Last fall we hiked a 5 lakes loop in (link to previous story). We returned to bike the same loop this time, but extended our ride to include the south part of Roche Lake Provincial Park too.
The double track past Black, Bog, and Ernest Lake is rough and there are many large permanent mud puddles to skirt, rocks to dodge, and a few minor hazards, but the route is scenic, especially at each of the lakes.
It is easy to miss the loop route junction at the north end of Ernest Lake. At the old cabin, follow the track close to the swamp, but veer down a hard-to-see old track to the left. This track follows the edge of the swamp and winds around the other side of Ernest Lake. It climbs over a ridge and joins the main area at the power line near John Frank Lake. This section is not well-used and has some deadfall and wet areas, but it can be hiked or biked.
Once at the power line, we followed the road southwest past the end of Roche Lake, then turned onto a backroad which then turned north and joined the Smith Road as it worked its way back to the Roche Lake Road for 5 km. The final section of the loop climbed back up to Roche Lake for 3km. The entire loop was 22km and took 3 hours (with some breaks).
There were losts of campers and fishermen near Roche Lake and a bit of activity at Black Lake, but the rest of the area was quiet. These lakes are very nice spots, perfect for a quiet hike or bike.