View topic - Trip Update - Thistle Lake Loop (Temagami Trip #1 and #4)

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PostPosted: August 31st, 2005, 7:30 pm 

Joined: August 11th, 2005, 9:18 pm
Posts: 18
A buddy and I just returned from what we call the Thistle Lake Loop, it’s a combination of Hap Wilson’s route #1 an #4. We started from Thistle Lake, went down the Temagami, UP the Sturgeon River past the Chiniguchi turn off and up to Lake Wawiashaga, Brightwater, Manitou, Turtleshell, Gull, Skunk, Temagami, Cross Lake, Temagami River, Red Cedar and back to Thistle. We started off in the rain for 3 days and the Temagami River was extremely bony due to low water making many of the rapids unrunnable. The portages either don’t exist or are very hard to find or overgrown from River Valley to Wawiashaga (entry points are mostly unmarked, no signs or completely overgrown or squatters have taken over the spots). Going up the Sturgeon upriver is not for the fain of heart or weak of feet since lining the canoes up the rapids and or swifts is time consuming and very hard on the feet (rocks are round, slippery). The rest of the trip was fairly easy and of course extremely beautiful. We especially enjoyed Gull Lake (What a beautiful and isolated lake). Our hand held GPS device sure helped in a few key area’s ie: Manitou trail to Turtleshell and the swamp crossing across Cross which only has about a foot of water.

The stretch from the Temagami river from Cross to Red Cedar was fine for the most part although very bony. We could not run only one section (Heron’s Leg second part). We only passed 5 canoes during our 7 day 6 night trip. 4 sleeping on Triple Play at about 6:00am on our first day out and one coming down the Sturgeon heading to field as we slogged up river.

The campsites around the Sturgeon River were for the most part disappointing, dirty and overused by ATV’ers. Even the mighty Temagami River is now becoming despoiled by individuals who don’t care for the environment. Big burnt out drums and beer bottles and cases were everywhere. Squatters on the Sturgeon and even on Cross Lake below the dam are really taking a toll on that environment.

Luckily many lodge owners we met, (Red Cedar Mountain Side Lodge to name one in particular) are battling back collecting garbage from sites on a frequent basis.

I would be happy to share any other details with interested parties. All in all a fantastic trip…although very physically demanding over the first 3 days as we made our way down the Temagami and up the Sturgeon.

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