In late September, myself, my fiancé, and our dog went backcountry camping at Tracey Lake in Fundy National Park.
Tracey Lake gives you the privacy and tranquility of the backcountry without a strenuous haul to your campsite. The mix of forest and wetland make it a popular stopping place for Moose. We weren’t lucky enough to see one, but the mossy forest floor, starry night sky and misty lake mornings made for an excellent trip.
This post is all about helping you plan your trip to Tracey Lake.
Once you arrive at Fundy National Park, you’ll need to register for your backcountry pass at the Visitor’s Centre. From there, proceed to the parking lot at Bennett Lake. Consider arriving early to spend some time here before beginning your hike. Bennett Lake is a popular destination for swimmers, paddlers, and people who love to fish.
If you want too try fishing for brook trout, you’ll need to purchase a park fishing license. You can buy one at the lodge on Bennett Lake. You can also rent canoes and kayaks here.
Tracey Lake Trail – Trail 25
Tracey Lake is home to two backcountry sites, T11 and T12. They are accessible by trail 25, also known as Tracey Lake Trail. The trail is a 14km out-and-back route of moderate difficulty. The two campsites are spread out around the halfway point.
Depending on your pace, the hike to your campsite should take 1 – 1.5 hours. The trail is well-marked and mostly flat, but covered with rocks and tree roots. Watch your footing and wear shoes with adequate ankle and arch support.
The biggest challenge of this trail is going to depend on the season you visit and the weather. Spring thaw and heavy rains make the trail wet and muddy. There is one area that crosses over a stream and, while it was low when we visited, I expect it could be difficult to cross after spring melt. You can always check in with park staff before heading out.
Campsites T11 and T12
Here’s the deal – you want to book campsite 12. We stayed at campsite 11 and, although it was fine, when we saw campsite 12, we were kicking ourselves. Campsite 12 is an open grassy area with a beautiful view of Tracey Lake. It feels like you are on your own private lakefront and the view of the stars is incredible.
Campsite 11, on the other hand, is shaded by the trees. I’d describe it as “mediocre.” Although you can easily walk down to the water, you don’t have the same stunning view as T12.
You Should Know
There are no bear cables at these campsites. You will have to bring a bear bag or bear canister. I recommend a bear canister because there are few good places to hang a bear bag.
Firewood is brought in to these sites only once during the spring. If you are camping late in the season, there is a chance that the sites will be empty of firewood. That said, there was still some left at T11 when we visited in late September.
What You’ll See
Tracey lake is described as a “bog-ringed lake.” You’ll see the trees of the Acadian Forest including red spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch, white birch, and maples.1 The forest floor “is covered with carpets of moss, woodfern and bunchberry.”2 In the spring, you can see ephemerals like trillium, lady slipper, and trout lilies.
As for animals, park staff boasts that three iconic Canadian animals can be seen around Tracey Lake: the loon, beaver, and moose. You’ll also see plenty of American red squirrels, Canada geese, and frogs. In the spring, you’ll hear a chorus of spring peepers.
If you’re adventurous and looking for a good workout, I’d recommend the following 2-night / 3-day itinerary.
Day 1: Arrive at Bennett Lake in the morning and rent a canoe to try your hand at catching brook trout. Afterwards, have an early lunch at one of the picnic tables along the beach. Start your hike into camp in the early afternoon. Arrive in time to set up camp, take a swim, and watch the sunset and starry sky.
Day 2: Have an early breakfast, pack a lunch and the ten essentials, and head out to Laverty Lake and Laverty Falls. Laverty Lake is a scenic lake nestled in the forest not too far from campsite 12.
Laverty Falls is accessible via Laverty Road and trail 24. This would be a long hike, I’d estimate 4-6 hours. Note that trail 24 is a linear trail in-and-out. Taking the Moosehorn loop will add a couple hours and more difficulty to your hike – though it is very beautiful! You can find a trail map here.
Get back to camp before supper, cool off in the lake, and relax for the evening.
Day 3: You’ll have a few hours to enjoy your campsite before you have to check out.
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1 Fundy National Park: Trees of the Boreal Forest. Parks Canada.