It is currently December 4th, 2021, 11:23 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: July 26th, 2020, 3:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
Posts: 246
Location: Toronto,ON
Just back from two weeks of paddling the St. Raphael PP loop. Moose, Caribou and Timber Wolves - oh my, what a lovely and lightly traveled route. I suppose with the fly-in fish camps all quiet this may have been an unusually light traffic season.

The few required portages are easy to find, campsites are infrequent, scenery is outstanding. No fishing for me, but with the fly in lodges in the area the chances are fishing is pretty good.

I did GPS map the portages and campsites that I used if any future paddlers are interested.


Darl-h


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 26th, 2020, 3:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3722
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I could use a .gdb or .gpx file for your route.

I've started a few trips off of hwy 599 but all on the east side of the highway. It's a great area for paddling and as a non-operating park no ridiculous fees.

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 26th, 2020, 7:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
Posts: 246
Location: Toronto,ON
I'll post a link to the GPS data once I clean it up. I'll be back on the road to Pickle Lake again, probably next year on the Little Savant River via Fitchie Lake and Neverfreeze Creek.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 26th, 2020, 8:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3722
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I did the Savant Lake / Savant River route starting from Harris Lake and going north to Osnaburgh Lake (and then down the Albany) also a nice route. There were a couple of motorboats on Savant Lake and fireworks from the Lodge on Canada Day but otherwise saw nobody.

Lots of great routes north of Pickle Lake as well.

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 27th, 2020, 7:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
Posts: 246
Location: Toronto,ON
Here is a KMZ Google Maps version of the route.

http://drive.google.com/open?id=1kfieT9 ... haring_eip


Here is a CalTopo link, can be viewed with no account :
https://caltopo.com/m/RLGQ


Message me direct and I can email a GPX file (.gpx file are not an allowed attachment filetype).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 28th, 2020, 1:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2007, 5:40 pm
Posts: 596
Location: Timmins
Great to hear! We cleared most of the portages when we went through last summer (save stuff we ran on the Miniss River - curious to know if you found ports there, or ran/lined). Also cleared out campsites (lots of blowdowns and you couldn't get tents in half of them). See you stayed at a few we did, so I know you were treated to some gems!

We only saw people on 3 occasions on our 9 day trip through there. So even in a regular season, there is minimal use by the lodges. Fishing is outstanding for walleye and pike. Fish for dinner was always guaranteed within 5 mins. Dad's just finishing up a trip video.

Our trip map as well, should anyone be interested (there's pics attached to some locations).
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1z38bUwwJyEGPdFzplkXplsOPFl2C7Vdy&usp=sharing

_________________

My Backcountry Website: www.explorethebackcountry.com



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 28th, 2020, 4:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
Posts: 246
Location: Toronto,ON
Hey Brad - you have been everywhere in Ontario!

My wife did find the portages on the Miniss River as it heads to Miniss Bay, she walked them while I solo our boat and gear down. There was lots of water in the river but still some rocks and trees that warranted attention. I had the gps in the boat so no tracks, but they were where you would expect them.

Our challenge was 12 out of 14 days were full sun and 29 to 33 degrees, and a few windy day on those big lakes.

Looking forward to the video, we did not take any pics.

Spoke to a Trapper who has the cabin on Peg Lake, he said a annual group of young Americans usually come through once a year and do the loop down the Saint Raphael River and up the Miniss River, opposite of our trip. That group did not come this year.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 28th, 2020, 7:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3722
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Darl-h wrote:
Message me direct and I can email a GPX file (.gpx file are not an allowed attachment filetype).



CalTopo link even better, I downloaded the .gpx from there.

Thanks!

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 31st, 2021, 4:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 28th, 2008, 2:06 pm
Posts: 374
Location: GTA
I just completed this loop yesterday and I wanted to add a few comments for others who might be considering it.

- Many of the lakes are big, so the whole trip might take longer than expected if the winds aren’t favourable. Early-morning paddles are a good idea.

- The campsites aren’t always great, thought many are pretty good. There are some comments in Darl-h’s GPX file, as well as some in Brad Jennings’ regarding campsite quality; if you’re in a tent it might be an issue at some locations. I was in a hammock solo, so was able to make do anywhere.

- The first two portages (day 1 for most people) are in good condition. The first is very wide and a bit boggy in places. The second is very short and no issue.

- There didn’t appear to be portages around all the rapids. On day 3 or 4 (for most people), there will be six rapids to deal with. In the information provided by Brad and Darl-h, it seems that there is a portage that avoids the first three rapids, as indicated in the first image below. I found the portage and walked it the first 100 metres or so, but it was very faint and looked difficult to carry a canoe over, so this is what I found:

*The first rapid has a portage round it RR.

*The second rapid probably has a portage RL, but I couldn’t see the start of it. (I saw the end of it after wading the rapid.)

*I had to wade the third rapid.

*The fourth and fifth rapids, when I went, were such that the water level allowed that I could carry over rocks on a part of the rapid that would be underwater in higher water.

*The fifth rapid, between Dawson Lake and the St. Raphael River is very scenic and long (the area around this is shown in the second image below). I was able to line/wade this one and saw an outboard boat motor under water near the beginning of it.

*The sixth set of rapids has a portage on RR, if you’re going counter-clockwise through the loop the water here is coming towards you.

- The next portage will be a day or two later between Churchill Lake and St. Raphael Lake. I had trouble finding the start of this portage, but once found it was easy to follow. There are some rotting boards laid down in parts of the portage with metal nails that could injure people. Having the GPX file and a GPS on my phone was helpful in finding the start of this portage.

- The next portage will be a day or two later into Vincent Lake. This was a good portage.

- The campsite at Torbie Narrows is good/decent and you’ll find a plaque dedicated to Gene Torbert there. (Third Image below.)

- The pictographs at the south end of the loop include some more recent additions. (Fourth image below.)

- The 90 meter portage at the end of Lawson Lake was great/easy/straightforward.

- The 1.6 or 1.7 km portage back to De Lesseps Lake isn’t super fun. It was easy to follow and locate from the Lawson Lake side. (It looked like someone used up all their remaining flagging tape marking the start of it.) This portage has some low boggy spots and a fair bit of big blow-down to carry/lift over. In 2021 it’s not something that should stop a trip for most people, but be prepared to spend some time and effort getting through it.

- On my second-to-last night I stayed at the campsite on the big island nearest to the portage out of De Lesseps Lake. There was a fire pit set up there that had been cast in some kind of concrete (or similar). It was kind if interesting for the inscriptions on it, which are in the last four images below. It was inscribed “G. Lewis 67,” “J. Bedei ENG.,” and, “B. Brunner.”


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 13th, 2021, 7:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 28th, 2016, 8:19 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Marathon/Superior
Last-minute request here: about to start this trip and the forecast calls for bad to terrible headwinds for the first 8+ days. I'm now trying to start the route from the south end to make use of those winds as I'm concerned I won't even be able to complete the route within the allotted time with these winds.

***Does anyone know of drive-to access from the south end of the route that won't add significant KMs?***

Starting from the south would avoid the linear part of the lollipop through Minchin L and the two associated portages, so I'd be losing KMs there and can add something equivalent, just not some huge connection.

The province's trails layer shows a route coming up from the south, from Fairchild L, and that would be wind-friendly. But no idea what the ports are like, if they exist.

Linking Brad's (Jennings) map again here for reference (many thanks Brad):
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing

Also, thanks for the updated report Brad (Thomas). Useful as always. Hope the smoke wasn't too bad for you.

_________________
YouTube Channel - Lost Lakes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 13th, 2021, 7:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 28th, 2016, 8:19 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Marathon/Superior
Looked up the FMP maps on NRIP (https://nrip.mnr.gov.on.ca/s/fmp-online?language=en_US) and Moose Lake and Kiwi roads off of HWY 516 get close. Primary roads but have no idea of their condition. Just emailed the plan author at Resolute on the Caribou Forest. Will report back if I hear but welcome any input in the meantime.

_________________
YouTube Channel - Lost Lakes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 13th, 2021, 8:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 28th, 2016, 8:19 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Marathon/Superior
Heard back immediately from Resolute.

"The vast majority of those road systems have been decommissioned for quite a few years. I have been told that the first few kilometers of the main roads (Kiwi and Moose Lake) were at one time still drivable (3-4 years ago) but I haven’t heard anything about either recently."

Looks like that's out. Only alternative I see is via Fairchild Lake.

_________________
YouTube Channel - Lost Lakes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: September 13th, 2021, 8:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
Posts: 246
Location: Toronto,ON
Hmm, big lakes and big winds are a bad combination.

When I paddled the area I spoke with the trapper who has a cabin on Vincent Lake. He accesses it from Sioux Lookout via logging roads then bush road and then ATV to get on water south of Hooker Lake - so not an option for paddlers.

Friends of Wabakimi Canoe Route Volume 2, has a route from Fitchie Lake south and then east across Hwy 599 to Wertheim Lake which can be paddle north to Minchin lake and then the portage to De Lessups. Heck, you could then loop the trip with a return to Minchin Lake and then north to the Pashkokogan river and take that south to Fitchie. Only the unnamed lake just north of Fitchie along the Paskokogan has a long carry, 1200m or so but a near bushwack from the last report I've read.

Good luck and stay safe.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 18th, 2021, 7:49 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 28th, 2016, 8:19 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Marathon/Superior
Thanks Darl-h! So much to explore up there.

We ended up doing the route from the access point above Minchin as planned and had some tough headwinds but all worked out perfectly. We also got a stunning caribou, cow moose, bull moose, timber wolves howling near our site on Lawson, and two bears. Northern lights and incredible skies, stars, storms, full moon, and the pictos on Lawson. Walleye and pike fishing was of course terrific.

Saw no paddlers but saw the cabin owner/trapper on Hooker guiding a couple of guys for the moose hunt along with another motorboat on Hooker, and another on Churchill and one where the Miniss R flows into Lake St Joseph. If there's any drawback to this route, it's the fact that it's full of fly-ins, but thankfully they were all pretty quiet.

Took 12 days to do it including our drive times, so more like 10 days of actual travel. Fewer daylight hours and headwinds slowed progress but we had up to 14 so it was all good.

We scoured the shoreline for the first of three ports to get up to De Lesseps L instead of the 1.6km trek but found nothing. The mile-long port was pretty good though.

Great route. Many thanks to Brad Jennings for his web map posted above.

My trip video:
https://youtu.be/p3chXs0x-ho

_________________
YouTube Channel - Lost Lakes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 18th, 2021, 10:56 am 
Offline

Joined: December 13th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Another great video Jon. Good to see more people paddling this area.
Just wanted to comment on the three portages into DeLesseps. I see neither Jon nor Brad could find the entrance to the first one. In 2011 we travelled in the opposite direction and did in fact use these 3 ports. I'm kinda hoping they don't become totally "lost". The MNR or Forest Company must have had a reason for cutting them out. What that reason is I'm not sure. Maybe something to do with the 1.6 k port being outside the park.
Anyway, nice to see videos and trip reports of an area that sure is a favourite of mine.

Pete


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group