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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 12:45 pm 
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Location: Marathon/Superior
Has anyone been to the big lakes inside of Pukaskwa at the north end of the park (namely Birch, Lower Birch, Lurch)? I believe I've heard of park staff coming here (possibly fly-in) but I haven't heard of any paddlers.

I contacted the park and it is allowed as long as you pay for entry and a permit, and minimize impact since I don't believe there are any established sites.

Access is via the town of White River, south and then west for a while down the forestry roads. This would provide access to the Oskabukuta River around here.
https://goo.gl/maps/7NbL7pE8Rz9JrFfW9

Downstream ~10km on Oskabukuta, then turn upstream onto the Lurch River here, south to Lurch Lake and beyond.
https://goo.gl/maps/ccEWzJ6m3BRuTcSV8

Toporama shows a few rapids and a falls on each river to get to Lurch Lake.

The east side of both rivers is in this year's work schedule to be logged so that might even provide direct access...not that I want that, since it would be noisy if it was in operation, but it could be the case.

Linear route, returning the same way. Anyone have any intel?

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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 1:41 pm 
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Years ago I canoed downstream the Oskabukuta and went up the Lurch River to the exit falls from Lurch Lake. It was a day to get there. The falls are impressive, very impressive. I didn't go to Birch or Lower Birch. I don't believe the Park allows fly-in access.

I'd been curious to know more about your comment, The east side of both rivers is in this year's work schedule to be logged so that might even provide direct access.

Where is your profile pic from? Wonderful image.

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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: September 8th, 2003, 4:23 pm
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Location: Toronto,Ont .
Jon's profile pic is familiar to me because he is paddling a nova craft canoe , as i do, so the ash trim is so familiar


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 6:02 pm 
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Thanks a lot PP, great to hear and that sounds exciting. What time of year did you paddle in? I'm looking at June or July. Any obstacles that posed a serious challenge with exceedingly difficult bushwhack ports...anything like that?

Yeah the east side of both rivers is in the annual work schedule for 2021 to be logged, however some of what goes into an AWS may not get logged that year or ever, or it may be a winter cut. The allocation goes nearly to the park boundary so a buncher would definitely be audible from Birch and Lurch, and possibly Lower Birch. I plan to reach out to White River Forest Products to see if they have any info, so I can hopefully avoid that.

Shot was taken last fall on the Pic River at High Falls. Spectacular falls, maybe the nicest I've seen...quite tall but just a beautiful shape. Drone footage here:
https://youtu.be/KA-BFnqBTAw?t=3824

CT, that one is actually my Swift Raven which I got off of Rob Haslam last year. He rebuilt it himself so it's a custom job...that trim sure looks good on camera.

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PostPosted: March 18th, 2021, 11:07 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Ash gunwales and a red canoe hull. Does life get any better.

I was there in later May but June sounds like a good time. July might also work fine. You probably know the area better than me. I recall one bigger rapid on the Oskabukuta. Typical shield rock. Going upstream on the Lurch I used the eddies as much as possible to paddle upstream but I also waded upstream. I don't really recall portaging but many would portage the bigger rapid on the Oskabukuta. It would need portaging (I don't recall enough is tracking would be an option) on the return trip. Low water levels might make the upstream work easier and allow for tracking and less deep wading. I recall mostly small gravel river bottom when wading.

The access to the lakes may not change as all the logging activities would be outside of the park. But do let us know what you find out because there is a chance that something like a new road or water crossing/bridge might avail a new access option.

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2021, 5:42 am 
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Thanks a lot Brian...sounds reasonable. Will report back if it pans out :)

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2021, 5:58 am 
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Gentlemen, it's actually a cedar strip canoe I got tired of varnishing, so painted it red, leaving the gunwales natural, just to set the record straight, lol.


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2021, 8:19 pm 
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JK, any update?

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PostPosted: October 11th, 2021, 9:23 pm 
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I think you want to see this from Jon's you tube page:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-BBCr8pD8c

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PostPosted: October 13th, 2021, 6:44 am 
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Thanks Mel, the video sums it up Brian :) Fantastic route with more to explore. A bit of a slog going in and, as a linear route, even more so coming out as the upstream rapids on the Oskie are a bit tough.

I would only attempt upstream after high water because bushwhacking along the steep rock banks would be extremely difficult.

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