View topic - Bird River to Eagle Lake access

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PostPosted: January 24th, 2019, 11:48 am 
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Since it is -40 out, I am starting to look at trip options for this summer. I am wondering if anyone has been up the Bird River to Eagle Lake and/or Woodland Caribou PP in the last few years. We attempted that trip a few years ago but got turned around just before Chase Lake as the portage was completely blown down and there was no way to get our stuff through. The other portages between Snowshoe and Chase were also in relatively poor shape with a fair amount of obstructions. Any insights are appreciated.


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PostPosted: January 25th, 2019, 12:05 am 
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Great route to be thinking about to shake off winter chills. In 2017 we tried to find the portage from Alga to Wingiskus - planning on making a loop - but failed. It was during heatwave, we had a pair of overheated dogs with us and it was low water so we gave up. We found what seemed to be someone's bush-crash looking for the portage but didn't feel like making our way through that long portage only to find water was too low to easily move on from Wingiskus.

Back on the Bird, we made our way to the first portage upstream of Snowshoe in the early afternoon. As soon as we looked at the dried up rapid we knew we weren't going to portage it. We turned around and camped on Snowshoe.

I don't regret turning around because that heat was too much for us, never mind the dogs. But I sure liked the area and would like to make my way back there sometime - all the way to Eagle or further.


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PostPosted: January 28th, 2019, 9:28 am 
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Thanks Neil. Yes, once you get past the crowds on Elbow, the route is quite beautiful. The portages up that final one that got us turned around, while having some blow down, weren't all that bad two years ago. Unless that last one has been cleared up though, I have no interest in going back that way. It didn't help that my wife stepped into a wasps nest on the portage landing and all of us including the dog got quite a few stings, but there was no trees left standing and getting through was quite impossible. I thought I read on here since then of someone who passed through and didn't have an issue, so I am wondering what I did wrong or if I missed the portage proper.


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2019, 9:50 am 
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My wife and I did a 10 day trip up and down this route in 2017. My original plan was to go up the bird over to Wingiskus through Bee Eden kangaroo to eagle lake, however based on water levels and not knowing if we would run out of water between snowshoe and chase we attempted the route backwards. We basically bushwhacked our whole way up the bird, I think the only portage in decent shape was the longest one in the middle. I assume you got turned around at the island portage? Since it was a blow down disaster, luckily for us the flow was not very high and we just portaged up the falls. We were unable to come back through eden as the portage from midway to kangaroo was impassable with massive blowdown. So we hung out on eagle, fished and casually made our way back down the bird.

Neil did you make it into Alga? we found that portage no problem going in but since we did the route backwards we didn't cross over to the long portage into Wingiskus. Based on the excellent condition of the bird to alga portage I would think the Wingiskus one would be good too. Looked like it was a snowmobile trail (nice and wide).

Last year we did 2 weeks in WCPP and met a solo paddler and he had entered and was leaving via the bird back down to tulabi. I asked him how the portages were between snowshoe and chase and he said they were good, so mentioned our story the year before and he said it was nothing like that so it sounds like its been cleared. I haven't seen it for myself so take that info for what its worth.

Id really like to get back up that way and bust through to Eden. Nice area, just to many fishing lodges and motorboats on chase and eagle


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2019, 4:09 pm 
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Haven’t been into kangaroo since the 80s.

I recall it was nice, quiet. No fishing lodges nor motorboats.

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
rdahl wrote:
Neil did you make it into Alga? we found that portage no problem going in but since we did the route backwards we didn't cross over to the long portage into Wingiskus. Based on the excellent condition of the bird to alga portage I would think the Wingiskus one would be good too. Looked like it was a snowmobile trail (nice and wide).


Yes. That portage was easy to spot and well travelled. There were definitely signs of travel from Alga into Wingiskus but no defined trail - that we found.


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PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 3:47 pm 
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Thanks guys, sounds like it may be worthwhile to give it another shot. The portage that turned us around was on a narrow part of the river ahead of a sharp turn if I recall correctly, not sure if it would qualify as an island. Either way, the blowdown was terrible and I managed to work myself up to a point where I could see flag tape at the other end, but there would have been no way to get gear through.


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