Last week I explored beautiful Narrow Hills Provincial Park. We camped at Lower Fishing Lake Campground which has several amenities within a 5-10 minute walk. There is a store, boat rentals, group camping, flush outhouses, beach, and service centre. Most sites are open (not private), however we lucked out with a great spot. The park also has satellite campsites at Baldy, Ispuchaw, and Zeden Lakes. These sites are non-electric and great for campers who like quiet and remote experiences. Note that this park has no cell service and no Wi-Fi.
The beach at Lower Fishing lake is pristine and well-maintained. It is spacious with fine, comfortable sand. The buoyed area is shallow; maybe four feet deep. The lake is usually calm and a magnificent location to watch the sun set.
Narrow Hills Scenic Drive runs southeast from the main campground. It is about ten kilometres to Grace Lakes, after which travel is not recommended. The road is gravel and sand. I would not attempt it in wet conditions. The trail begins wide, but is narrow at times and climbs up on the ridge. Along the way are a few pullouts with information panels, views of lakes, trailheads, and small parking areas. My favourite highlights are the view and Mackie Lake. The ridge near Grace Lakes is probably the only area in the park with cellular reception.
There are two main trailheads along the scenic drive. The first is for the Island, Beaver, and Heiberg hiking trails. Maps are available at the park office and trailhead. We explored the six-kilometre return trail to Heiberg Lake. The trail is very wide and relatively flat. The path ends at the shore of Heiberg Lake and a private cabin. The lake is large but has many reeds. The second trailhead is further south is labeled “Old P.A. Trail” and I believe connects to the other paths. We did not venture out on this trail.
On another day we attempted to bike to Island Lake from the same starting point. Shortly after the junction to the lake, the path becomes hilly and carpeted in vegetation. We encountered two or three trees which had fallen across the path. Around the right (west) side of the lake the route narrows and becomes overgrown. The east side climbs a hill; at which point we decided to turn back. Clearly these trails need some TLC. The trail is a decent workout for hikers and mountain bikers.
Of course the most popular draw to Narrow Hills is Gem Lakes. This hiking path is located in the northwest section of the park, about a thirty-minute drive from Lower Fishing Lake Campground. It features six-kilometre trail around six deep lakes. I will dedicate another post to the Gem Lakes area.
Overall Narrow Hills is a fascinating park to visit. I would recommend it to everyone!