Canadian Canoe Routes

Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?
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Author:  Zandrsn [ May 14th, 2018, 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

Hi folks, I'm wondering if I can get some advice about booking a 3-4 night canoe trip with my wife over Labour Day weekend (probably August 31-September3). Unfortunately, this year has been really busy and I slept on booking backcountry sites until now, so as you can imagine most of my favorites sites are booked up. We usually go to Killarney, but I've heard good things about Temagami and French River as well, so am open to suggestions. The main criteria are that we're looking for a quite, private, beautiful spot - bonus points for a lake with only one campsite - and a pleasant trip with more paddling than portaging.

My wife is not as strong of a paddler as I am, so what we usually do is choose a 'basecamp' site on a private/quiet lake where we'll spend the core 2-3 nights of our trip, and another site halfway between the access point and 'basecamp' in order to break up the trip (depending on the distance of course). In the past this has worked well on trips to our favorite site on Sandy Lake in Killarney, with the first night spent on O.S.A. or Killarney Lake (from the George Lake Access Point).

Any thoughts about good sites/routes? Thanks!

Author:  Eddy Turn [ May 14th, 2018, 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

Temagami does not require reservations. You pay on-line for camping in operating parks (e.g. Lady Evelyn - Smoothwater), but all you need to provide is dates and entry point. Everything else is crown land and non-operating parks and it's all free. Chiniguchi area (putting in at Matagamasi or Kukagami lake) has short and not too difficult portages, though I am not sure how private it is on Labor day. It's never too busy except probably for Wolf lake.

Author:  open_side_up [ May 14th, 2018, 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

If you'd like to try the fishing side of Killarney, vs. the scenic side, Harry Lake is a very nice lake and has 2 out of 3 sites still available for that long wknd. It's mostly paddling to get there with a liftover and then level and easy portages of 400 & 700m. The island campsite is nice if you can snag it.

Author:  Zandrsn [ May 15th, 2018, 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

I think we're aiming for a scenic trip this time, so we may aim for Temagami.

After some more research the Chiniguchi area sounds pretty good. Dougherty Lake sounds particularly nice, though I'm not sure how easy it is to get to. Any other advice on Temagami would be much appreciated.

Do you all have any recommendations for canoe rental places near the area?

Author:  Eddy Turn [ May 15th, 2018, 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

The only rentals in Chiniguchi I know of is Sportsman's lodge on Kukagami lake. It's a nice lake to begin a trip (no public parking available, but you can park for a fee at the lodge) and also it's only 30 minutes away from Matagamasi public launch. Dougherty is a terrific lake with terrific camping. And it's as private as it gets, you might see no one north of Chiniguchi lake. I'd say it's about 12 hours non-stop paddling from Matagamasi put-in, single-carry. Portages are not difficult, except for the last one before Dougherty, which is uphill for the first 3-4 hundred meters, but not too steep.

Author:  Zandrsn [ May 16th, 2018, 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

Awesome, thanks very much for the information!

On some maps I see an access point up towards the northeast of Chimiguichi Lake. Does anyone happen to know if that one is accessible?

Also, do you know anything about the East Wanapitei River Area? It looks like there is an access point at Camp Two Lake which may get us a bit closer to Chiniguchi Lake, but I'm not sure if there is a portage...

Author:  Eddy Turn [ May 16th, 2018, 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Labour Day Weekend Trip - Killarney, Temagami, or ...?

There's no established route between East Wanapitei and Chiniguchi after clearcuts damaged the area. I remember a recent report of the (bushwhacking) trip there somewhere on Explore the Backcountry site and Youtube.
North Chiniguchi access road is described as "extremely rough". Take a look at discussion and map here: ... 1501870885
Ottertooth is the only reliable source for maps, including access roads, and everything Temagami-related.

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