One of my duties with L&A County is that I manage the popular Dark Sky Viewing Area north of Erinsville. It's a pretty fun part of the job, even though I sometimes get home well after midnight.

When we host events at the site I always leave a little early with my kayak in tow so I can go for an early evening paddle on nearby Little Mellon Lake. Part of the Sheffield Conservation Area, it's definitely one of the prettiest spots I've visited to date. Seeing as I was in the area preparing for an upcoming stargazing event, I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to get out on the water.

LaunchingKayak_web.jpg

As soon as I launched I regretted not bringing my fishing gear. The water regularly rippled ahead of me as I spooked bait fish relaxing near the surface. Where there's little fish, there's bigger fish, right? Or so I'm told. Seeing as I'm not a skilled angler, the fish are safe regardless of whether or not I have my rod with me.

Fish_web.jpg

Wildlife was prominent throughout my tour of the lake. As I hugged the shoreline I could hear blackbirds chirping and frogs singing. I was unable to capture any frog photos, but with the lily pads as inviting as these, one must have been some close by.

BlackBird_LillyPads_Web.jpg

I also came across some turtles, including a small Painted Turtle sunbathing in the mud and a rather large Snapping Turtle relaxing just below the waterline.

PaintedTurtle_SnappingTurtle_web.jpg

Sheffield Conservation Area is right on the cusp of the Canadian Shield. Granite outcroppings make for some picturesque views along the shoreline. 

GraniteCliff_web.jpg

As I coasted into the boat launch at the conclusion of my paddle, I was disappointed that it my afternoon on the water was over. Keen to spend more time outdoors, I contemplated going for a hike along the 4.5km trail at Sheffield CA, but alas, it was time to get back to my duties at the Dark Sky Viewing Area. I'll save that hike for another day.

HikingTrailEntrance_web.jpg

As the name entails, Little Mellon Lake is a rather small lake. Paddling along the entire shoreline is less than 3 kilometres in length, however, don't let that deter you from visiting. If you're looking a longer paddle, you can also visit nearby Big Mellon Lake. You guessed it, Big Mellon Lake is bigger than Little Mellon Lake.

Be sure to check out our Paddle Routes page for more details about this route and others here in Lennox & Addington.