On a smoky day I drove up to the Stake Lake in hopes of getting high enough to have better air quality. Even at 1416m, Lodgepole Lake was smoky so I paddled one loop around the lake then came down to McConnell Lake for some additional mileage. The launch had some fishermen, dog walkers, hikers, runners, and some paddlers, but the Rec site is large enough to accommodate everyone. A paddle around the shoreline is 2.6 km so I went around twice, once in each direction.
The shoreline at the Rec site has a good launch and there are some more spots to land or launch on the west side. I put the 17′ 7″ kevlar sea kayak into the clear lake water and started paddling close to the shoreline.
The smoke started to roll in, creating an eerie fog-like effect on the water.
McConnell Lake is one of my go-to lakes (along with Stake Lake, Lac le Jeune, and Walloper Lake) in the summer when the weather gets hot (or smoky). They are smaller lakes so loops help to provide mileage for a fitness workout. We can check the Stake Lake webcams to see how smoky it is in that area so we will return for another above-the-smoke paddle soon.