July & August Renovations at Loch Island Lodge

It’s been a while since we posted on the blog, so it’s time to finally show everyone what we’ve been working on! (Unfortunately, it was not a hunt for the best fishing spots).

This July was filled with renovation projects around the lake. On Loch Island, we completely removed the old floor and countertops in the Fish Shack. We poured footings and put down new treated wood flooring with a non-slip finish, then moved the ice machine back in and built new countertops that will last for many more years of filleting. The sink now runs hot and cold water, treated for drinking as always. The result is a roomier Fish Shack. For convenience, we purchased a second ice machine that operates in the lodge, leaving you with a shorter walk back to Cabins #4, #5, and #6 or your gathering on the lodge deck.

Loch Island Fish Shack
The “new” Loch Island Lodge Fish Shack with renovated floor and counters


This summer, we’re completing the walkways on Loch Island so that all cabins will be joined to the docks and the lodge by wooden boardwalks. We know that this will make getting around the island much easier, especially when hauling coolers and luggage back and forth! The walkway leading from Cabins #2 and #3 is now joined up to the lodge deck, and another walkway branches off to the Duplex (Cabin #4 and #5), removing the stairs that were previously there. It is now possible to access the lodge and all of the cabins without using stairs.


Loch Island Cabin #3 deck
A new deck for Cabin #3 on Loch Island


We completed Cabin #3’s deck last week. Cabin #2 will be getting the same size of deck put on this week, and we do plan to expand the small walkway/deck currently on Cabin #1. In the future, we will build a deck on the back of Cabin #6 and have access through French doors in its kitchen. We plan to put BBQs and patio tables on each deck in 2019 so that Housekeeping Plan and Modified American Plan groups have more options for cooking their food when the weather is pleasant. The trees will be trimmed back for a better view of Wabatongushi Lake so that you can sit outside and enjoy every sunset with a hot steak and a cold beverage!


Loch Island Duplex Walkway
The new walkway joining the Duplex (Cabin #4/#5) to Loch Island Lodge’s deck


Cabin #6 Walkway
Construction in progress on the walkway to Cabin #6 and the Duplex on Loch Island (railings to be added soon!)


Upcoming projects include replacing docks, replacing the Loch Island dining room and bathroom floors, putting new sturdy tin roofs on the Otter Island cabins, building new decks and walkways at Camp Lochalsh, and renovating the Sandy Bay kitchen (which now has a new propane fridge and stove). There is never-ending work around a fishing lodge, but every summer we are dedicated to making improvements for our guests.


Happy New Year From Loch Island!

2017 Loch Island Lodge Staff
2017 Loch Island Lodge Staff (A few absentees went fishing)

It seems like we were out on the lake just yesterday, enjoying sunny skies, shore lunch, and unparalleled fishing. As most of us have been plunged into freezing temperatures and snowstorms, imagining the perfect day on Wabatongushi Lake is the best escape, and soon enough it’ll be time to head back up to the lodge to open for 2018!


An Unforgettable Trip by Train

The Budd Car ride from White River or Sudbury to the Lochalsh flag stop is vibrantly scenic and will last a lifetime in your memory as a unique experience on top of fishing Wabatongushi Lake. The rail line cuts through rock faces, swamps, and lush boreal forest, displaying the best of northern Ontario’s landscape.


Greetings from Camp Lochalsh

Greetings from Camp Lochalsh!

We’re already up north getting ready for opening day. It’s not winter anymore, but it’s still cold, with the nights dropping just below freezing. There are patches of snow along the CPR tracks and in shaded stands of trees, and plenty of mud puddles down the Lochalsh Road. Warmer weather is on its way, though!

Snow by the CPR Lochalsh flag stop
Snow by the CPR Lochalsh flag stop


Andy and Eric ventured into Camp Lochalsh on May 1 to flip the electricity back on and lay out the water pumps and lines. Amy, Marlene and Elorah made it into camp late on May 4 after stopping in Sault Ste. Marie for kitchen and housekeeping supplies. The rest of the staff will arrive between May 10–14 depending on whether they are taking the Budd Car in, need to be picked up at the Wawa bus station, or are finding their way in down the Lochalsh Road. We’ll have a mix of old and new employees this year, and plan to introduce them all in our next blog post. Here is a picture of our youngest “employee” wandering around camp:

Pfeiffer the Blue Weimaraner
Pfeiffer the Blue Weimaraner


Today it was finally warm enough to start varnishing the boats that Eric and Andy have been sanding over the past week. Everyone chipped in for the afternoon and covered themselves in varnish along with the boats. Cedar strip boats must be sanded, varnished, and later launched into the lake (and sunk!) to take on water that will swell the wood and close up gaps. After the boats are watertight, the motors are prepared and put on the boats. Swivel seats, batteries, life jackets, and other safety equipment go in, and the boats are ready to rent!

Sanded cedar strips by Wabatongushi Lake
Sanded cedar strips by Wabatongushi Lake
Andy varnishing boats
Andy varnishing boats


In the next two weeks, the cabins will be cleaned from floor to ceiling. Opening each cabin for the first time of the season can take up to several hours, as it’s when the new housekeeping staff are trained. The beds are made, appliances plugged in, floors swept and mopped or vacuumed, and windows washed. Heading to the outposts— especially the Isle of Jordan–– is always an adventure, as those days are the time to teach new boaters how to handle general outboard operations, dock the boat by themselves, and memorize their routes around Wabatongushi Lake! It’s also cold out there on the lake in mid-May…

We look forward to opening day just as much as our guests do. The snow will be gone, the sun will be shining down on Wabatongushi Lake, the boats and cabins will be ready, and the fishing will be spectacular! We’ll see you all soon!

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