We returned to paddle Campbell Lake in late summer, choosing a sunny weekday to launch a kayak and explore the shoreline. The launch spot is at the Campbell Lake Recreation Site on the south side of the lake. To drive there go through Barnhartvale, then turn onto the Robbins Range Road, and then the Scuitto Lake Forest Service Road. From the end of Scuitto Lake (11 km) to the Rec site is another 5 km.
We try to go to do Campbell Lake in late summer since there are often migrating birds on the shallow lake. On this visit, there was a dozen pelicans on the lake. They tend to breed, hunt, and care for young as a colony. The wingspan of the American white pelican ranges from 1.4 to 1.75m.
Across the lake was a mating pair of sandhill cranes standing on the shoreline. On an earlier visit a dozen were on the same shoreline spot. They have a wingspan of about 1.3 m and stand about 120 cm tall, Every spring we watch the loose v-shaped flocks heading north to breeding grounds. We hear them before we can spot them.
The loop around the lakeshore is 8 km, two hours of paddling. Campbell Lake is a gem in the hills, worth the 16 km of backroads to get there.