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PostPosted: November 17th, 2022, 12:59 pm 
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Hey Everyone -looking to crowdsource any ideas or previous routes that are out there to be done in Ontario!

My family only has one vehicle which makes trips up north a bit difficult logistically. My solution - take the train to my put in and have the train pick me up at the take out. Anyone done this before? According to ViaRail's website, they've got two lines that run up into Northern Ontario. It would be great to find a route that's a mix of lake, river, and whitewater.

https://corpo.viarail.ca/en/projects-in ... eal-estate


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2022, 2:16 pm 
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Assuming you're riding from Toronto:

Hypothetically, you could take the Via up to Biscotasing, paddle the Spanish river south until Bannerman Creek. Then work your way up Bannerman creek to Benny Station and ride back to Toronto. The same line will take you as far north as White River, ON. Not sure what the cargo situation is like riding out of Union Station, as I've only taken the Budd car from Cartier with a canoe.

Similarly, the other line will take you way up as far as Wabakimi I believe. Depends how far you want to travel by train.

I think a few board members here have posted about similar experiences, maybe give the site a search.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2022, 4:54 pm 
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I suspect that you would need a Klepper etc. folding kayak for such approach.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2022, 6:08 pm 
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It's not clear to me why the train in AND train out, for that there are few options, many more option are available if you restrict it to train IN (or out) and drive in (or out).

The only place that comes to mind for both would be Wabakimi, quite a few more pop up if you can arrange a shuttle by vehicle from the train to either the put-in or take-out.

You didn't mention the time you have available, it would make a big difference in the available options.

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2022, 9:25 am 
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MKR - nailed it. From the GTA and had watched a video by Pursuit of Passion where he went to Wabakimi via train starting at Union Station in Toronto. The footage of them carrying the canoe through the station and onto the platform has stuck in my mind ever since, although I might look to board in Parry Sound to avoid unloading a canoe on Wellington. The Spanish is definitely on my radar via Bisco but the adventurer in me is hoping to find something less travelled.

Recped - Train in and train out is a cool way to travel, not something I've ever done. It's likely more cost effective too but I wouldn't rule out a shuttle from the take out back to a train station to get back to the GTA.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2022, 9:45 am 
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Some friends did the Bloodvein River some time ago. They lived in the K-W area, but left from Toronto . It was quite a sight to see the canoes moving down the concourse inside the station. Fortunately, the staion was relatively quiet at the time they used it.

Not so the taxi line outside, where the drivers had no sympathy at all for the finer points of loading a canoe. The travellers were forced to double-park and tie their boats down in traffic, with a cacopchoy of car horns all around them. Barrie might be a good idea.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2022, 12:19 pm 
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These days VIA charges $100. For the canoe. We brought it down to Union Station the night before. The train to Wabakimi is The Canadian, ending in Vancouver a few days later. The current westbound schedule looks like this:

https://www.viarail.ca/en/plan/train-sc ... -vancouver

You can get off at designated VIA stops or indicate a spot by a lake or river where the train will stop and let you off – or pick you up.

The Wabakimi area is made for train insertion since there are few roads to take you into the Park. Here are a few two-week trip possibilities

1. Get off at Allanwater Bridge, go down to Wabakimi Lake, and paddle back to Collins via the Boiling Sand River.

2. Get off at Flindt Landing and create any one of dozens of trip options that take you back to the CN tracks.

3. Get off at Mud River VIA stop, paddle down the Pikitigushi River to Lake Nipigon, and island-hop the NW corner of the lake – best in a kayak.

4. Get off at Allanwater Bridge VIA stop and paddle up the Brightsand and Kashishabog Rivers to the headwaters of the Kopka and then go down the Kopka to either a shuttle pickup at Bukemiga Lake back to Armstrong VIA Station or paddle along Windigo Bay and up the Pikitigushi to Mud River VIA stop.

Arranging a shuttle from an Armstrong-area outfitter will provide more flexibility without adding that much extra cost. A shuttle to or from Little Caribou Lake from the VIA stop at Armstrong is one possibility.

VIA service seems to have gotten much worse in the past few years. It is best to accept that you will be arriving late. Freight takes precedence over passengers on the CN line!

We’ve also used The Sudbury – White River train service for a couple of Missinaibi trips. The most recent one had us get off at Healey Bay on Windermere Lake, paddle down to Missinaibi Lake, and then over to Missanabie, where we took the train back to our vehicle at Healey Bay. The train can accommodate 96 passengers; there were three on the day we hopped on board. Instead of Healey Bay, You could leave your vehicle in Sudbury. Hap Wilson’s Missinaibi guidebook describes a Missinaibi trip which starts at the Bolkow VIA stop.

https://www.viarail.ca/en/plan/train-sc ... hite-river

My canoe tripping folder has the particulars on some of these. Never too early to plant the seeds for next summer’s trip!

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2022, 2:26 pm 
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Baines wrote:
The Spanish is definitely on my radar via Bisco but the adventurer in me is hoping to find something less travelled.


Go in late September. More likely to have higher water levels and only see folks who have hunt camps along the river.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2022, 7:48 pm 
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I have not done this route but the Chapleau and Nemegosenda river route is a mix of flat water and fast water. You can take the canadian to Elsas and canoe the route back to Elsas..

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PostPosted: November 19th, 2022, 8:50 am 
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Location: Peterborough, Ontario Canada
true_north wrote:
These days VIA charges $100. For the canoe. We brought it down to Union Station the night before. ...

While these threads always make me smile, envisioning taking a canoe to Union Station just put an especially huge smile on my face. That might just be the next entry on my bucket list.


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2022, 11:21 am 
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true_north wrote:

1. Get off at Allanwater Bridge, go down to Wabakimi Lake, and paddle back to Collins via the Boiling Sand River.

2. Get off at Flindt Landing and create any one of dozens of trip options that take you back to the CN tracks.

3. Get off at Mud River VIA stop, paddle down the Pikitigushi River to Lake Nipigon, and island-hop the NW corner of the lake – best in a kayak.

4. Get off at Allanwater Bridge VIA stop and paddle up the Brightsand and Kashishabog Rivers to the headwaters of the Kopka and then go down the Kopka to either a shuttle pickup at Bukemiga Lake back to Armstrong VIA Station or paddle along Windigo Bay and up the Pikitigushi to Mud River VIA stop.

Arranging a shuttle from an Armstrong-area outfitter will provide more flexibility without adding that much extra cost. A shuttle to or from Little Caribou Lake from the VIA stop at Armstrong is one possibility.



At the end of July, early August, we took the train from Sudbury Junction to Schultz's Trail, and put in on Onamakawash Lake in Wabakimi, paddled down the Lookout, Berg, Ogoki Rivers to Whitewater Lake and back to Armstrong Station through Smoothrock and Little Caribou lakes. 10-day trip for us. We used Wabakimi Clem to shuttle us from the Little Caribou take-out back to Armstrong where we caught the Canadian back to Sudbury. I talk about the train experience on my blog of trip reports, posted earlier this year. I recommend Clem if you arrange a shuttle, he was very reliable. wabakimiclemq@outlook.com

As cool as it is to portage through Union Station, if getting a canoe into downtown TO and doing that is out of your way or troublesome, you can grab The Canadian in Washago, just south of Gravenhurst, as well.

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PostPosted: November 23rd, 2022, 2:17 pm 
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Ah these options for Wabakimi all sounds amazing. @true_north - I actually stumbled onto your blog not that long ago. An incredible resource you've put together - really appreciate all these adventures going into a single space.

What about booking the train itself? Am I able to book as early as I want? Should I call given that I have a canoe that'll go on the budd car?


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PostPosted: November 24th, 2022, 1:08 pm 
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Baines wrote:
Ah these options for Wabakimi all sounds amazing. @true_north - I actually stumbled onto your blog not that long ago. An incredible resource you've put together - really appreciate all these adventures going into a single space.

What about booking the train itself? Am I able to book as early as I want? Should I call given that I have a canoe that'll go on the budd car?


You can book tickets online, but you will need to call ahead to confirm space for your canoes. The Budd car out of Sudbury is $50 cash per canoe when loading, not sure about Union Station.


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PostPosted: November 24th, 2022, 2:57 pm 
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
MKR wrote:
Baines wrote:
The Spanish is definitely on my radar via Bisco but the adventurer in me is hoping to find something less travelled.


Go in late September. More likely to have higher water levels and only see folks who have hunt camps along the river.


I went the first week of July and only saw 2 people between Duke Lake and Agnew.

I'm sure we had groups in front and behind us but we never ran into or saw them.

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