We meet at the Bell Lake access point for all of our Killarney canoe trips. You may have figured out by now that I like to know why features are named as they are. So where does the name come from?
Is the lake shaped like a bell? Nope. Did someone named Bell “discover” the lake? Not exactly. But we’re getting closer.
What’s the Story?
The lake is named for Professor Robert W. Bell, a geologist at Queen’s College in Kingston in the late 1800s. He surveyed the French River region for the Geological Survey of Canada (and pretty well all of the rivers between Hudson Bay and Lake Superior), among many other locations across the country during his long tenure with the GSC. While he mapped these areas, he made notes about the flora and fauna in the area, the geology, the climate and soil conditions, as well as information about the indigenous people he met during his travels. His Geological Survey of Canada colleagues credited him with writing over 200 reports and naming some 3,000 geological features across Canada, making him one of the most active scientists in exploration for his time.
Today the lake serves as one of several launching points to explore Killarney’s eastern boundaries. It is also home to the Blue Mountain Lodge which its owners built prior to the park’s formation in the 1960s.
Quiet Guiding Co. and Bell Lake
We use the access point and the lake as our gathering point, our spot to get to know one another, to evaluate the gear we have with us and the gear we may want to leave in our car. Together we practice our forward strokes, our draws and pries, and our J strokes (or if you’re me, you still use the river “goon” stroke in the stern) before we get too far into our trip.
Bell Lake also serves as our departure point, for hugs in the parking lot and one last lunch or snack before we make our way to our respective homes.