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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 10:18 am 
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I'm planning a five day trip (October 2 - 6, 2017) for six men (all in their 60's), three canoes and three tents. I was thinking about visiting Queen Elizabeth II WPP. What we'd like to do is paddle in, maybe a couple of portages, to a nice campsite, hopefully with decent fishing and base camp. Access to the Ganaraska Trail would be a bonus. I'm wondering if anyone who has experienced the park could suggest a couple of destinations for base camping that would suit. Thanks.


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 10:38 am 
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If you paddle across head lake it is a single Portage into Fishog which is a great base camp lake with good fishing. The portage is not very long but has a very steep incline.

From Fishog several other lakes are accessible via easier portages. Lots of large/small mouth in the area.


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 4:44 pm 
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If you can get Jedi Jeffi's or StajanLeaf's att'n you will get lots of info.

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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 7:12 pm 
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gnatwest wrote:
If you paddle across head lake it is a single Portage into Fishog which is a great base camp lake with good fishing. The portage is not very long but has a very steep incline.

From Fishog several other lakes are accessible via easier portages. Lots of large/small mouth in the area.

Thanks for the input. Where can I get a map? It seems that Jeff's maps are no longer available.


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 7:13 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
If you can get Jedi Jeffi's or StajanLeaf's att'n you will get lots of info.

Good idea. I'll pm them and see if they can help me out.


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 8:49 pm 
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Map is here: http://www.explorethebackcountry.com/qewmap


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PostPosted: July 5th, 2017, 11:59 am 
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gnatwest wrote:

Thanks. Wish I could find a printed version.


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PostPosted: July 5th, 2017, 12:18 pm 
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Just copy some notes onto the topo of the area you can print yourself or buy anywhere.

http://jeffstopos.com/maps/031D15


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PostPosted: July 7th, 2017, 8:13 am 
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If you're going to make a print out yourself, just print a crop of the Explore the Backcountry map :)

Sheldon Lake is actually worth considering if you want access to the Ganaraska Trail. Put in at Devil's Lake and do one 1.5 km portage. The trail passes along the north end of Sheldon and has a bunch of hike-in campsites there, but farther south on the lake feels more secluded and has some nice cliffs. The portage landing to Devil's provides good canoeist access to the trail at the north end of the lake. You can also access the trail from the south end of the lake via the Sheldon-Black portage, though this portage "trail" is a difficult rock scramble even without a canoe. Sheldon has decent bass fishing and is also stocked with lake trout and has a year-round season for them, so you'd have a unique fall laker opportunity. No walleye though, that's a mistake on the map. (Same goes for Devil's.)

The unnamed peak marked on the EtB map as the park's highest (north of Cooney Lake on a snowmobile trail branching off the Ganaraska) is a worthwhile hiking destination and would be great with fall colours out. Much better view than Scrabble Mountain's from what I saw last summer.


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PostPosted: July 7th, 2017, 11:13 am 
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Dan M wrote:
If you're going to make a print out yourself, just print a crop of the Explore the Backcountry map :)

Sheldon Lake is actually worth considering if you want access to the Ganaraska Trail. Put in at Devil's Lake and do one 1.5 km portage. The trail passes along the north end of Sheldon and has a bunch of hike-in campsites there, but farther south on the lake feels more secluded and has some nice cliffs. The portage landing to Devil's provides good canoeist access to the trail at the north end of the lake. You can also access the trail from the south end of the lake via the Sheldon-Black portage, though this portage "trail" is a difficult rock scramble even without a canoe. Sheldon has decent bass fishing and is also stocked with lake trout and has a year-round season for them, so you'd have a unique fall laker opportunity. No walleye though, that's a mistake on the map. (Same goes for Devil's.)

The unnamed peak marked on the EtB map as the park's highest (north of Cooney Lake on a snowmobile trail branching off the Ganaraska) is a worthwhile hiking destination and would be great with fall colours out. Much better view than Scrabble Mountain's from what I saw last summer.

Thanks for this Dan. Sheldon looks like a real possibility if I can talk my mates into a 1500 M portage. Besides length, what is that portage like? I like having access to the Ganaraska Trail and the unnamed peak looks like it would be a terrific spot for a photographer like me.


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PostPosted: July 7th, 2017, 2:54 pm 
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Quote:
Thanks for this Dan. Sheldon looks like a real possibility if I can talk my mates into a 1500 M portage. Besides length, what is that portage like? I like having access to the Ganaraska Trail and the unnamed peak looks like it would be a terrific spot for a photographer like me.


There is a fair bit of discussion about that portage in various locations. You can probably find more details/others will likely comment.

On the Devil's Lake side it starts where there's an old truck parked on the shore. It's a pretty flat portage with a few small ups/downs that seems to be used with atvs/trailers with some regularity. If there has been a lot of rain, there will be some low spots/muddy spots where you'll likely get somewhat wet - but not likely to your knees or anything that bad. In the middle you'll find a sketchy wooden bridge that you probably won't be able to walk across- will probably have to paddle for a bit.

Here are a couple photos from 2011. (Of the bridge at that time, and the truck.)

Image

Image


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PostPosted: July 7th, 2017, 6:10 pm 
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Brad Thomas wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for this Dan. Sheldon looks like a real possibility if I can talk my mates into a 1500 M portage. Besides length, what is that portage like?0-no[/img]


Check out our QEII crossing canoe trip report earlier this year. Black River to Devils Lake day trip. When doing the Sheldon portage we put into the ponds that the trail goes around. If the dam is intact, they are an easy paddle. I always try and avoid long carries. They effectively take about a third or more off the carry, and are an interesting paddle. I almost "worship" the beaver as they have so often turned gruelling portages into interesting paddles. We almost solely navigate now with satellite images rather than maps as they provide so much more detail.
Note: I am a retired cartographer ... but prefer satellite images over maps.


Last edited by WaterHunter on July 8th, 2017, 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: July 7th, 2017, 8:41 pm 
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Check what you are fishing for.
https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net/do ... lish-1.pdf
Areas 15 & 17
Also check to see what type of hunting is going on in the area at the time.
But i would wear orange vests at the least.


Some of the "easier" areas to get into all have hunt camps.
https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net/do ... -final.pdf
Area 56
Only thing of big game I see is bear, and there are a few in the area.
But check it out.

I am still out east but will return in a few days.
If you take your time you will do ok, I can give you a few more sites to camp if needed. (not on the maps)

Fall weather can be iffy at the best,
For easiest quick access there is only the Devils lake access and "that" portage.
From Head lake to Crooked lake would be the easiest with only first portage to Fishog would be challenging, not that long, but many find it rugged.
The Head Lake Crossing can be tough and the winds could test you.
If you start at the Head Lake Trailer park you have about 20k to the south end of Crooked but they are good sites, and several pond hopping routes available, but you are away from any marked trails. But the camp sites there have a thunder box and could handle your group size.
Jeff

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PostPosted: July 20th, 2017, 2:36 pm 
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I did the route this spring(end of April). the "rickety " bridge is gone. We crossed it on the way in, but it was washed out on our way out. Devils lake road was also washed out that same day. we were stuck until Monden township fixed it the next day.
FYI, one of was was over 60, the others are close.
Best of luck
the fishhog idea is a good one too! , i have done both .


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PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 10:47 am 
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I paddled to Fishhog lake from Head lake with my dad who is over 60 and can't paddle much because of some health issues. We parked our car at Head lake trailer park for a small fee & we were off. Head lake was pretty tough for us, it was quite windy on the way in & on the way out, there were also some bass boats doing mach 10 on the lake which had me worried. We stayed close to shore to play it safe and didn't take the most direct route so it took us a few hours to get to a Fishhog. The Portage to Fishhog is pretty easy and the campsites are excellent. There were some boat party people on Fishhog lake that must have access to the lake via private property. They were quite noisy at night but that didn't bother us much. I caught a few bass from our campsite but didn't try fishing anywhere else. I didn't get much time to explore the rest of the lakes but it's something I have in mind for the future.


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