Chapleau Crown Game Preserve Part I
We left the hotel around 9 AM, equipped only with a map of the Preserve and directions from the hotel clerk heading toward the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve. A sign signaling the entrance to the Preserve was not seen. Seeing a picnic stop we turned into it just to take a peek. Before we realized it we saw a sign pointing to a road that, according to the map, was a few kilometers within the Preserve. We turned down that road. Now we knew we were in the Preserve. For several miles we had been on a gravel road which made for reasonable navigation. We later found the entrance sign located beside the road from Chapleau as you approached Aux Trois Moulins, the hotel where we were staying.
Watching the road I saw a Black Bear on the side of the road standing on its hind legs. Before I could say anything, my wife saw something black running into the woods. It did leave quite rapidly. A lake opened up on the right with a boat in the water a good distance away. Soon we saw a dirt road turning off this secondary road. Being adventurous, I turned down it. Continuing on as the road narrowed I forged forth. I was about ready to back up but just wanted to see what was around the next bend when we came upon another dirt road with the two roads forming a “T.” I turned around wondering where the boat had put in but unwilling to venture any further in my non 4×4 vehicle. We returned to the secondary road wanting to reach “Platform #1.”
In the States we have experienced overlooks and observation platforms so we had visions of the same type of facility. Wrong! When we reached the sign announcing “Platform #1” pointed into a space large enough for a couple of cars. Investigating we walked around a little. I had seen a yellow sign in the woods and walked back down the road a few feet. A mound of wood chips blocked the entrance but it was not too difficult to climb. There was a newly built bridge over a small stream in the path. Wood chips lined the pathway. We followed the path’s direction. Reaching the end of the wooden chips, the path became wet so we decided to turn back, disappointed but not daunted.
Returning to the main road didn’t take very long. Our next destination was the Bird and Picnic Observation area. The map also indicated restrooms there and they were needed. Somewhere along the way my wife saw a rabbit bounding back into the woods. The Bird and Picnic Observation area was just that. An overgrown place with tables near a lake, it was a pretty area. We walked through flowers to get to the tables. We could not locate a restroom. I later learned that within Canada they are called washrooms, a term I find more appealing. Somewhere along here my wife took over the driving. We stopped at the Moose Lookout which reminded me of a deer stand back in the States but it was a small wooded room with a viewing area of a lake. No Moose. Returning to our car we hoped that “Platform # 3” would prove to be Moose Haven!