Wasaksina Driftwood Loop

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
37 km
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
2400 m
Longest Portage: 
515 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Start Central Access
South to Shiningwood Bay
East to the east end of Shiningwood Bay
P 435 m to Olier lake
Southeast to southeast bay of Olier Lake
P 410 m to Denedus Lake
Southeast to end of Denedus Lake
P 130 m to Wasaksina Lake
Paddle east then north through bay and then creek into Driftwood Lake
Northeast on Driftwood to end of narrow bay
P 345 m to Iceland lake
North then northwest to the South Tetapaga River
P 50 m past shallow rocky section
Follow river to culvert under access road
P 500 m along narrow lane to small lake
Keep to left to the river and follow river
P 515 m on the right bank past shallow rocky section
follow the river to the Northeast Arm of Lake Temagami
paddle southwest along the left side back to the central access point

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

This is a trip that I did solo on Sept 7th to 9th. Friday
Got to the access point at about 1:00 pm. Put the canoe in the water and loaded up the gear. Parked the car in the parking lot and headed out onto the water. Headed south and as soon as I got around the point I got blasted by the southwest wind. Hopped in behind the Islands as much as possible to keep out of the wind. After reaching Denedus Point the wind was really blowing to hard to follow the north shore of Shingwood bay so I crossed over to Denedus Island to escape the wind About 3/4 across it started to rain but the wind was to strong for me to stop and put on the rain gear. Finally in the shelter of the Island and it stopped raining. Stopped to stretch my legs and rest my arms. Paddled on to the end of the bay to the portage. There is a shallow section just before the take out but I was able to push through without getting out.
The portage into Olier Lake is fairly easy as it fallows an old road most of the way and is fairly level. There are some nice big old red pines along this trial. Olier lake is a pretty little lake and a short paddle takes you across to the southeast bay and the portage into Denedus Lake. This portage is 410 fairly flat but a few wet spots and some round stones to walk over. It started to rain quite heavy just before reaching the portage till about half way through the portage.
Denedus Lake is another pretty lake a bit bigger and has a couple of campsites on the island. I paddled past these to the portage into Wasaksina Lake. Another easy portage of 130. About 1 km from here and I stopped at the island campsite for the night. A very nice site with room for 3 or 4 tents. The wind is still blowing and the skies are threatening. Had supper secured every thing and got into the tent a bit after 8 as it started to rain a bit again.
Got up and had breakfast and the wind is still blowing. Blew my hat into the lake and I had to put the canoe in to retreive it. On the water at about 7:30 and headed east along the north shore. Then padled north into the long narrow bay which turns into a creek. The water is deep and someone has been good enough to cut the trees that were hanging across the river so it is an easy paddle into Driftwood lake Followed Driftwood to the northern bay to the portage into Iceland Lake. There is about a dozen fishing boats tied up here. That is the reason all the trees had been cut. The portage 345 is a bit hilly and not as easy as the first 3. There is a rotten old dock at the other end that requires caution.
On Iceland head to the point and go left to the south of the islands and then northwest to the start of the South Tetapaga river.There is a short 50 m. portage on the right here but I was able to work the canoe thrugh this shallow rocky area into the river. Followed the river to the central access road culvert. There on the left side I climbed up to the road and crossed the bridge to the right side and followed the portage to a small lake (265) A short paddle across the lake and another portage (135)to another small lake.Another time that I travelled this way I took the lane on the left for a single 500 m portage. This is the easier way to go.
Stay to the left along this little lake to the river outlet. It was a bit shallow the first 50 ft. or so but OK after that. Followed the river till it gets shallow with logs across. Portage (515) on the right. After about 300 m you have to cross the river on round rocks. there is enough rocks that the water is between them and I didn`t get my feet wet. This is a hilly portage and is the hardest one on this loop. From there it is a short paddle to the Northeast Arm. There were whitecaps marching along as I came out into the Arm so I stuck to the left shore heading southwest. About 1 km along I stopped at a campsite and had lunch and to decide if I should stop because of the wind or try to go a bit farther. After a good lunch I decided that I would try to go a bit farther and work my way across the Arm to the other side to portage up into Command and McLaren Lakes. It started out not to bad but got as rough as I feel comfortable in. Made it across to the islands then around to the north side and a scoot across to the campsite east of the portage up into Hay lake. The campsite looked very nice and I felt a few drops of rain so instead of taking a chance and portaging in the rain I decided to call it a day. Set up camp and had a swim. I gathered some firewood but didn`t start the fire as it was still to windy. Walked along the shore to the portage trail and fallowed it up to Hay Lake. Explored around the lake a bit and then headed back to camp. This was my first overnight solo trip and I found the time very long by myself having stopped so early. I guess I`ll have to learn to pace myself a bit better. The rain held off and I was able to start a fire later on. After supper I was again sent into the tent by a bit of rain.
Up at daybreak. Had breakfast tore down camp and on the water at 7:00. The wind is down and the water is calm. Paddled along the north shore and making good time. Met at least a dozen houseboats heading back to the town of Temagami. Crossed over to the south shore at the narrows past the marina and back to the access point a bit before 9.

Loaded up the gear and headed into the town of Temagami and bought a new bent shaft paddle that was 25% off from the outfitter. This is for Carol for Christmas. Got a coffee and headed back home.Joe Beynen

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 M/4 Temagami 41 I/16 Lake Temagami 31 L/13 Ingal Lake
Special Comments: 

This is a nice weekend trip that can easily be done in 2 days. There is a lot of boat traffic on Lake Temagami but that gets left behind after the first portage till you return to the northeast arm. This trip can be done in either direction as the current in the creek is sluggish.


Post date: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 12:09


hi grandpa

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


Trip date:
June 19-20, 2004
The first half of this trip is very easy. The second half is somewhat harder.
A few tips:

1) The topographical maps don’t join up perfectly. Keep this in mind gauging the distance.

2)On Iceland Lake there are two portages not easy seen, as this is where the two maps meet. The portage to Tetapaga river is a very easy 50m portage with almost no trees. This is the portage you want. The other portage to Heritage creek is probably about 200m. This is not the portage you want unless you want to kill an hour or so exploring a small quite stream.

3) The portage across the access road is on the right side of the road. It is hard to see from the road. It follows the river to a wider part of the river, not really a small lake.

4) Many of the portages are overgrown. I would recommend walking your packs across them first to before try to figure out where you’re going with a boat on your head.

5) There are motor boats on many of the lakes.

All in all this is a good weekend trip, with quite a few large trees and photo opportunities. The second half is defiantly more scenic, although there is a tiny waterfalls on one of the portages the first day that is quite nice. Bring bug spray...

Happy Tripping
Mike Beck