Scarecrow-Sturgeon River- LakeTemagami

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Gail Rich
Additional Route Information
140 km
7 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
5535 m
Longest Portage: 
1000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Fly-in to Scarecrow from Lakeland Air
optional hike to Ishpatina Tidge
Scarecrow to Woods lake (small shallow swift) slightly R of C
P 140m
shallow swifts with two overhangs that you duck
Hamlow to either Stull creek or one of two portages
Via Stull lake 165y into lake then a difficult 1875y
via Sawmill portage on Hamlow 3k
or via Stull creek
A series of log jams short portages with one rock hopping portage down the
side of the creek and one linning
There is an access point marked on the map that leads to highway 545 to
Sudbury located shortly after Stull creek drains into the Sturgeon, this is
where the portage from the sawmill ends as well
series of small swifts (shallow, samll rock bottom)
Paul Lake to Goul Lake
P 250 into Twin Falls
Shallow rapids to Eaglenest
shallow rapids after Eaglenest
there is a 130m portage or runable rapids in high water C11 but we managed
nicely as novices (not big water, just a couple of manuvers)
next comes a series of shallow large gravel bottom rapids & swifts
#5 is listed as a 95m P or 10m line, we examined and ran it, didn`t have a
problem but check it, very narrow right bank, then avoid the big rocks
More rapids, nice campsite at the end of Lyman lake on the left bank but I`d
hold out until after the portage around Kettle falls
P 345 to Falls steep backside
P190 left bank to Renfrew
the rapids here look like fun until the end where there are several large
sharp rocks and not ewnough room to get over to the right bank
P right bank 105
p right bank 130
shoots here are pretty, looks like good pike fishing, trail is decent, a few
fallen logs but nothing serious
Perkins lake portage is marked with P 265 m located in the right bay
5 sets of rapids then
100m P R after Hazel lake (Stoffer lake portage route here
3 rapids
P 160 R
P 85 R
next 5 rapids are good in high water
optional portage on #17 (Hap`s book)fast water through a small gourge, very
doable but for some reason I chickened and did the 105m portage nice
campsite but it goes right up to the edge of the small cliff
several rapids rocks
P 450
These portages have a couple of down trees and the take out to the first is close to the start of the rapid, look for the old log boom wire rope and I believe there is a P as well
rapid #23 I clipped a rock, thought I was clear and right at the end on the right side, just a small graze, I`ll blame it on tired
P 265 to falls and Pilgrim creek
take out for the falls has been moved slightly upstream from the original as there is a tree down, look for the survey tape, goes up the bank on the left then hooks up with old logging road
smooth sailing from here to Upper Goose falls
gravel banks and shallow swifts/rapids, saw moose
P 80 m around falls take out is on rocks just befor the drop, just passed the weather hut
campsite here is nice
C11 rapids are easy in high water
portage maybe 50 meters after the confluence into the base of where the
Obabika emptys, then we ferried across the strong current to the old logging road, take out is up a slippery, clay bank but the portage itself is easy, nice but buggy
trip up Obabika is against a steady current, there is a log lift over and a portage at the logging bridge to the right
there is a second logjam just before the Wawiagama River (really a creek)
cranky little creek with alot of ducking and manuvering branches
very nice campsites on the right hand side
P 1000m to Obabika Lake good footing
P 940m into the Obabika Inlet very flat and easy
inlet campsites didn`t do anything for me
down the Northwest arm , island hop over to the Northeast arm, very nice
campsite her on the point and across from it, point one has a thunderbox and
is large
Several campsites scattered between here and take-out at Temagami

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Day 1
Start bright and early from Kanata 5am. After a quick stop in North Bay for Camera batteriest, we reached Lakeland Air at 10:30. Checked in for our noon flight and went to file route plan with OPP (office just a skip down the road)After a 3 hour delay for wind we had a wonderful but slow fight to Scarecrow, headwinds made it a 50 min trip. The folks at Lakeland Air are terrific. The girls giggled and laughed at every little bump but the pree-flight bannana snack I could have done without. Our pilot told us the forcast was for thunderstorms that evening so we decided to skip the hike to the ridge. Swift out of Scarecrow is easy and there is a rope for going against the current already in place. At the End of Woods Lake take the central bay, there will be a cashed boat and a hook to the right will get you to the portage marked with a plastic yellow "P" Swifts into Hambone are very shallow so take it slow, a few overhangs but no sweepers or liftovers. Camped at the far end of Hamlow on the portage. Caught a nice pike in the shoot where the old bridge was. Fishermen were on Hamlow. Not sure how they accessed the lake. I didn't hear a plane pick them up so perhaps the old road here is passable?

Day 2
Stull Creek
Not my favorite part of the trip. Girls were troopers but it was a long haul with two kids and gear. Probably not a problem for (don't shoot me Cheryl) two men but I found the portage around the rocks (pg 124 map #5 Hap) to be difficult and admit to Stew carring most of the gear hear, I'm just not a good rock hopper. The Creek took us 3.5 hours with a snack break. Very happy to see the nice snady banks of the Sturgeon. Water was high so swifts and rapids quite easy. There was a log blocking the enterance to Goul Lake that has to be liftedportage. Camped night 2 on Goul lkae. Site is quite big. Several possible tent sites if you investigat the woods. Grates for the fire ar located behind a big rock to the right near the shore. Don't know the condition as we didn't use them. Site has a fish filteting table.

Day 3
Lots of trails so keep an eye when you portage to the falls. The water level was up so the C11 wasn't much, there are a few rocks in some of the C1's but lots of clearance. Portage into Kettle falls is a climb up with one rock that has to be climbed up (creavass) Again, this portage is marked with a "P" most are but not all.Follow the survey tape and rock cairns and you will have no problem, decent on the falls side is steep, very pretty. Camped here on the rock bluff across from the falls. Very glad to have the bug tarp as the cool weather was warming up and the new hatch of flies were hungry.

Day 4
Kettle Falls-Pilgrim Creek
Basicly followed Haps directions, ran the C11 water high. Rapids are pretty much straight lines, one does hook around a corner and has a couple rocks to avoid, can be lined as Kevin Callan metions or run, not a problem if you take it slow. Did make on mistake at the last rapid before portage into pligrim, ther is a rock in the right hand side channel at the end of the rapid, ain't skid plates great! Camped at the end of the portage into Pligrim creek. Very well used campsite and the road looks used so perhaps you can access here?

Day 5
Pigrim to campsite on Obabika River. The portage is easy and the campsite is nice but VERY buggy.

Day 6
Obabika River to Obabika Inlet
River is a steady current that you have to have a steady stroke rate to make progress. There is one liftover and several log jams. The log jam at the bridge has a portage on the right and at the bridge there is a very small not well used campsite.Saw our first people here since Hamlow. Very buggy. Wawiagama river is just past a log jam on the right, keep an eye on your topo. It's not very difficult to find. This river has a couple of liftovers and low lying trees that have to be pushed out of the way. Portage from lake to Obabika Lake is easy, one large tree down at the beginning that you have to slide the canoe under, well, if you are 6' tall at least. Had lunch on a beautiful site about 60% of the way down Obabika Lake, nice peninsula with a couple of tent sites. Portage to Inlet is easy. Portage is located on the right hand side just past the cabin which is on the left. The campsite here is ok. We camped on a site half way down the inlet, right next to a houseboat.

Day 7
Up bright and early and headed out. Made good time down to the NE arm. Had a big cooked lunch on the site here, luxury is a thunderbox! While the site is very nice, the constant buzz of motorboats reminded us that our solitude was over. Wind was picking up so we decide to try and get as far down the arm with the tail wind as we could. About 5 o'clock we had to get off the lake as the waves were now getting bigger than we were comfortable with. Rain and stronger wind followed shortly after our tuna melt and soup supper.

Day 8
Rain and the wind was starting to pick up again so we decided to make a dash to the truck at Lakeland. With the tailwind we were less than an hour away.
Gail Rich

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
41 P/2 Pilgrim Creek<br /> 41 I/15 Milnet<br /> 41 I/16 Lake Temagami<br />
Other Maps: 
MNR Temagami Canoe Routes Planning Map<br />
Special Comments: 

Float plane from Temagami or you can use log road to Wawiagama Lake and get float plane to pick you up there.(see Kevin Callan) several old log roads intersect the Sturgeon, you would have to check with outfitters if these are usable (Pilgrim Creek)

While we took Stull Creek, I would investigate the other two options. The creek is pretty but I might have opted for the 3 km portage as I found the logs numerous and one of the rock portages a little cranky.

Other portages to note: Kettle Falls short but steep on back end (see pictures)

The Obabika River has at present a few log jams

Photo Gallery


Post date: Sun, 07/05/2009 - 12:13


 the road at pilgrim creek is in reasonable shape but its a long haul in. its better suited to an atv unless you really dont give a crap about your 4x4

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


 Comments on Day 1 of the daily log suggest that forest access road might be driveable. In summer, the logging road is driveable to the Sturgeon River between Stull Creek and Paul Lake. At low water levels, the Sturgeon River is crossable and a pick-up truck may be driven to Stull Lake.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


 My brother and I just did this route (Aug. 2003). We started at Smoothwater Lake. From there we took 7 days to reach Temagami. The weather was perfect, and water levels were moderate. We are in our fifties. I rank myself as an intermediate paddler; my brother is a strong intermediate paddler. We were a solo canoe. This was very injudicious of us. This trip is not a trip for a solo canoe. The margin of error is just too slight for a single canoe, but it is definitely a trip worth paddling. Upper Goose and Kettle Falls are sights well worth beholding. Blue skies and fair winds Larry Rosenberg