Wednesday 18 May 2011

Larry Lake

Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook 4th Edition - Map 14 D5
Atlas of Canada Link: Larry Lake

Degrees, Minutes, Seconds: 49° 7' 5" N 125° 26' 18" W
Decimal Degrees: 49.118° N 125.438° W UTM
Coordinates: 10U 322073 5443446
Topographic Map Sheet Number: 092F03

Trip Date: May 11, 2011

Larry Lake
Larry Lake sits in a stoney depression on the top of "Hydro Hill" on the way from Port Alberni to Ucluelet and Tofino. After descending from Sutton Pass down the picturesque Kennedy River valley the road takes a winding jog up and over Hydro Hill before descending again to the shores of Kennedy Lake. It's one of those "blink or you'll miss it" spots, a mere gap in the rocks where motorhomes and 5th wheels pull out for a break. There are often anglers at the water's edge and the day I was there the couple who were fishing caught two nice trout on a simple worm in the time that I was out on the water.

The put in is a tad rocky and not ideal, but a light solo goes in no problem. I paddled the lake clockwise and within a minute I was behind the first point and in a different world. The traffic noise fades and there is the sound of water trickling down stone and wind through pine needles.

The First Point if Paddling Clockwise
The rocks drop steeply into the water and continue into the depth. Shore pine are everywhere, in appealing bonsai like shapes, and even the hemlocks are graceful in their form.

After making my way slowly through the first bay, I got out on the first little island which is really charming. Like spending some time on the back of a turtle.

Small Island

Small Island
As I paddled away from the first small Island I made a deliberate attempt to slow down and look at each tree and rock formation. There were some larger trees overhanging the water and a pleasing vista when I looked in almost any direction.

North Western Shore
 Rounding the bend into the northern bay I had the great pleasure to examine up close a recently cleaved cliff revealing the complicated combination of limestone and basalt. The face was already stained with a variety of lichen and algae.

I paddled through the little bay on the northern tip of the lake where the only outflow from the lake drops sharply towards Kennedy Lake.

Lots to Look At
Then, feeling ready for some lunch, I made my way over to the "large" Northern Island.

A 60 second paddle.

Lunch in Sweet Solitude

A Short Climb to Look Down on the Lunch Spot

Looking North West

Everywhere a Bonsai

Evergreen Huckleberry -- not so green but lovely anyway!

Two Kinds of Stone
With lots to see in a very small area, Larry Lake has got to be one of the most compressed areas of beauty on Vancouver Island. Anglers know about it already, but I think the meditative paddler will find much here to contemplate as well.

Thanks Larry, your lake is awfully nice.


  1. Splendid area to enjoy, the water is really clear.

  2. Great to see some more paddling, I also try to look at individual trees and shoreline features, as well as watching the water and how it reacts to the paddle. Hope to wet the boat this weekend.

  3. A peace-filled posting of words and images...thanks Richard. D.

  4. wonderful and a little bit misterious place! Very good shots

  5. I just discovered your blog, and its so wonderful.
    Your photos and the way they are placed seem to put me right there.
    It's going to take me a spell to read your back posts, for it's time well spent.


  6. Thanks folks, It is good to be connected with you all through our common appreciation of the great outdoors.

    Alan, it looks like you and I share an appreciation for the hidden beauty of small places. I have very fond memories of small streams my dad and I fished where I grew up. I have not found similar water here on the island, perhaps because of fishing pressure. I have, however, spent some time walking small streams and creeks here watching for fish activity and just enjoying the beauty of flowing water under trees.

    Looking forward to a summer of interesting posts from all of you,


  7. We stopped by chance on the shore of Larry Lake. Thank you for your beautiful photos. -- Molly, visiting from Naples, Italy

  8. Hey Molly, glad you liked the photos -- and Larry Lake!