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PostPosted: March 16th, 2018, 10:44 am 
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Joined: November 10th, 2015, 10:23 am
Posts: 13
i'm looking to do a variation of Haps Route #10 - Matabitchuan River this summer and was hoping to utilise some expertise of this forum to get advice on the feasibility of my route and any other pertinent information (good campsites, things to watch out for etc.).

Here is my initial thought for our 5 days/4 nights route at the end of July:
- Put-in on Cassels lake, then head north to Lorrain Lake via Friday Creek (with a side trip to Blueberry Lake to hike the old growth trail(s)),
- Head back south to Rabbit Chutes before we go north down the Matabitchuan river to Fourbass.
- From Fourbass we will head south through Cooper lake, Macdonald, Glasford and Maxam and eventually make our way back to our cars via rabbit lake

Questions:
- Is this route feasible in 5 days?
- Where would you recommend to camp(i.e. can you recommend any A+ sites)
- Of the 2 trails on Blueberry lake which one would you recommend if we only have time do hike one of them?
- I see on the map we could reach Beaver Mountain via Copper lake if we take a little detour on Fourbass. Would you recommend this side trip? Would the additional time be worth the hike?
- Any other useful information on this route would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your advice


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PostPosted: March 16th, 2018, 12:50 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm
Posts: 437
Location: North Bay, Ontario
I have done most of this route over the past few years.


Here is my initial thought for our 5 days/4 nights route at the end of July:
- Put-in on Cassels lake, then head north to Lorrain Lake via Friday Creek (with a side trip to Blueberry Lake to hike the old growth trail(s)),

The portage to Lorrain is seldom used and was lightly marked when I did it about 3 yrs ago. Managed to follow it but you have to pay attention. I heard last year that Friday Creek may have become impassible because of beaver dam loss, but I can't confirm that. Perhaps someone else can, it was fine when we did it.

- Head back south to Rabbit Chutes before we go north down the Matabitchuan river to Fourbass.

Relatively easy, a few portages and walk-throughs down to Rabbit Lake. The Matab is scenic and fun.

- From Fourbass we will head south through Cooper lake, Macdonald, Glasford and Maxam and eventually make our way back to our cars via rabbit lake

This part is easy, I did it in one day last year from Fourbass to Ross. Another option to start/end the trip is at the road crossing between Burwash and Ross lakes. There is room to park by the side of the road there if you don't mind leaving your car in such a place.

Questions:
- Is this route feasible in 5 days?

Yes, but barely. No rest days. Rabbit lake is large and subject to winds. Cottaged to and was not that pleasant for us.

Hope this helps.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2018, 8:31 am 
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Joined: August 19th, 2007, 5:40 pm
Posts: 543
Location: Timmins
We did this exact route in 4 days 3 nights with ample time to hike, film and relax. So is it doable in 5? Most certainly. Depends on your skill levels and how far you travel per day etc.

You can run/line most rapids on the Matabitchuan if the dam has levels up and your skills permitl.

Cooper to Glassford portage can get confusing with a network of old logging roads and ATV trails..... keep a close eye on your heading here. We did not take the McDonald creek option so I can't comment on that.

Rabbit lake can get quite windy

We stayed on the tiny island on Blueberry Lake. Very nice, but bring wood from elsewhere and leave some for others.

The old growth trail on Blueberry takes you to more impressive large trees, but the Blueberry trail has a nice red pine studded cliff walk... hard to say which is the nicer, we did both int he morning and then paddled to a spot N then S on Lorrain Creek.

The portages from Glassford to Maxam go through some impressive stands of old growth white pine. If you don't hike the old growth trail, do stop to admire these giants.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2018, 10:12 am 
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Joined: November 10th, 2015, 10:23 am
Posts: 13
Thank you very much Kinguq and Stajanleafs for your replies.

I've read online that in 2016 the 995m portage after Friday Creek, which leads to Lorrain Lake, is impassable.

Does anyone on this forum have any updated information on this portage?

Thanks


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PostPosted: May 11th, 2018, 9:48 am 
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Joined: November 10th, 2015, 10:23 am
Posts: 13
Hi everyone, just wanted to share some updated information I received on the portage from Friday Creek into Lorrain from Doug at Northern Paradise Lodge.

"Yes, I've been up Friday Creek since you read the post of 2016. A friend and I canoed it last summer for the sole purpose of brushing the 1 or 1.5 km. portage from Friday Creek over to Lorrain Lake so people like you could enjoy it. We did it later in the summer when all the black flies and most of the mosquitoes were gone. There wasn't a lot of water (maybe 3 or 4 inches) in the big marsh that can be identified on most maps about half way up the creek. With all the mud/sand, you don't dare get out of the canoe to walk the canoe up there. Basically, there is about 100 yards of pure hell but the rest of the journey is very enjoyable. We also cut several logs that were floating in the creek from the early spring current both below and above the marsh. Early in the season, there's a lot of water coming down the creek and you can easily paddle through there but after mid or late July, the water level is significantly lower.

The portage trail is well cleared and should be easy to follow for another 3 or 4 years before it will need to be brushed again. We also went into Lorrain Lake a week later and brushed the short portage from the southern end of Lorrain into Upper Bear Lake. I don't think it's labelled as that but there are 3 small lakes between Lorrain and Rabbit that are called Upper, Middle and Lower Bear Lakes. We never got to do the couple hundred yard portage from Lower Bear into Rabbit but it is definitely on the radar this year as an early spring trip before the black flies start."

Cheers


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