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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through September 18, 2013 * Red Squirrel to Florence loop? < Previous Next >

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msobel
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2013 - 11:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Was wanting to try to run from Red Squirrel access up Lady Evelyn River to Florence and back loop. I have 9-10 days and was wondering any of your thoughts to quickest route back and if 9-10 days is even possible or should I try to add some? Is Ames Creek and staying more north along Nasmith a quicker way back to Red Squirrel than Yorston R.. How about water level concerns at this time? I have never been to Temagami (have done Killarney several times and others) and wanted to get a good taste of the best the area has to offer/as well as solitude. Looking through Haps book and your threads its hard to choose. I have this impression of the Lady Evelyn R.as being a must see rugged area so wanted to get there and need to rent canoe so it looked like Red Squirrel was quickest way to the area water as it looks like I could easily be on the River by day one after the 2 miler if we get an early start. Down Sturgeon and up Pilgrim/ solace loop also sounds great but not sure how my sedan will manage Grevais Rd. I am leaving mid next week.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 283
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 2:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

as far as i can see you're going to florence via the l.e.r. and back via either the yorston/sturgeon or ames/nasmith- or the other way around.
in either case why red squirrel access? just start from central l. temagami, especially as your time is in fact quite short for either trip!
if you have an option of adding some days i would do that as well.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1243
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 6:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Start at Ferguson Bay(Sandy Inlet):
Day 1: Diamond via Napoleon portage
Day 2 Centre Falls area
Day 3 MacPherson Lake area
Day 4 Florence
Day 5 South to Lewbert crossover and Beaver Lake
Day 6 Nasmith Creek by Dorothy Lake or down to the cascade campsites
Day 7 Out to Obabika River via Lahay crossover
Day 8 Wawiagama Lake via Obabika River and Wawiagama River
Day 9 Obabika Lake to Lake Temagami via Devil Bay portages back to Ferguson Bay.

Real tight on timing.
Some of this is not in Hap's books so look here on ottertooth's interactive maps.
There is lot's of water out there right now, so paddling up the South branch of LER will take extra time.
You will encounter log jams/beaver dams/portages on Nasmith, add in some time.Obabika River is mostly clear until you get near Wawiagama River exit.Starting about 5 kliks upstream you will encounter log jams that need to be lifted over or otherwise dealt with.
Allow an hour at least to travel up the Wawiagama River and be prepared to be in an out of your canoe as you will encounter many small log jams in the high water.
From the lumber camp campsite on Obabika River, a bit south of Lahay crossover, to Wawiagama Lake is a fairly long day due to the meandering nature of the river. The entrance to Wawiagama River is presently blocked by a log, obscuring the creek.Watch you don't miss it.If you have a GPS that will help you to find it, if not look for the highest point of land that you can see as you start to get close.The creek entrance is a bit past this landmark.
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 9:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

After reading both of your posts it sounds like I need an extra day or two or more if I can swing it. Did not really look at Cental Temagami access as I think I thought Florence to Nasmith to Dorathy through Hortense to Wakimika link then Wakimika back into Diamond and back over through Diamond to access might be doable in 9 days even if a lot of long portages . Your trip suggestion Ed takes me more south Down Obibika River. Are you suggesting it because it may be quicker or a more enjoyable trip. That river area does sound nice in the writeup. Would like to avoid as many people as possible. Do you think it better/faster to run any loop clockwise doing LER with current levels?
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 9:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Any of your ideas for any other good all around 9-10 day trips are appreciated. I dont mind spending time driving to farther access points if you think it a better trip.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 284
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 1:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

here's one of my favourite trips that length, if you don't mind the longer drive up to the access point: beauty lake road to lady dufferin lake-smoothwater-ishpatina ridge-sturgeon-selkirk-solace-florence-s.l.e.r.-n. l.e.r.-gamble-sunnywater-smoothwater.
this trip has some very tough portages but covers many of temagami's highlights, in my opinion-- ishpatina, solace lakes, florence, upper l.e.r.'s, sunnywater, and smoothwater itself-- and is about right for your time frame without rushing too much. if you really like to travel faster it could be lengthened by going further down the sturgeon to pilgrim triangle-witches crossover-upper yorston to florence- thats a bit longer but includes some fun rapids on the sturgeon in decent water levels which it looks like you will have. you would lose selkirk to bluesucker but gain the upper sturgeon and the upper yorston.
anyway either route would also avoid the busiest areas like diamond, temagami, obabika.
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

thank you for your opinion. I was also looking at that route also as I thought it would be nice to spend a day hiking up Ishpatina/staying on scarecrow a day but from the writeups in Haps book it seemed seemed like I would need much more than nine days as just the Smoothwater to Florence to LER loop is timed at 7-9 days. Do you know the general condition of beauty lake road to the Montreal R?
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1246
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 10:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Going through Dorothy to Wakimika would save you some time. I didn't realize you were thinking about that way back out in you earlier post.
Also I note that you have a small car, so going in the Central Access road would be easier on it than using the Red Squirrel Road then taking the connector trail down to Ferguson Bay.

That would give you a better chance of doing the trip in the 9-10 days you have alloted.

Some of the portages from Nasmith Creek to Wakimika are pretty long and arduous, especially from Hortense to the next 2 lakes travelling east. But there are all pretty clear with only last winter's tree falls left on them.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 424
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

BLR to Montreal River is fine, I've been down there twice this year. If you're considering the route grncu outlines, I'd be remiss to not suggest starting your trip in Gowganda and going up the Montreal River and ending at Gamble. (Might be better to start at Gamble and go to Gowganda, actually.) I just spent 4 days clearing two portages on the Montreal between BLR and Stumpy and am anxious to see it used.

You're going in mid-June, so I don't think you're going to run into crowds anywhere. It's a great time of year to go to the more popular spots in Temagami.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 285
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 12:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

msobel, we did that trip about 15 years ago in 9 days (double portaging) as follows:
1 smoothwater
2 woods
3 selkirk
4 solace
5 florence
6 florence
7 ler
8 sunnywater
9 sunnywater
& out.
didn't climb ishpatina as we had done it recently.
i wonder if anyone knows the current condition of the long portage from gamble towards sunnywater- apparently it's shorter now than it used to be due to beaver activity.
anyhow curly makes a good point in that some of the busiest areas might not be all that busy in early june.
basically there are dozens of great 9-10 day trips in temagami, you could pretty much throw a dart at the map...
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 7
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 11:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you all for the info. I am now leaning toward loop similar to the one grncnu suggests. Looks easy enough to access and the hike up Ishpatina is something my son seems really interested in now that he has looked at pictures. grncnu , did you spend an extra day at each
florence and sunnywater? If so it gives me good hope we can make it around the loop in 9 days even if we spend an extra day hiking. I'm hoping we can make single portages. Anyone been up Ames creek lately? Also Can any of you suggest any lures/jigs/colors to bring along that may work well along that route? thanks...}}
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 287
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 1:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

hey msobel, yes we did but the extra night at sunnywater was to recover from the long day previous... if you are doing the route counterclockwise i would recommend a single day from gamble to sunnywater, don't push it back to duff lake like we did!
the ishpatina hike is fantastic, you won't be disappointed. consider camping on the island on scarecrow. as i've said before on this forum, the campsite on selkirk is one of the true classic campsites in all of temagami...
ames will be fine in mid june this year i'm sure, it's not a difficult route except in very low water.
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 8:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Would the loop be any easier one direction or the other?
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 288
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 2:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

not really- though if you do it clockwise you will be doing the toughest climbs with a full pack. on the other hand the really long one would be downhill...
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msobel
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 8:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

looking forward to the journey north into canada and temagami and playing it a bit by ear ...I will let you know what we did and give a report. Thanks to all for your insight.
msobel,cleveland,ohio
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mjb1
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2009
Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 1:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi grncnu,

I noticed your mention about the Selkirk campsite - can I ask what makes it one of the true classic campsites in Temagami? I've paddled past it a couple of times (maybe a lunch break there as well), but I don't recall anything special about it.

msoble -- I've only covered some of the area you'll be seeing, but the trip looks great.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 289
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i say it's a classic site because it just has that aura of having been in use for many centuries. this "atmosphere" is hard to explain, probably highly subjective, and totally unscientific and doubtless irrational...
unfortunately i haven't been there in a number of years so can't speak to its current condition.
this campsite may require a bit of exploration to locate the original firepit and tent site, which are both up at the top of the hill, not down near the take-out... there is about a 75-yard trail that goes up the hill to the firepit in a southerly direction, but it may not have been cleared recently.
the firepit/tentsite are therefore about 50 vertical feet up above the narrows, hidden away and well-protected from wind by the rocks and trees; there is however a beautiful little "natural staircase" straight down the near-cliff to the water's edge so that you don't have to go all the way to the takeout to access water.
it is also very secluded, being the only campsite for kms. in either direction, has great swimming/diving in the very deep waters of the narrows, etc. etc.

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