Canadian Canoe Routes

Swift Rapids Road Area Loop
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Author:  WaterHunter [ June 22nd, 2017, 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Swift Rapids Road Area Loop

Time sure flies, almost a week since I’ve been paddling! Harold was free to explore (and chase bugs) today. We would do some exploring around the west end of Long Lake, south of Swift Rapids.

We met at the beginning of the Swift Rapids Road shortly after 9AM. We had concerns as to the condition of the road, usually pretty rough at the best of times. With all the recent rainfall there could be washouts.

We both drove part way in to where there was another wide area to park. This was where the “better” part of the dirt road ended, and the rough part started. Harold’s van had more clearance than my car. If the next part looked too rough we would put the canoe on his van and continue on. It didn’t look terrible, so we continued on in my car, at a slow speed. We continued on the road until we reached the Black River, parking just off the road close to the bridge. I was expecting an onslaught of bugs when we stepped out of the car, but there were none! Quite a change in one week!

We put in on the river just before 10AM, sliding the canoe off of the bridge, rather than the side of the road due to thick patches of poison ivy. The water was very high.

We were paddling against a current, over numerous patches of submerged lilypads. Two short portages and two beaverdams to pull over along the river brought us to the beginning of Long Lake, a half hour trip.

We had a short chat with a local cottager who was passing by on an ATV before paddling off down the lake. Not much sign of any sun yet, if fact it looked more like rain.

There was a series of ponds and wetlands just south of the lake. We planned to meander through these if water levels allowed. Another friend (Robin) and I had been through some of them while on a 3 day canoe trip a number of years ago. Today water quantities were good. Beaver dams were all intact, holding back all this recent rainwater. Some of the channels were barely visible, but still managed to fit the canoe.

We came across a swan, who seemed reluctant to leave. We wondered if there was a nest nearby, or if it was injured. It did attempt to fly off at one point but didn’t get far.

The only bugs so far were a couple of deeflies now buzzing around. With the clouds breaking up, and the temperature was rising, the flies would probably get much worse.

As we approached a beaver dam Harold heard a commotion just ahead of us, spotting a black bear and a cub. The mother ran off quickly, disappearing over a ridge, leaving the cub to fend for itself. We could hear it's distict bleating calls as it tried to flee. The dense bushes made it difficult to get pictures.

It kept climbing up and down the trees, eventually swimming across the narrow patch of water ahead of us, disappearing over the same ridge. Off to our left, a second cub appeared, also in a state of panic. We tried to stay still and quiet so that it would leave, while also trying to snap some pictures. Eventually it continued on, but up a distant tree. We waited for a bit before cautiously pulling over the dam and through the short bushy stretch into the next pond. No signs of the bears now.

We had to “grunt” a bit to get through the next bushy marsh, before the wetland opened into a nice pond. An open rocky area became our lunch spot. We were one portage away from Long Lake. The sun was out now, as were the deerflies, bothersome buggers! They always manage to find spots around our hats to crawl in to our hair and feast. Fortunately they seem to like Harold more than me. :)

We dragged down a steep embankment to a sheltered bay of long lake, passing a lunch spot where Elaine and I had been previously. We had cooked our lunch over a fire. The water today was high enough, that our firepit was fully sumerged.

Now that we were on the Lake we had to make a decision where to continue on for the afternoon. We decided to continue north of the lake through some wetlands. Deerflies were now thick, sounding like a raceway as they circled our heads. The strong wind blowing against us did little to thin them out.

We followed the various ponds and wetlands, eventually arriving back on the Black River.


We retraced the morning’s paddle, passing by a cluster of lilypad roots, looking like a mass of anacondas floating on the surface. Back ot the car by 3:30PM. Another good day of pond hopping.

A link to more pictures, a video, and a map of the route

Author:  Floats n Boats [ June 24th, 2017, 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Rapids Road Area Loop

Cool route! I have spent sometime working on emergency landings into Long Lake(Matchedash). We use that place quite abit. You would be surpirsed how many moose are in the area. I have seen people on canoes from time to time around the area and only assumed that they used a route similar to yours.

Author:  WaterHunter [ June 24th, 2017, 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift Rapids Road Area Loop

Yes we have seen many moose in the area as well. Paddled, hiked and skied all throughout the area, starting from the Sparrow Lake side, as well as from Lantern Bay to the north. A link to another trips last spring with moose

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