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Old 03-08-2021, 10:25 AM   #1
SCS17
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Default Getting to St. John's on Bear Island

Hello! My extended family and I are reuniting at the Lake this summer. I'm hoping/planning to have my daughter baptized at St. John's on Bear Island. Having never been to the island before, I'm curious what the walk/hike to the chapel is like from a local's or longtime visitor's perspective. We already have a pontoon rented that we'll use to shuttle guests to and from the island from Meredith. We have a few family members with knee issues, so I'm wondering if the walk is doable for them. I'm told by several people I've already reached out to that it's fairly easy and if I'm not mistaken, there are a few benches, but would love to get people's thoughts. Some say it's steep, others say it's not so bad. How long does it take? Level of difficulty from 1 (a simple walk on flat terrain) to 5 (pretty strenuous climbing)?

When I came across this website, I figured this would be a great source of insight. Thanks so much!
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:18 AM   #2
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Sorry I can't help, but wanted to say "Welcome to the Forum"
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum SCS17.

The church trail (from docks in Deep Cove) is 1000' long, and rises 150' over that length (though more rise is closer to the shoreline). Much work has been done over the years to ease the inclined sections as much as possible, improve footing, and at least one bench added as a rest spot. The young and spry could do this 0.2 mi. in just a few minutes; the website below suggests allowing 10-20 minutes for that walk.
One of the images on the church website landing page is of the docks and first part of the trail, to give you an idea of terrain: http://stjohnsonthelake.org/
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:32 PM   #4
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Thank you, Bear Guy! This is very helpful.
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:32 PM   #5
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Just thought of another question: Are there ample docks and/or are they spaced wide enough to accommodate a pontoon boat or two (we may need two, depend on how many attend, but our plan as of now is to only take one as space could be limited)? I apologize if this seems like a dumb question: I am new to both Bear Island and pontoon boats... There appear to be limited docks, so I'd want to make sure we'd be able to get our boat(s) there. Thanks again!
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCS17 View Post
Just thought of another question: Are there ample docks and/or are they spaced wide enough to accommodate a pontoon boat or two (we may need two, depend on how many attend, but our plan as of now is to only take one as space could be limited)? I apologize if this seems like a dumb question: I am new to both Bear Island and pontoon boats... There appear to be limited docks, so I'd want to make sure we'd be able to get our boat(s) there. Thanks again!
Last time we were there—two summers ago—there was space for two boats, one on each side of a pretty rickety dock.

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Old 03-09-2021, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Are there ample docks ...There appear to be limited docks...
Docking is limited at the church-owned docks (just three fingers), and can quickly fill on a Sunday morning. I would encourage you to reach out to a church board member, via their website, to discuss dockage. Several shoreline neighbors have offered their docks for Sunday mornings, and you might be able to reserve one in advance. I assume you will need to contact board member(s) if you are arranging a baptism.

FYI in 2019, volunteers ran a (boat) shuttle service to help ease docking limitations. There weren't services in 2020, so I don't know if that will return for 2021.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:10 PM   #8
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Thanks again for the info. We will need to be mindful of all this, but hopefully it can all work out. We're actually hoping to schedule something privately during the week so as to avoid the docks being taken. Depends on the minister's availability, etc. Lots of moving parts to deal with, but no matter what happens, I'm sure we'll have a great time at the Lake.
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