Eric and I headed to Killarney Provincial Park for a birthday hike! I’ve been eyeing up this hike for awhile and it was awesome. The Crack is one of Killarney’s most popular (probably THE most popular) hikes and is the first part of La Cloche Silhouette trail (a 7-10 day backpacking trek – added to bucket list). We’ve hiked Killarney’s Chikanishing Trail (a moderate 3 km trail) in the fall a few years ago and it was beautiful. We need to take advantage of how close we are and explore more of this park!
From the road, it wasn’t very obvious where the trail-head was. Luckily we turned into the first parking lot on the right after entering the park and the trail-head was there. It was $14 for a park day pass and you just pay and display your ticket from a machine. We got there early-ish (just before 10AM) and there were three cars in the parking lot. We only encountered a few other hikers on our way there, but the trail got a lot busier on our way back. By the time we made it back to the parking lot, it was crammed full of cars. So definitely go early to beat the rush.
The website recommends you plan for about 4 hours, but it only took us around 3 with a snack (of course) and rest break at the top. This difficult 6-7ish km out-and-back hike started off easy, nice and flat jaunt through the woods. I think around 30 minutes in, the terrain changes drastically and that’s where the fun starts. You get to climb up some rocks! We didn’t find the scrambling as tough as Camelback but you should be prepared regardless. You get a beautiful view of Georgian Bay once you’ve made it through “the crack”. Just make sure you turn back around or else you’re in for that 7-10 day trek.
The bugs weren’t too bad until a bit later on and we were definitely glad we wore long sleeves and pants! In case you aren’t aware of how buggy this area gets (especially beginning of June – what were we thinking??), the answer is: extremely. Use bug spray and keep covered up to minimize suffering and maximize enjoyment.
We finished our hike around 1:00, just in time for lunch. Like many locals and tourists alike, we went to Herbert’s in Killarney for a post-hike fish and chips. It was a 10-15 minute drive out of the way, but it was definitely worth it! And it was a gorgeous day to sit outside by the marina.
We also picked up some fresh strawberries and asparagus from a local stand. It’s just the beginning of strawberry season, but they were still pretty tasty mmm.
I definitely want to do this hike again…probably in the fall sometime. And one day, I’ll tackle that Silhouette trail!