FKT: Jamieson Hatt - Western Uplands Trail (ON, Canada) - 2020-06-30

Route variation
Loop #2 (56km)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 3m 0s
GPS track(s)

Started at 5:48 am.  I knew the terrain for this trail would be difficult, also it would only get hotter.  So I decided to put forth a solid effort right from the get go to try and beat the heat.  I knew I would pay for this strategy later on, but I figured I'll just deal with it when the going gets tough.  Things went smooth right from the get go.  I felt great and really tried to take advantage of the downhill and flat sections.  It was fast hiking for pretty much any hill.  I must say, the terrain is not easy.  Lots of roots and rocks, step hills, muddy and swampy sections.  I was attempting to keep my feet dry until I hit a swampy section where I had no choice but to submerge my feet.  It was actually a good thing because after that, I just didn't care and ran through almost anything.  There was even a beaver damn crossing later on where the water was up to about knee level.  I did my best to keep moving fast, but also stay on top of nutrition and hydration.  The latter was pretty easy due to all of the stream crossings.  I would say my going out hard strategy starting catching up to me about 25 miles in.  But, I only had 10 miles to go.  So I stayed on the gas the best I could.  I was really lucky I went clockwise on the loop.  The last section back to the start was fast and smooth.  I did pass some groups of hikers that were making their way back to the parking lot.  Overall though, the trail was not congested at all.  I made it back to the parking lot and was really happy with my effort.  I might have been able to break 7 hours if it wasn't for one navigational error I made.  I ended up taking the wrong way off of the trail and I ended up at Rainbow Lake campsite.  The trail ended and there was a privy there.  That's when I knew I made the wrong choice a few minutes ago.  So I doubled back and tried to not let it discourage me.  It's always frustrating, but it's part of the game.  And honestly, that little wrong way out and back is the least of my worries.  I could have made a wrong decision which would have cost me the fkt altogether.  I must say, this trail has a lot to offer.  3 different loops to choose from.  Lots of water sources and camp sites.  Total back country-no road crossings.  The nice town of Hunstville is a short drive away via the highway.  And the 56 km, loop #2 I did had about 5900 ft of vertical gain.  I still have some exploring to do in Algonquin Park, but first, some rest days...