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McCormick Wilderness

mi

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 1.9 miles


Backpack into Wilderness area and camp for two nights. Bushwhack day hike through wilderness.
  • West Gate Parking Area
  • White Deer Lake

The McCormick Wilderness is a 17,000 acre wilderness tract that is part of the Ottawa National Forest.  The area is accessible by two trails, one from the North Gate and one from the West Gate.  I accessed the area from the West Gate and hiked the 3.2 miles to White Deer Lake, the site of an old grand camp that was built by the McCormicks during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Only the foundations for the buildings are still there, the buildings have been dismantled and stored by an enthusiast and historian.

I camped at White Deer Lake with my dog for two nights.  The first night we endured heavy thunderstorms.  The one full day we were there we bushwhacked through the wilderness almost making it to Bull Dog Lake but we turned around just to be safe when the trail turned to swamp.

The wilderness was beautiful.  Next year I plan to go back, enter from the North Gate, camp near Yellow Dog falls and then bushwhack to White Deer Lake and set up camp.  I'm going to investigate the possibility of hiking back on the North Country Trail from the West Gate Parking area to a location south of Margaret Lake and then bushwhack north to the falls and back to the North Gate.

No permits are required to enter or camp in the McCormick Wilderness.  The Kenton Station for the Ottawa National Forest is the place to contact for more information. 

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