Another Day Exploring Remote Moosonee: A Hike On Charles Island And The Old Quarry Road

Another Day Exploring Remote Moosonee: A Hike On Charles Island And The Old Quarry Road

Mooseonee Canada morning hike June 4 2023 (37 of 38)
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I awoke a little later than usual in remote Moosonee, Ontario on Sunday morning. It was a long day Saturday, and I slept until 6 a.m.  I soon discovered it was mostly cloudy so I didn’t miss the sunrise. After a cup of coffee in my room I was again walking the quiet and dusty streets of Moosonee.  

I didn’t see a single person or vehicle on my 1/2 mile walk to the boat docks. 

I walked through the empty streets, past the sleeping residences and  Community Center

and arrived at the docks, where I was going to take a “water taxi” to Charles Island. Charles Island is one of  uninhabited five islands in the Moose River estuary that make up the Tidewater Provincial Park.  The islands can only be accessed by boat. Charles Island has 20 primitive camp sites.

There was one “water taxi” at the dock and I was told by the driver he was waiting for two passengers and would drop me off on the island after he took them to Moose Factory another community on an island in  the Moose River.  Two nurses who worked at the hospital  in Moose Factory arrived and we had a pleasant conversation as we  made our way over the waters of the  Moose River. 

After dropping the nurses off I was taken to Charles Island. There  is no dock and it took some  experienced maneuvering  to set me ashore. I was told by my  driver, A First Nation Cree native,  that I was the only one on the  island.  I made arrangements to text him when I needed a ride back to Moosonee. 

I walked on a path up the cliff from the  river’s shore

and was looking forward to being alone and exploring  the island.  The path took me to a shelter and sign about the campsites. There were no trail maps. 

I decided to walk toward the campsites,

which were near a cliff above the Moose River. It looked like it would be a great place to camp, especially on a clear, cool day. I am sure the stars in the night sky would be spectacular.

The path continued along the cliff above the river with primitive campsites a few hundred feet apart. The trees in the wood on the island were,  as they are almost everywhere in the boreal forest in northern Ontario,  were mostly white and black spruce and balsam popular. 

There were ostrich ferns and 

large areas of cow parsnip growing along the trail and a few wild flowers,

including downy yellow violets and

baby primrose flowers. 

There were a lot of white throated sparrows fluttering in the woods along the trail, and 

I heard many American redstarts, this is a female. 

As I walked on the trail I found I wasn’t the only one on the island. One of the campsites was occupied.  I walked past and the trail soon ended at  cliff,with a nice view of the Moose River. 

A flock of Canada geese flew over the river as I took in the view.

I walked back on the trail seeing this pretty magnolia warbler on the way. 

Back at the start of the trail I saw a path leading into  the forest and, following it came to some abandoned buildings. 

They appeared to be bathrooms and other facilities from what was once a larger and better maintained campground. 

I saw a few red eyed vireos here and, 

a male American redstart, 

I walked back to the main trail and found another, more grown in  path. 

I followed it and it took  me to the other side of the island. Here, I had to crawl down a cliff,

to get to a narrow beach along the Moose River. 

I followed it, finding foot prints of some  large birds

and other critters in the sand. 

The only critters I saw along the shore were a familiar black and white warbler,

and, this large sparrow, a fox sparrow, a  “lifer” for me. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike.  Moosonee, Ontario Charles Island birds June 4 2023. 

I crawled back up the cliff and walked back across the island.  I had walked about 4 miles on the island so I texted for a ride back to Moosonee. While I waited I found a few more primitive camp sites on the northern side of the island. 

My “water taxi”  soon  and I  had a nice chat with my driver on the way back to Moosonee. Here is a link to a gallery  on my blog website with  some more photos from my hike. Moosonee, Ontario Charles Island June 4 2023. 

I walked back to my hotel and had  another bland breakfast of waffles, oatmeal and orange juice

I decided I was going to try and make myself dinner in the microwave in the room so I walked to the grocery store and bought some ingredients for my dinner.

I then edited  some photos, and , later in the afternoon  I decided  to drive back out on the old Quarry Road where I hiked the  previous day. . 

It was still overcast and chilly when  parked my Jeep on Quarry Road. 

I  walked the same trail as  the day before. It was mid afternoon and there was a lot less bird activity then my last hike, . I  did see another Philadelphia vireo,

and this pretty Nashville warbler. Unlike my previous hike, there was not much more bird activity on this cool afternoon. 

I  walked through the  white and black spruce and balsam  popular  boreal forest,

to were the trail entered a wetlands. 

I had walked out two miles when I decided to end my hike and  I started my hike to my Jeep. . I had hoped to see more birds on my hike , and maybe a bear, or bobcat, and , although I didn’t see these more exotic creatures I enjoyed my  hike in this remote wilderness. 

I walked back  to my Jeep and drove to Moosonee , stopping at the stream along the way.   I hoped there might be a beaver or some other animal near the water but once again I there was nothing around.  It was now late afternoon and I was hungry. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my afternoon hike. Moosonee  Ontario afternoon hike June 4 2023. 

Back at my room in the hotel I began to make my dinner. It came out pretty good. I made frozen  shrimp and frozen  mixed vegetables in the microwave and served with whole grain crackers and fruit. It was a big improvement from the left over pizza. 

After dinner, I worked on my photos and retired early looking forward exploring remote Moosonee one more day before I took the Polar Bear Express the nextafternoon. 

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live.”
– Hans Christian Andersen

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