The Lennox & Addington County boundaries fall within a long and narrow portion of Eastern Ontario. Driving from the most southerly point of Amherst Island north to the hamlet of Denbigh takes well over two hours to complete.
It's a beautiful journey. Southern views are dotted with bustling rural communities and areas of actively farmed land. The northern portion of the County is dominated by the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield and too many lakes & rivers to count.
You really notice the transition between these two distinct landscapes when travelling County Road 41 midway between Erinsville and Kaladar. Coincidentally, you will find two popular tourist attractions - the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area and the Sheffield Conservation Area.
You will also find the topic of this week's blog - Mellon Lake.
The lake is part of the Mellon Lake Conservation Reserve, which covers more than 8,000 hectares of Crown Land and has been recognized since 1993 for having provincially significant life science values. The reserve is among many protected areas that were created under Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy.
I recently had the opportunity to take an early evening paddle along the shoreline of this relatively unknown water body. Entering from the small launch just south of the stargazing platform, I paddled under the highway, quickly finding the world's smallest portage - a beaver dam that was just high enough out of the water that I couldn't shimmy over it. After getting my feet wet, I continued on my way.
Once under the bridge the granite outcroppings along the shoreline provided a real sense of what I would expect to see during my visit.
While making my way to the mouth of the lake I was surround by a sea of lily pads. I followed the narrow path of open water that snaked through the marsh, and was greeted by the sounds of frogs and the startled splashes of small fish along the way.
After about 5 minutes of steady paddling I reached the mouth of the lake. Other than a few well-hidden cottages, the view provided nothing but pristine nature. I was the only vessel on the water, and other than a few Kingfishers and a Loon, I had the entire lake to myself.
Anticipating some great fishing, I brought my rod along with me to make a few casts. I love bass fishing, and spotted some weedy areas that looked promising. I've been told that Mellon Lake is also known for some big Walleye and Northern Pike, but other than a few nibbles I didn't have any luck at all on this particular trip. I'm quite positive it had more to do with this angler's skill level than anything else.
The sun started getting low in the sky so I begrudgingly began making my way back home. The next time I visit - and there will definitely be a next time - I will be sure to start earlier so I can explore more of the lake.