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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through September 18, 2013 * Little Hawk Portages open < Previous Next >

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curly
Member

Post Number: 421
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, June 3, 2013 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Okay, you've probably already heard it somewhere else. But here's the official press release as well as some photos. If you're in NE Ontario, listen to CBC's Points North today at 4:40 for an interview on this.


IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday May 30, 2013
Historic fur trade route reopened
Little Hawk Portages, between Temagami and Timmins, reconnected after 87 years
North Bay – After three years of work, the Friends of Grassy River and the Friends of Temagami have reopened the Little Hawk Portages, which cross the height-of-land between the Arctic and Atlantic watersheds near Gowganda. The four portages, totaling 6.8 km, connect the West Montreal River (which flows into the Ottawa River) and the Grassy River (which flows into the Mattagami and Moose Rivers).
Originally a travel route for the Ojibway people, the route gained prominence during the fur trade. Travelling through the area in 1900, the Geological Survey of Canada’s George Gray, wrote:
“The four portages from Hawk Lake to Opishgoka or Pigeon Lake, known as the ‘Hawk Portages,’ have at one time been well cut out and much used, having formed a part of the Hudson’s Bay Company route between Fort Matachewan and Mattagami, but at present they are badly choked by successive windfalls.”
“This project would not have been possible without the cooperation of the local First Nations.” said Laurent Robichaud, Acting Chair of the Friends of Grassy River. “This represents a joining of hands and hearts of all those who share these waters today.”
The portages were also used by Lake Temagami youth camps journeying to James Bay. The last such canoe trip was undertaken by Camp Keewaydin in 1926.
“We hope that Temagami’s youth camps, as well as young people from the local communities, will rediscover pieces of our Canadian heritage,” said the Friends of Temagami’s Paul Bisson. “We did this for the youth.”
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curly
Member

Post Number: 422
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, June 3, 2013 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post



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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1244
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 6:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hmmm. Someone needs to shrink his beer belly.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1542
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

And he looks so clean. Did you do the work or watch others?
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1245
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'll let someone else answer that.
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 18
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Oh he worked alright.It was like watching chainsaw ballot,he danced through the trees with precision cuts,he studied his partners moves as they fell around him,we tossed his partners off the sides as he engaged other partners,it was magical !!
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1547
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Did you mean chainsaw ballet? Ed does have the legs for it. You see him model a bathing suit.
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes..chainsaw ballet. He wouldn't show me his legs! On a serious note,lots of the trail floor was choked with rotten and semi rotten logs which formed many leg traps. We managed to clear many of these areas or form the trail in a fashion which permits much easier walking. It was at a cost of many chainsaw chains.After much discussion we thought it would prove to be the best thing to do. Being such a long trail,it is enough to carry let alone try to side step all the floor debris we found !
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 20
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There are a couple of options to get into this area. On hyway #560 at the bridge where the sign states Duncan lk. (it is actually Montreal River),there is a boat ramp located there. one can put-in there and paddle up to the portage around the Montreal river rapids,a great landing and well kept portage which is appox. an 11 min walk. The other side decends some rocks to the waters edge. This area is still called Montreal river but I call it the bottom of Pigeon Lk. Appox. a 3 hour paddle will take you through the last narrows to Pigeon Lk campsite and the start of the portage area. Alternate route,which I enjoy is: Pass by the bridge where Duncan Lk is marked on #560 and travel approx. 10 km until you see 200 foot hydro towers line,at the sign marked Hydro Creek,turn onto that road allowance and follow Hydro Creek gravel road until you reach the first bridge (at Rubble rapids). You have reached West Montreal river,follow the river and use the newly open portages,which are very good now that they are cleared (2) and they are pretty short. At the end of the West Montreal river you enter a bay on Pigeon lake,proceed straight thru a big narrows,turn left and pass the islands to the small narrows and go thru (you are at the north end of Pigeon Lk) and start looking on the right at the end of the lake to find the start and campsite for Little Hawk,we mounted the large yellow sign for Little Hawk at the campsite. Futher,the first portage trail is in great shape for the appox. 860 m portage to reach the bottom of Drop Lk. It is a small 8 min. paddle across looking for portage entrance (on the right) of the top of Drop Lk. down a water path that looks like it was cut for a canoe to enter thru the reeds (kept open by beavers)There is a native gumming tree found there that was used many years ago to collect sap for birchbark canoe repairs !
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curly
Member

Post Number: 432
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 - 7:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Conor Mihell wrote this article in Canoe and Kayak Magazine on the topic:

http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/reopening-the-gate way-to-james-bay/
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 380
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 - 8:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

A good article. A great effort by all involved. Congratulations!
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 25
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 9:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It was really neat as well that they used most of my photos !

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