Hap Wilson's Temagami Canoe Routes

Florence Lake-Yorston River Loop

Obabika River - up Sturgeon River - up Yorston River 

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Reprinted with author's permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obabika River: The Obabika River is relatively free of log liftovers. Just past the bridges is an old lumber camp clearing on the left bank where camping is possible. The Sturgeon River portage is located at another lumber camp clearing on the left bank. At the time of writing, a small hut stood by the water's edge. DO NOT CONTINUE PAST THIS POINT. Portage (820 yards) over an old skid road to a sandy bank landing at the mouth of the Obabika. The water has been channelled through a log control chute.

Sturgeon River: Paddle upstream and track the rapids on the left side before approaching Upper Goose Falls. Portage (80 yards) to the left of the falls. Upriver a short distance, on the left side, is a cabin on a high bank. A short distance further upstream, the Yorston River meets the Sturgeon on the right side. At this point, the Yorston River resembles a small creek.

Yorston River: *Note: (This description includes downstream travel.)

The first 3 1/2 miles up the Yorston becomes very shallow in the summer, necessitating many lifts over log jams and shallows. You will next come to four consecutive sets of shallow rapids, which can be tracked up or down (during high water). *Note: (If going downstream the second set should be portaged (20 yards) on the east bank to avoid a drop through some jagged rocks.)  Just upriver on the east bank is an old lumber camp with one cabin still in good shape, at the time of writing. About 3/4 of a mile upstream is a log jam requiring a liftover or portage of (35 yards). Shortly after some log liftovers, you will reach a rapids below a bridge. These will have to be tracked up or down in low water, but can be run in the spring if you watch out for overhanging trees. The next 1 1/2 miles is quite shallow with some log and rock obstructions. The next rapids must be tracked up or down for about 250 yards. From here, the river is rocky and shallow and should be tracked along the west bank up to an old holding dam.

Portage here (50 yards) on the west side of the dam to a small lake. There are several places to camp here on gravel and sand beaches. Proceed up the northwest narrows and continue upriver. There are three shallow rapids, before a small pond, that can be tracked going upstream (run or tracked going down). Above the pond are several more shallow rapids which can be tracked or run as well. *Note: (The last set, just before a pond, must be portaged (100 yards) along the rocks on the east bank.) At the northwest end of the small pond is a log bridge that has to be portaged around (40 yards) on the south shore. Above the bridge, the river is channelled into a stretch of fast water that can be easily tracked up or run down. The top end must portaged (100 yards) over the rocks on the north bank.

Before Linger Lake are three more obstacles. First, portage around the rapids (160 yards) along the rocky shore. Next, paddle across to a (55 yard) portage around the log jam, then track the short rapids to the lake.

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