View topic - Witchwood River Canoe trip

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PostPosted: November 4th, 2011, 12:28 pm 
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Joined: February 6th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Good Afternoon: In 2012, late July I intend to paddle from Whiteclay Lake up to the Albany river and back. If anyone has paddled the Witchwood river system I am interested in knowing if it can be done in both directions. I know at one time it use to be done but as with most of the old routes when people only paddle them in one direction for 50 years or so a lot of the up river portages tend to disappear.

Thank you very much

Daryl


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PostPosted: November 4th, 2011, 2:52 pm 
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PostPosted: November 4th, 2011, 5:26 pm 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
The first question I have is, "How do you intend to access and leave the Witchwood River system at the beginning/end of your proposed trip?".

The Witchwood River lies east of Wabakimi PP and is part of the Attwood Conservation Reserve. It has direct no road or rail access. Do you intend to fly in and fly out or does you proposed trip route involve more than what you've described?

My second question is, "How do you intend to reach the Albany River?".

From Hurst Lake, there are three possible routes:

1. straight north through Auger Lake and down Petaua Creek to Petawanga Lake;

2. downstream on the Attwood River through Guerin and Peninsular Lakes to Gowie Bay;

3. upstream on the Attwood River through Attwood Lake, Luella Lake, Kilbarry Lake, Musgrave Lake, Shabuskwia Lake and then downstream on Shabuskwia River to Patte Lake.

More detail would be appreciated so those of us who are familiar with these routes can best advise you.


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PostPosted: November 5th, 2011, 9:52 am 
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Joined: February 6th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada
The last time I was into Whiteclay lake I went in from just West of Collins on the boiling sands river system so I may do that again or go in the Allenwater route. When I leave Whiteclay I was going to go up through Witchwood and Felsia lakes but I am open to suggestions after that. I just thought if I got to the Albany it would be a target. I have no real reason to get there. I can turn around any place and come back or make a small loop. Are any of the runs up to the Albany still canoed in both directions.


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PostPosted: November 5th, 2011, 12:08 pm 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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Are any of the runs up to the Albany still canoed in both directions?

The short answer is, "Yes!", but not without some difficulty.

Over the past two seasons, contributors to The Wabakimi Project have successfully travelled the Witchwood in both directions and upstream on the Opichuan. Their detailed trip reports indicate the presence of numerous sweepers and overhangs coupled with a lack of usable portages to bypass many moving water sections made travel challenging but not impossible. One of these contributors is considering a return visit next summer to work on some of the impassable portages on the Attwood River between Hurst Lake and Peninsular Lake.

Last summer, volunteer crews of The Wabakimi Project completed reconnaissance of the Albany River downstream as far as Frenchmans Rapids at the outflow of Triangular Lake. We poked our noses into the Shabuskwia River and Petuau Creek and found these two strategic links to the routes in the Attwood Conservation Reserve needed more attention than we could render at the time.

Your enquiry about the condition of the Witchwood River route and other links to the Albany River is most timely. In mid-July next summer, The Wabakimi Project plans to mount a 12-week reconnaissance of these routes. Our goal is to ensure that each route we explore is doable in either direction in any water level condition.

By the way, access to the Boiling Sand River from the CNR right-of-way is east of Collins and not west as you suggested. Since your last visit, the VIA Rail schedule has been drastically altered. The tri-weekly westbound service leaves Armstrong at 10:19pm EDST which means you get dropped off in the dark. Details of this change are available on the Access page of the Wabakimi & Beyond section of our website (http://www.wabakimi.org).


Last edited by Voyageur on November 5th, 2011, 4:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: November 5th, 2011, 1:39 pm 
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Joined: February 6th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Thanks again for all your help. I guess I am getting old, I put in West of Collins by mistake.


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