View topic - Pikitigushi River Take Out On the CN tracks

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 10:51 am 
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This year the end of our August Wabakimi canoe trip will be on the Pikitigushi River. The usual take-out spot seems to be the point south of the lake where the logging road from Armstrong Station crosses the river.

Image

What I was wondering is this - does anyone have any information on paddling the Pikitigushi from the above road crossing on down towards Lake Nipigon. We are considering a take out at the CN tracks down river if the river can be paddled. We would catch the eastbound VIA train at that point. A related point - would anyone know the mileage marker for the point where the CN tracks cross the river?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Last edited by true_north on December 16th, 2016, 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 11:45 am 
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I asked the same question to an outfitter from the area. He said the river was choked with log jams. I have had people tell me similar stories about rivers that I have run, only to find that not to be the case. I think you should check it out!


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 12:13 pm 
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The section of the Piktigushi River from the forest access road bridge downstream to the CNR track has not been cleared by volunteers of The Wabakimi Project--at least, not yet! That said, there are reports that the river is blocked by serious tree falls and sweepers and there's one very long portage too.

Duane and Barry Boucher operate their area bear management unit (BMU) from a seasonal base in the reclaimed gravel pit on the north side of the road, east of the river (river right as you descend). If the river proves impassable, you could perhaps arrange for them to shuttle you to Armstrong to catch the train there.

Duane Boucher,
Candy Mountain Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7C 5N5

(807) 475-6928


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 12:31 pm 
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I just looked at my mapping software....it must have been used as a route once upon a time, as there is a one kilometer port indicated that cuts off a big circle of about 15 K of meanders. Of course, that port probably doesn't exist anymore. Its kind of interesting though, I've been wondering about that stretch for a long time. It's all part of my plan to get into Cliff Lake from the Ogoki Reservoir. If I could catch the train, I could have a way back to Nakina, save me a ton of driving.


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 5:27 pm 
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Rob, so you think I should check it out, eh! It looks like it could be a painful experience that would make the paddle up Petawa Creek seem like a piece of cake. I would hate to have a VIA ticket and a rendezvous with the train only to find out that getting to the tracks will take two or three extra days! You are right though about it potentially being a nice entry point to Cliff Lake for those considering the train option.

The map below shows what may be (or have been) a 1 km portage trail from the pond. All that's missing is the start of the portage to the pond. Here is a 1:15000 map showing the "trail" -

Image

Phil, thanks for the contact for the bear camp; I'll add it to my list of possible shuttle providers. You write - east of the river (river right as you descend). Wouldn't it be river left as we descend? The river is flowing south into Lake Nipigon.

The Google satellite view of the area shows clearcutting and a number of what seem like roads. The image may be a couple of years old so who knows what it looks like these days.

We'll see what sort of info pops up over the next while. A take-out at the logging road and a night at Chateau North does not sound so bad!

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Last edited by true_north on December 16th, 2016, 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2013, 8:48 pm 
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true_north: Put it down to my having another “senior’s moment” . . . you are correct of course, the take-out is on the WEST side of the river or RIVER RIGHT. What I failed to point out though is that there are serious, unrunable rapids in the section before, under and after the bridge.You must take out on RR and portage through the gravel pit where The Bear Camp is located, across the forest access road and down a well-used trail to the landing below the rapids--probably 300m.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some more research and so far, this is what I’ve found. . .

At one time, Mud River Station on the CNR Northern line did exist; now, it is but a signpost on the right-of-way. Nonetheless, it is still listed on the VIA Rail website as “Mud River Station” and, as such, you should not need to know the exact mileage marker in order to make a reservation to be picked up there.

VIA Rail: Mud River Station
http://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our-de ... /mud-river

The exact location of Mud River Station is described on-line as:

Decimal Degrees
Latitude: N 50.316389
Longitude: W -88.52

Degrees, Minutes & Seconds
Latitude: N 50 18 59
Longitude: W 88 31 12

GPS
Latitude: N 50 18.983
Longitude: W 88 31.200

UTM
16N
E391785
N5574914

Elevation: 270m


The best extant map that supports the claim that the Pikitigushi River was one of the two most important waterway links between Lake Nipigon and the Ogoki River is Ontario Geological Survey Map ARM42e (Pashkokogan - Misehkow Area, District of Thunder Bay, Ontario). Portages are clearly marked but keep in mind that the map was originally published in 1933.

http://www.geologyontario.mndmf.gov.on. ... ARM42E.pdf

Another, more recent map is one of a series of hand-drawn maps produced by the MNR as the Nipigon Canoe Route Section Sheets. One of the Section Sheets depicts the canoe route in quesiton. These maps are no longer published or circulated by the MNR but I can get you a copy if you wish.

Crown Land Use Policy Atlas (CLUPA) Policy Report (G2640h: Old Whitesand/Ferland/MudRiver) dated October 18, 2012 states that 170ha of Crown lands at the community of Mud River is to be transferred from the Crown to a “designated nominee of the Whitesand First Nation”. My search of CLUPA failed to produce any result of this reference.

http://publicdocs.mnr.gov.on.ca/View.as ... t_ID=48558

A few years ago, I heard that an outfitter based in Armstrong, ON had purchased the Mud River Station building and property from CNR and was developing it into a road-based tourism establishment (lodge?) to provide direct motor boat access to the remote north shore of Lake Nipigon via the unrestricted lower reaches of the Pikitigushi River. I'll try to find out if this is the case and get back to you.

Edit: The date of the CLUPA Report has been corrected.


Last edited by Voyageur on March 28th, 2013, 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2013, 8:24 am 
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I'd be interested in scouting that section and re-opening that 1 k port. This summer is pretty full already, going to be doing a hellish type trip in July and getting married in August. But next summer I could make it a priority. Anyone else interested?


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2017, 11:28 am 
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I'd like to reopen this thread. Looking at Bing today, and they have some very excellent high res imagery for the area. I usually am very suspicious of satellite imagery, but this is so good, I can almost count the logs in the log jams. I've taken some images from it and put together a trip from the last access road to the train tracks.
Image

This is the rapids at the road, the first obstacle on the way to the tracks. If un-shootable, looks like about a 400 meter port.

The next log jam is about a kilometer past the rapids. Probably only a hundred meter port. I'm thinking these would all have to be cut, so a chainsaw would be the name of the game.
Image

The next log jam is around 4.5 k down river.
Image

6 k further brings one to the next jam, and then 600 meters after that, another jam.
Image

15 k further and another jam occurs.
Image

6k further and a short rapid appears.
Image

4.5 k further, and the railway bridge, aka Mud River stop, is reached. Looks like there are some active buildings there.
Image

So from the road to the bridge looks to be under 40 k, with two short rapids and five log jams. The log jams all seem to be quite short. Strangely enough, no log jams showed up in the 15 k loop where the one k port was. Probably be similar to the last leg of the Steel river past the Deadhorse Creek road. Probably doable in one long day, or two easy days. Logjams probably change yearly, but the number probably remains pretty consistent.

Just a side note, this is still the only forum where I have to resize pics. Not to sound like a jerk, but it stops me from posting trip reports that are picture heavy, or map sets of routes that we clear. Not sure what the re-size issue is, can't see it eating up more bandwidth. Might be something for the administration to discuss.


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PostPosted: November 24th, 2017, 10:17 pm 
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Rob, great satellite views from the Microsoft Bing site! Definitely more clear than the Google view. I also took a look at the satellite images at the Ontario Government's website and they may be even a bit more revealing.

http://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca ... cale=en-US

As you point out, two sets of rapids and four log jams from below the Boucher Camp.

Image

There may be a way to avoid three of the four log jams as well as the historical 1.5 km. portage that still appears on topo maps - but it would be a mega-haul of about 5.2 km. Zoom in on the Bing or ON Govt satellite image and a trail covering most of that distance is visible - the only sketchy parts are the start and finish, about 50-100 meters each. Subtract the 1.5 km portage from 5.2 and you are left with 3.7!

Image

If it is do-able, it would be a morning's work but still preferable to the alternative.

What do you think?


BTW, after seeing your Bing images, I updated my post on the Pikitigushi River below Cliff Lake with shots of the log jams and rapids, as well as Mud River rail crossing. Scroll to the end of the post for the section on the meandering river and the log jams.

Down Wabakimi's Pikitigushi River From Cliff Lake

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PostPosted: November 25th, 2017, 11:31 am 
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Ha ha, I've suspected for sometime that you might be a member of the Dedicated Masochist Club, but that pondering of the 5 k port proves it! Those log jams look very minor, I'm thinking most ports around them would only be 100 to 200 m. After following the loop all the way around, it looks like it is navigable too, so no need for that old 1.5 port. But I guess there is only one way to find out for sure............


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PostPosted: November 25th, 2017, 11:42 am 
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Just read your update on your blog. Once again, excellent work. Your reports are always very comprehensive and a joy to read. In fact, I'm in the middle of renovating right now, but feel the urge to waste an hour or two re-reading a few of your reports!


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