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Albany River trip planning
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Author:  Lynne Shuttleworth [ December 21st, 2009, 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Albany River trip planning

Hi, everyone: Some friends and I are planning a trip on the Albany River for July. We hope to paddle most of the river from Osnaburgh Lake to Fort Albany. We expect it will take about 4 weeks. There is not a lot of info out there about this route, so if anyone has paddled the length of the Albany, I would like to hear from you.

To start, I have a few questions:
1. How many days, not including rest days, did it take you to go from Osnaburgh Lak to Fort Albany
2. What is the food and drink situation at Marten Lake...Is there a supermarket with good variety of food for resupplying, or is it mostly Twinkies and pop...
3. Same food and drink question as 2. but for Fort Hope.
4. What was the portage situation like--were they grown over or fairly obvious...
5. Where did you get info about rapids if you were only using topo maps....There are not guidebooks with details about rapids...

Thanks a lot, and happy holidays. - Lynne

Author:  Rick [ December 21st, 2009, 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

I've only paddled a short section of the Albany - Misehkow to Petawa Creek. Here is a link to a journal of the trip you speak of. Someday I'd like to paddle the whole length of the longest river in Ontario.
Canoeing Ontario's Rivers by Ron Reid and Janet Grand have a small section on the Albany and the Canoe Atlas of the Little North by Jonathan Berger and Thomas Terry documents all the rapids and portages for the whole river. Canoeing North into the Unkonwn by Bruce Hodgins and Gwyneth Hoyle documents those who have traveled this route beginning in 1661 / 62 by Radisson Groseilliers to the present. It contains many references to journals and publications of many of the trips - if one was so inclined to do the required research to find them, which I'm not.

Author:  Allan Jacobs [ December 21st, 2009, 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

You will find links to several Albany reports at

Author:  atim in a canoe [ December 22nd, 2009, 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Look up the band council contact info at Marten River. If they are like many communities in the area, they will be happy to help in your planning and provide some answers to some of your questions.

Most likely they have a Northern Store or band run grocery store.

Author:  Lynne Shuttleworth [ December 22nd, 2009, 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Rick, Allen, and Atim (that means little dog in Cree, does it not....): Thank you very much for the info. It will be very useful to us. Cheers! - Lynne

Author:  kingfisher [ December 22nd, 2009, 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning


Thanks for the link.
A good read for a winter morning.

Author:  jmc [ December 22nd, 2009, 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Lynne -

There are also some Albany reports in the Nastawgan archives: ... ry=nastrip


Author:  Voyageur [ December 22nd, 2009, 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Tackling the entire length of the Albany River raises a number of logistical dilemmas including the question of re-supply of provisions.

The first is that of insertion (@ Rat Rapids or Cedar Rapids on Osnaburgh Lake); the next is that of extraction. If you are planning to drive to the put-in point, how do you plan to retrieve your vehicle at the conclusion of your trip? And where do you plan to leave your vehicle for the duration?

In the past, many expeditions forwarded their supplies by parcel post to a trustworthy contact at Fort Hope and/or Martin Falls to be held for pick-up on arrival. This used to be the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) trading post factor or the priest of the local parish church.

Many provincial and federal mining survey maps are now available on-line and, even though some of them are dated as far back as the early 1900's, they have a wealth of valuable canoe route information that is still valid today and are well worth checking out. To expedite your research of this resource, you will need the 1,50,000 NTS Index Number (eg. 52) and optionally, the Index Letter that further defines the numbered region (eg. 52 I) and finally, the Map Number that indicates which of the 16 maps lie in the numbered region (eg. 52 I/13).

The provincial mining survey maps can be found on the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDM) website at:

The federal mining survey maps can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website at:

In either case, a similar page will appear inviting you to enter information to define your search criteria. Use the bottom field (NTS) to generate a search of the data base as described above.

Good Luck, and do keep the rest of us informed of your progress.

Author:  Mac [ December 22nd, 2009, 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Starting from near Fort Hope and on down the river, MNR has available 1:20,000 scale detailed sketches of the river done on drafting paper , with campsite, portage, and swift information included. Also , the types of vegetation, trees and historical information is noted if you are interested in that type of stuff.
You may be able to purchase this set of drafting prints from MNR in Sioux Lookout. If you have problems, try the Park Superintendant, who used to work out of the MNR Terrace Bay Office, for further information. Sioux Lookout also has a sort of trip guide that describes the rapids etc.

Author:  Barbara [ December 22nd, 2009, 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Sticky link: Ontario Discussion & Resources...Route Information, A through H


Author:  Hiker Neil [ December 22nd, 2009, 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

I just read an excellent book entitled, "Three Day Road". From what I could infer, the setting of the sub-plot is a paddle down the Albany River.

I highly recommend this book.

Author:  Lynne Shuttleworth [ December 23rd, 2009, 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

More great info from all of you. Thanks again.

To answer your question about logistics, Voyageur, we are planning to take the train from Toronto to Sioux Lookout, and at the end of the trip we will just take the train from Moosoonee to Cochrane and then to Toronto. This eliminates all the problems with vehicles. And we can take canoes on the trains. Cool, eh....

Author:  Voyageur [ December 23rd, 2009, 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

Lynne: Unless you have a chosen contact in Sioux Lookout with whom you've already made arrangements for your road shuttle to Rat Rapids, I must ask why you don't disembark at Savant Lake.

Dennis Morrisseau's Four Winds Hotel & Lodge ( is but a few steps from where VIA Rail drops you off and he can arrange your transportation needs as he has done in past years for The Wabakimi Project. His establishment has a licensed lounge and a restaurant and he owns the general store across the road. His wife, Evelyn, makes the best omelette in the Northwest.

Keep in mind the new VIA Rail schedule puts you into Savant Lake after midnight (Central Time) so overnight accommodation is de rigour. Your arrival in Sioux Lookout will be even later than that. Also, the road distance and travel time to your launch point is much shorter via paved Highway 599 from Savant Lake than from Sioux Lookout.

If you have the time, consider launching at Pashkokogan Lake and descending the Pashkokogan River into Osnaburgh Lake. It's a pleasant trip well worth the extra two days and all of the portages were cleared and mapped last summer by volunteer participants of The Wabakimi Project.

Author:  Allan Jacobs [ December 23rd, 2009, 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

I hope that you are not planning to paddle from the mouth of the Albany to Moosonee.
Some paddlers have done so and survived.
Too many have not.

Author:  Mac [ December 23rd, 2009, 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Albany River trip planning

You should be able to fly from Fort Albany on CreeBec Air to Moosonee and have your canoe(s) flown out to Moosonee on a backhaul freight flight either a few hours later or the next day , while you enjoy the sights in Moosonee and Moose Factory. You can camp on St. Charles Island at Tidewater PP and use the water Taxis to get you over there and back to the train station when it is time to leave....

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