Hap Wilson's Temagami Canoe Routes

Temagami-Lake Wanapitei Loop

Lower Temagami River

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Note: Temagami River water flow is dam controlled.

Rapid difficulty may vary.

Temagami River: The southwest end of Thistle narrows into three sections of fast current. Note: (All are deep but WATCH FOR ROCKS AS THEY ARE VERY SHARP EDGED). DO NOT RUN the next rapids. Portage (120 yards) on either side. The next two rapids (as shown on the map) follow the east channel around an island. Both can be run, keeping left through the first, then center through the second, for a total of 200 yards. WATCH ROCKS NEAR END. Keep center through some fast current and enter a small pond, keeping to the south side of the island.

Island Portage: The portage is located to the left side of the rapids, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN. There is a rough (650 yards) trail with a steep drop off at the end. This is a very pretty and rugged area with excellent bass fishing. Watch the rocks through two short sections of fast water, run a short (50 yards) stretch of rapids in the center and beach the canoe on the right bank. Take the portage (490 yards) to the last set of rapids, put in and run, center. Note: (The last three sets of rapids, prior to the put-in, can be run by experts only. EXTREME CAUTION MUST BE EMPLOYED.)

Old Cross at Island Portage.

(Replaced in 1986)


Illustration: Hap Wilson

Ragged Chutes: DO NOT RUN. Take the portage (50 yards) on the left side and carefully run the last drop. Portaging may be required. Paddle to the left side before the next chute and DO NOT RUN. Portage (85 yards) to a small pond. Camping is possible in a large grassy area, the location of the next portage. The portage (325 yards) follows a road by-passing a fairly difficult and rocky rapids. Track the next set of rapids (200 yards) along the right bank. The next set CANNOT BE RUN OR TRACKED. Portage (140 yards) along the rocks on the left side to a trail that runs out into a small pond. From here the river races for about four miles in a continuous series of shallow rapids and fast current. These can be run easily, so long as you are quick to follow the deeper channels. Average canoe speed is 8-10 mph.

River Valley: DO NOT RUN the rapids under the bridge. Take the trail, before the Hwy 805 bridge, up the right bank and cross over the bridge to a dirt track road (right). Follow along to the tracks and keep right a short distance, then cross over the tracks and go down a steep trail to a section of easily run fast water. There is a municipal park on the opposite side. This portage is 350 yards. Keep left of the island to the next set of rapids. Portage (175 yards) along the upper portion of the rapids along the rocks on the right side to a trail. The lower section can easily be run. Note: The upper rapids can be run carefully in high water. From here it is very shallow; keep right of the islands in the river, then continue out to the Sturgeon River.


Reprinted with author's permission.

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Sturgeon River: (Up or Downstream)

Upstream travelers will find the current fairly strong. About 3 1/2 miles up is the first set of rapids. Track the first section on the west bank, paddle to the other side and track up the remainder. Note: (These rapids can be very carefully run although there is a sudden drop during low conditions.) Near Azen Creek there are two sections of fast water that may have to be tracked.

The next set of rapids can be portaged up the north bank to the road, then along the railway tracks (85 yards) and then back down a steep bank to the river. Total length is 400 yards. These rapids are very rocky at the lower section, so EXTREME CAUTION is needed if you intend to run them. Just before Glen Afton is another set of rapids to be portaged (700 yards) along the road on the north bank. These rapids are rocky and shallow. The portage is recommended if going downstream low water only.

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