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PostPosted: April 30th, 2013, 6:48 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
I don't remember seeing an official portage sign and it's not actually blue tape for marking, it's webbing to help you up the hill. I can't imagine it's too good for the trees and may be tricky if you're solo carrying a heavy canoe. If you've got good lining skills maybe you can line (or track) on the other side of the island then paddle up stream. When I was there in August of last year, the water upstream of the portage looked hard enough to paddle that the longer portage looked more inviting.

I only went to the falls to check things out though. I did not do the portage except for walking it with only my camera in tow. I may try it this summer since (from what I hear) the further into Ontario you get, the nicer the river gets.

The first stretch (into Elbow) was kinda disappointing. I knew beforehand how it's referred to as a freeway and the sites can be a little messy but between broken glass and piles of garbage at sites I was still a little surprised. It is nice and quiet on Elbow during the week though (and obviously in October too).


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PostPosted: May 30th, 2013, 8:15 pm 
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Joined: October 17th, 2010, 9:21 am
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my campsite was clean, it was at the far end of Elbow, I did not see anybody beyond Elbow so I'm guessing the sites probabley are cleaner as well


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PostPosted: July 18th, 2013, 12:46 pm 
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Joined: July 18th, 2013, 2:29 am
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I did this trip July long weekend 2012 with my kids - Camped on Elbow then were going to travel up to McGregor falls and back for a day trip. We made it to the rapids just below McGregor lake when we came upon the washed out portage. What I believe was to have been a short pullover on the rocks / left side of the river was now split around the granite outcropping (not sure what it looked like previously but am going by the portage sign now being in the middle of the river) You can see them in Zara's photobucket images. The river appears to have washed away the left bank (looking upstream) making it very difficult if not impossible to beach yourself on the granite to be able to pull over.

The new portage is to the left of the new route the river is taking and there is no landing area - literally a drop off the bank - my son in a kayak (with no moving water experience) had to maneuver across the channel to get his nose up to the edge of the portage and try getting out of the kayak in a bit of an eddy - He managed to ferry across ok with only a verbal lesson but dunked himself getting out.

My daughter and I then managed to work our way across in the canoe and he helped us get out.

The main issue with the new portage is the first 50 feet. First there really is no landing - you have to drag your boat between some tree trunks and hope it doesn't slide back in. The blue tape mentioned earlier is actually seatbelt strap that is tied tree to tree up a 45 degree incline that would be difficult to climb without the use of the handhold. Trying to drag a kayak or canoe upslope one handed being even harder. Then going back and grabbing whatever gear. The entire bank appears to be sand - so not sure how much longer the existing portage will even last.

I would say by you going so late in the season the water levels and current here may have been much slower making the original portage where you dragged your boat over the snow in the pic feasible.

We walked up the portage with just some packs to see the shape of the remaining portage would be and came across a second portage sign (84m) which confirmed my belief that there should have been two short portages and not this long one originally. I'm trying to attach a photo from the top of the hill at the start of the portage (left of the original pullover) which shows the washed away bank and the tree that has fallen across the new path of the river) being my first post I apologize if it doesn't work)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/96856412@N02/9313552747/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/96856412@N02/9316305438/


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PostPosted: July 20th, 2013, 9:35 am 
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Winnipeg
John Chihonik wrote:

The canoe is a 14' Fiberglass Wolverine apparently made in Wawa, Ontario in the late 80's to early 90's.
To tell the truth I don't use the seats very much, I mostly kneel to paddle, but when I sit up on them to stretch my legs they feel comfortable enough. I will likely have to redo them soon though, the rawhide has seen better days.



My excellent friend and tripping partner, Mihun09, makes really nice contoured seats, and can even cane if you want that sort of thing. Maybe contact her and see if you can work something out?

That trip looks really awesome and we are heading up there for labour day week this fall.

Christy


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2013, 7:50 am 
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Winnipeg
Having done this trip last week I can say that the ports are excellent. Much better than what we are used to. I am older and had no issues with lugging the canoe and packs up the port going into Macgregor. It is a well established trail that has been in use for a long time by the look of it.
This is a busy spot on the weekends, especially the long weekends so if you want solitude you should look at off season or mid week trips. Really nice sites though for the most part with picnic tables, firepits, and privvies. Civilised camping.
We are planning to head back up the end of September.

Christy


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