View topic - Sissiboo River, Shelburne River to Lake Rossignol

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PostPosted: December 4th, 2009, 2:13 pm 

Joined: June 24th, 2008, 9:16 am
Posts: 2
Sissiboo River, Shelburne to Lake Rossignol
This route consists of lake and small river travel with several portages. It is a beautiful region of mixed forest in a remote part of the province.
Access: Lake Jolie via Bear River and Morganville Rd.
Egress : Bridge over the Mersey River above Lowes Landing either from Peskowesk Brook (4 days min) or the Lower Shelburne River; First Bridge over the Mersey River on the Peskowesk Rd.(Eel Weir) (6 days)
Alternate Takeout: Fifth Lake flowage (2 day round trip)

Best Travel: early may before the water drops.

Reference: Paddling the Tobeatic, A. Smith, Nimbus

There is a gravel beach with room for several tents at Lac Jolie. Travel southeast across the lake and enter the first stillwater. The first portage is well marked. At the logging road you have a choice: go left until you reach a Y and continue left along the tote rd for another 300 meters, or go right at the Y up the road about 100m to the portage trail leading into the lake. This is the shorter route.

Paddle to the end of Ninth Lake and follow the well marked trail to Eighth lake. There is a campsite located at the end of the lake, near some cabins.

Cross the lake to another well marked portage into Seventh Lake. At high water you can paddle right into Sixth lake flowage and on into Fifth Lake flowage.

Waterlevels in Fifth Lake Flowage are typically high in spring and the mouth of Whitesand Stream will be flooded, so stick to the southeast shore or you may miss it. At low levels you may have some pullovers or a portage. You can complete a 2 day trip by paddling down Fifth Lake to a takeout near the dam. It’s a relatively short shuttle back to Lac Jolie.

Continue up Whitesand Stream. There are a number of short carries till you reach the lake. There is a nice campsite in a pine grove atop a small drumlin on the left just before reaching the lake, or continue up to the start of the lake. There is a large, well used campsite on the point on the left.

On the right hand shore there is a cabin and just beyond it a small beach. The next portage to Moosehead Stream begins here. It is not clearly marked, but is obvious once you get beyond the brushy perimeter behind the beach.

There are several carries along Moosehead Stream some with campsites. Moosehead Lake is lower and somewhat swampy. Head for the far end of the lake and look for a cove protected by 2 small islands. The well marked campsite and portage begins here. This is a 3.5 km height of land portage into the Sheburne River system.

The trail is fairly obvious, but can be obscured by brush on the open heath. There is a small creek crossing at about the ½ way point. Remember to pack some water. We struggled for 3.5 hrs at the end of a long day to cross this one.

Follow the left shore to the entrance to the Shelburne River on Sand Beach Lake. The river branches – left is a deeper, longer channel, that will require at least 1 hallover; right is a short, rocky channel leading directly past Cofan Cabin, an old warden’s cabin, a little rough but still usable. Please respect this piece of NS history.

The trip down the Shelbourne to Granite Falls included short, navigable fast water sections with the ever present rocks. There were 2 short portages before Granite. Here there is an excellent campsite.

A 1 hr paddle from granite takes you at Pebbleloggitch Stillwater and the entrance to Kejimkujik National Park. From here one can portage into the park system and take out at the first bridge crossing the Mersey, or continue on to Jakes Landing. We chose to run Peskowesk Brook at the end of Peskowesk Lake down to the bridge above Lowes Landing. This a swift just navigable stream with one or 2 haulovers.

One can also continue down the Shelburne River, into Lac Rossignol and over to Lowes Landing, although this route is longer with several more portages.

I don’t recommend running Peskowesk brook if the Shelburne is much less than .8m. At this level it is run able and fun with several haulovers.

See: for levels

Many thanks to Karl for organizing this trip with guidance from Marcus and Ward.

Also thanks to our brother paddler in the southwest, Andy Smith for his very detailed description of this and many other routes in his book Paddling the Tobeatic.

PostPosted: December 4th, 2009, 2:57 pm 
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Joined: January 20th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 12092
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
The first entry in the Nova Scotia Trip Reports forum .... :thumbup:

Thank you for the excellent write-up. :clap:


I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard....what more do you want?

PostPosted: December 5th, 2009, 10:55 pm 

Joined: December 16th, 2007, 11:20 am
Posts: 20
Location: Nova Scotia

PostPosted: December 27th, 2009, 3:39 pm 

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4044
Location: Toronto
Thanks David!

The route description posted at
South Shore region,
Sissiboo and Shelburne Rivers ...
might bear inspection though.


A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)

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