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The Crack is the most daunting and most popular trail found in Killarney Provincial Park. The trail takes about 4 hours to complete and has very difficult sections where you are climbing from one boulder to the next. The trail itself is part of the La Cloche Silouette Trail, which is an 80 kilometer trail within the park.
The trail is hard to spot from the highway since there is no official sign. Instead, it has two reflective diamond signs in the entrance. There is plenty of parking. Although the first half of the trail wasn’t physically difficult, it had its own challenges. As we walked through the thick bush surrounded by swamps and mud, we fought to keep our sanity amongst the thick clouds of mosquitoes. I mean, I’ve never seen it this bad in Ontario. In mother nature’s defense, June is usually the month where mosquitoes are at their worst. Plus, it had rained the entire day before our hike so we knew the bugs would be bad. Thankfully we had some bug nets and insect repellent. Even so, we had to re-apply quite a few times since it was so hot today! We met up with two women and their dogs who were spending the weekend in Killarney. They had left their bug spray behind so of course we insisted that they use some of ours
As well as the mosquitoes, most of the trail was muddy and wet, so we spent a lot of time detouring the main trail. I’m not afraid to get my shoes dirty in some mud but these were just too deep .
Once we were finally out of the bush our jaw dropped when we saw the next challenge awaiting us – a steep climb along the mountain side. Slow and steady wins the race we said to each other. We paid very close attention to where our next would be and climbed on. It was incredibly steep, so we stopped along the climb for some breaks. We saw a guy racing to the top and thought he must be completely insane. At this point, we were about half way to the crack. We followed the trail through some more bush and finally arrived to a plateau where the beautiful silver rock was exposed and glistening in the sun. We could see the crack in the distance! We could even spot some of the hikers on the top that had passed us along the way. By then it was mid-afternoon, so the sun was really beaming down. Now that we were finally out of the shade where the mosquitoes love to hide, we were treated to the beautiful sun. We followed the markers as we climbed uphill again and suddenly we found ourselves staring at the crack! (Haha). We stopped for a while as some people climbed down. As I mentioned before, The Crack is very popular, so there were many, many people on the trail. We climbed the huge boulders within The Crack and finally we had made it to the top. It was a beautiful sight, offering views of Silver Peak, Lake Huron and the surrounding wooded area. We had our lunch as we enjoyed the cool breeze and took some time to relax. The difficult hike was worth the view. Maybe some day we will attempt the La Cloche Silouette trail, but today was certainly not that day. As we headed back, Marc suddenly began to feel very tired. Before long, we realized that both of us had some pretty bad sun burns, and Marc had a very minor sun stroke. You never feel that sunburn until later in the evening when it’s too late to prevent it. Next time, we will bring some sun screen and Marc will wear a hat.
It was very hot and humid today so we drank a lot of water. In total, it took us 5 hours to hike The Crack but we spent about an hour at the top. So really, it took about four hours.
For our hike, we brought our basic safety kit which consists of first aid, fire and water filtration. We also carried 4 liters of water which we finished by the time we reached the parking lot and some home-made MREs’. And of course, we carried our camera equipment to document our adventure. This is without a doubt the hardest trail we’ve attempted so far. We look forward to the next challenge!