The north end of Killarney Provincial Park is just as beautiful as the south, and is home to the tallest mountain in the region, the Silver Peak. Part of the La Cloche range, Silver Peak and the surrounding hills were once taller than the Rockies, but have been worn down by years of erosion. The quartzite hills are now a stunning scene, and make for an excellent hike!
Starting at Killarney Kanoes rental shop on Bell Lake, go north to Three Mile Lake, west to Balsam Lake, and then south to David Lake. Leave your canoes at the portage to Bell Lake and follow the blue signs to the Silver Peak trailhead. The trail is well marked, and hard to miss. Alternatively, you can complete the portage to Bell Lake, and take the trail from there. By suggestion is to park the boats at Bell Lake so that you avoid having to do any portages after doing the hike.
From the western edge of Bell Lake, the distance to the top of the mountain is about 5.5km, but the climb itself is only 1.9km. The view from the top is worth the trip, and the hike itself is remarkably beautiful.
- Total Canoe Distance: About 25km
- Number of Portages: 4
- Total Portage Distance: 1.57km
- Longest Portage: 700 meters
- Total Hiking Distance: Between 4.5km (from David Lake) and 5.5km (from Bell Lake)
- Total Climb: 302m (from David Lake) and 318m (from Bell Lake)
Highlights: The main highlight of this trip is easily the hike up Silver Peak. The mountain is the tallest in the region, and from the top you can get a clear view for miles in all directions, including the stunning quartzite mountains of Killarney Provincial Park, several crystal clear blue lakes, and what seems like an endless lush forest. If you go in the fall, the changing colours add another element of beauty to an already incredible scene.
Downsides: There are very few downsides to the Bell Lake circle. The lakes are beautiful, the crowds are fairly tame compared to the main routes in Algonquin, and the hiking is incredible. Killarney is a little bit farther away from Toronto than some of the other parks, but it is well worth the drive.