddle. It was too wavy on the lake, so we went to the Batchawana River instead. It was a nice paddle and the sun even came out for us, although it was a little chilly out. We kept hoping all weekend that we would see some wildlife (moose, wolf, anything) but we were unsuccessful.

Here is a map of where we stayed at Stokely Creek and Goulais River:

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