Limberlost Hiking Trails | Buck Lake to Poverty Lake

Buck Lake, Limberlost Muskoka

Hiking Limberlost Trails

When a beautiful warm and sunny day presents itself during the last days of October, north of 60…hwy 60 that is…well, we just have to go for a hike or paddle. On this particular day we did both, ending the day with an invigorating swim in spring fed Mason Lake.

Living in, or just outside of Muskoka has its benefits. One of the greatest is the proximity to the huge number of great trails, lakes and rivers. 

On this spectacular morning we decided to head to Limberlost with the dogs with a plan to hike the Buck Lake trail and the adjoining Poverty and High Lake trails. This Poverty/High Lake junction is a nice little addition to the Buck Lake Loop that we explored in an earlier post.

By mid October most of the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves have turned to brown or have fallen or been blown to the ground by high winds. The weather can be unpredictable so being prepared when out on adventures is key to a safe and enjoyable time.  We’ve already had our first snowfall ! I know some of you may be cringing at the thought but to me it’s such an exciting time of year. 

It’s that shoulder season when things quieten down a bit, taking a breath between the excitement of the fall colours and the anticipation of the upcoming winter season. 

Many cottages are closed, boats pulled from the water until spring, and less footprints are left on the trails. This is one of my most favourite times of year to wander with my camera in hand.

So with the intent to explore the Poverty/ High lake trail in its entirety, we were somewhat distracted on this very familiar path, observing and photographing all kinds of interesting mosses and mushrooms, lake views, the abandoned osprey nest … we missed the junction off the Poverty Lake section of trail and the path to High Lake.  So another day we’ll visit that section of trail in detail. Having walked it before I can say it’s a nice hike and a great way to extend your time out there, if desired. Situated off one of the more popular main trails, it doesn’t see quite as much foot traffic and at this time of year. Quite often you’ll see only a few other hikers, if any.

You can pick up the Poverty Lake trail after traversing the boardwalk over the small waterfalls of Helve Creek, flowing out of Buck Lake. If you’re approaching the boardwalk from the east, the trail will be on your left just before the creek. There is a sign indicating the direction of the trail just before the walkway. With an abundance of freshly fallen leaves on the ground this trail is a little harder to see as it is not as well travelled, but it isn’t too difficult to find your way along the lakeshore and up onto higher ground again. High cliffs rise above the trail on the one side with lake views on the other. We were able to hear what we think was a beaver swimming just out from the shore, but we were not fortunate enough to actually catch a glimpse of it through the trees.

Small cave on Poverty Lake Trail, Muskoka

Interesting rock formations with coverings of rich, green mosses and rock tripe, rise from the forest floor. A a small cave can be found along this part of the trail, perhaps providing shelter for some hibernating animal come winter.

Swinging away from Poverty Lake through a pretty section of hardwood bush, the trail eventually joins up with the Buck Lake trail once again. A short distance from this point you can continue along to the Hickory Lake trail or follow the path back to the parking lot. 

Sue Jamison


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