Bancroft Ontario - Mineral Capital of
We camp at Silent Lake Provincial Park,
about 20 min. outside of Bancroft.
It is 7 hours from our home.
Our site #113
Like most camping experiences,
it rained on and off, 3 of our 4 days!
As always, that just adds to the adventure!
My highlight - a chipmunk!
We brought bird seed from home and sprinkled it around our site to see
what we might attract! Black bears are in the area, hopefully bird seed
wouldn't attract one of them!
I was SO thrilled when this little sweetie showed up.
"Chippers" was so into foraging for the seeds he didn't even mind me
getting SO close. Yes I even patted his back! He made me SO happy!
With a critter this cute, more photos are a
He would fill up his cheeks so full, then run
back to his hole / home, just a bit up a hill. Drop off the seeds, then
return for more. We watched him do this for about an hour, (around 7
pm), while we were preparing and eating dinner. Of course stopping to
There were neat mushrooms up there too, like the red one in the photos.
view of Silent Lake.
The beach is across from us.
This Lake is in the center
of the 1,420 hectare park.
(with a blue floating noodle)
in the beach area.
Cute sand sculptures on the beach.
However, we didn't create them. But they were
Bancroft has beautiful, high,
rock out croppings.
A popular scenic area is a view from Eagle's Nest
This is a top the rock wall from the above photo.
Carla on the platform.
Mark by the look out platform.
Mark and the view. Carla on a rock.
Some nature shots from Silent Lake Provincial Park
Bancroft and area are well known
for Rockhounding, searching for and collecting rocks.
Here was a dumping of stones called the CN Dump.
On Monday we did some searching here and
found a few
good ones, pictured below.
Some sodalite (blue), pyrite (gold colour),
(black). In calcite.
We went on a Chamber of Commerce tour
on Tuesday July 26th, (tours are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays in July & August). The tour started out with light rain
and finished with a
complete down pour! So unfortunately we didn't get any photos of us in
the process of rockhounding. We went to 2 sites, Richardson Mine and
Bear Lake Diggings. Both would probably be impossible to find on your
own, so we are glad we
took the $9 each tour. Which involved your own car following the guide
and others on the tour (about 45 min. drive from Bancroft). The sites
are off dirt roads, you just park and
walk in, distance varying, from a 5 minute walk in to 25 minutes in.
Rockhounding in a very dirty job, wear clothes you never want to see
again! We were digging in dirt trenches in wooded areas - in the rain!
We were soaked and filthy! We did come back
with some pretty rocks. We washed them up when we got home and here are
our samples... still learning the names!
Here's a close up of some apatite (green
crystals) found in various rocks, mostly white/pinkish tone calcite.
Some of the black rocks are hornblende.
Some green apatite. Banded purple
The green apatite prismatic crystals
are very fragile, most break off and lots of little pieces can easily
Reddish brown to black wedge shaped titanite crystals.
Calcite with green apatite. Mica,
(biolite), flaky black rock.
Our Bancroft trip was rewarding,
despite the rain.
We enjoyed our 1st
Rockhounding experience and are enthusiastic about our new hobby.
Tips we learned...
shovel, safety glasses, rock hammer, chisels, pry bar, garden claw to
pull away dirt, pails, bags, small containers for little rocks,
compass, magnifying glass, flashlight, water spray bottle to spray
dirty rocks to see what you've got, gloves, clothes you literally never
want to see again, sturdy shoes / boots the walks in can be rocky, knee pads or something soft to
kneel/sit on, area maps, insect repellent, beverages and food it can be a long
day and you are out in the middle of no where.
Bancroft things to do
Silent Lake Provincial Park
NEXT - Camping 2006 -
Killbear Provincial Park, Nobel Ontario
- Camping 2007 - MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Port Elgin Ontario
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