Iceland Expedition - The Laugavegur Trail 2023
In 2022, travel abroad was still a little risky and so the decision was made to stay here in Ontario for this year's expedition. After some searching, NAC learned of a little known and very challenging trail hidden in Central Ontario just North of Manitoulin Island. The Heaven's Gate Trail travels up and down the mountains of the Canadian Shield. 4000 feet of elevation change, over 4 days on the slick granite of the Shield proved to one of the most challenging trails we have ever completed. But this amazing group of 10 did not back down and pushed themselves hard each day to finished what seemed like a never ending journey. All the while, they were laughing and smiling.
Thanks to all the various companies and people who made this trip possible, including Chi Cheemaun Ferry, Mariana LaFrance of Honey House AirBnb, and Ray Doucette of Espanola Taxi. These local businesses made it possible to complete this amazing expedition.
DAY ONE - September 24, 2022
On day one, the group met in Tobermory where we had a good hearty lunch at Shipwreck Lee's before boarding the Chi Cheemaun ferry to take us over to Manitoulin Island. Once on the Island, we headed North for about an hour to Little Current, Ontario where we checked into the Honey House AirBnB which would serve as our basecamp for the duration of our trip.
DAY TWO - September 25, 2022
After a good nights rest, we woke and prepared a large filling breakfast. After which, we packed up our day packs and headed out to spend the day hiking the Cup & Saucer Trail of Manitoulin Island. Once completed, we took a short drive to Bridal Veil Falls and spent some time hiking to the base of the falls and the trails that head out to the North Channel.
DAY THREE - September 26, 2022
On this morning, we woke bright and early, had a very quick breakfast and then prepared for our 2 hour journey North. We headed off the Island and towards the end of the Heaven's Gate Trail where we would leave our vehicles behind so that we may find our way back in four days. Ray Doucette of Espanola Taxi was kind enough to drive us and our gear over an hour to get to Fort La Cloche where we would begin our journey. After all the travel time, we began our hike a bit late, and were then forced to hike in the rain and late into the evening, scrambling through the dark until we found our campsite. After pitching the tents and a very quick dinner, we all quickly crashed.