Crowley Lake — Kivi Park's hidden gem

Crowley Lake, however, to close after this weekend

Crowley Lake, as seen in October 2016. If you don't like paddling, there are lots of hiking trails in the area. Kivi Park Instagram

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The splendid warmth of summer has passed, but it is still a great time for a paddle.

The leaves are practically glowing and the wooded horizon is awash in reds, yellows and oranges. The quiet of a kayak or a canoe cutting through the cold waters of October is a fine way to spend an afternoon.

And there is no finer a place than Crowley Lake. The lake, part of Kivi Park, offers canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals (courtesy of Ramakko’s) for just $20 per day. But this is your last chance to experience the stillness of the lake until next spring – it closes Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s also a place to hike, swim in the summer and enjoy a picnic,” Mani Cuza, Crowley Lake’s outpost co-ordinator, says. “It’s a moderately sized lake. It’s a good lake to learn to paddle on.”

If you really want to get a backcountry experience, it is possible to portage onto Camp Lake or Linton Lake from Crowley.

The lake is considered a hidden gem in Kivi Park. Over the summer, Cuza says several groups made use of the amenities at Crowley Lake, including a group of kids who visited weekly with officers from the Greater Sudbury Police Service. Much like the shop with a cop initiative, this was aimed at introducing young people to police officers in a natural and inviting setting, and encouraging community building.

“It was called the Spark program and it was the same group of kids once a week,” Cuza says. “Each week I would pull out a different boat and we would work on different techniques and skills in each boat, and then have a game afterwards.”

Cuza says the kids loved the experience.

“As we got further on they got to know each other and me, and I started to get more feedback, and I was able to make it a better experience for them,” she says. “In the end, they all wanted to come back, and they were all asking about boats so they could come back by themselves with their families.”

Crowley Lake also hosted learn-to-paddle days, which Cuza says, “went pretty well and seem like something we’ll look at in the future, as well.”

Crowley Lake has hosted a few fundraising events too, but Cuza says its real value is in exposing residents and visitors to the serenity of paddling and the beautiful landscapes of the northern woods.

“It gives people who don’t have equipment, or don’t have a place to use their equipment, to come out and experience the outdoors of Northern Ontario,” she notes.

During her interview, Cuza said the leaves were just starting to change and she was predicting a good palette for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Crowley Lake is open to visitors Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Thanksgiving Monday until 4 p.m.

To access the lake, turn onto McFarlane Lake Road from Long Lake Road and then take a right onto Raft Lake Road. Follow the road through to Kasten Lake Road (also known as Brodill Lake Road) until you arrive at the gate for Crowley Lake. It is an 11-minute drive from Long Lake Road to the access point. For more information, go to

Twitter: @marykkeown

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