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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through September 5, 2008 * Wolf - McConnell Bay Loop < Previous Next >

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andrewh
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, May 5, 2008 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Looking for possible Chiniguchi loop-route. Starting from Matagamasi up through Wolf to McConnell Bay. Wondering if anyone has travelled back to Wolf from Mc-Bay through Marjorie, Rathwell, Laundry. The route is shown on Craig Macdonalds Map.

Thanks for any help.
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canoedog
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, May 5, 2008 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I did this loop last May. Trip report posted here:
http://canoedog.ca/trips/chinmarjorie.asp
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andrewh
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, May 5, 2008 - 3:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Wow, thanks canoedog!!
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 882
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Canoedog, nice job.

I did a little exploring at each end of this route and found, as did you, that the big weak link is the portage out of Wolf.

A little history: This route was used for canoe trips out of Lakeland Lodge on Lake Wanapitei in the 1940s and 1950s -- as were all of the major routes in the area. The last group through, before you, that I am aware of was one led by Bob Henderson out of the Taylor Statten Outpost on Maskinonge. He bushwacked from Wolf to the road at a point SW of the creek, took the road over the mountain, and bushwhacked to Laundry on the other side. I believe he left the tape on the trails.

Knowing Bob's route, I checked out the road and realized this route would never get much use if topping the mountain (or you could call it a ridge) was necessary. Incidentally, it appears no one from TS repeated Henderson's route for that reason.

So I went looking for the nastawgan out of Wolf and found nothing. Mike McIntosh found an overgrown trail on the east side as far as the road.

He and I have both determined that we will re-open that route, but have yet to get there with our axes and saws. We aren't claiming exclusive rights to the work, either.



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micmac
Member

Post Number: 30
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 8:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes Brian,
I did locate an overgrown trail out of the NE corner of Wolf Lake to the road, but could not locate a trail accross the road.
I then simply hiked up the road, until Laundry comes into sight, as per Canoedog's suggestion.

Some thoughts on this;
If you look at this section on Craig Macdonald's map, it appears the original Nastawgan followed roughly the same route as the road now follows. This seemed odd to me; why would a portage climb such a steep hill?
The answer became apparent when I did some investigating on Laundry Lake, near where the creek mouth is (and where I assumed the ideal portage route to be). The creek mouth is actually a crevass between two large rock faces - not at all suitable for a portage take out.
Therefore, I believe that the traditional Nastawgan portage would have started in the narrow Southeast bay of Laundry, and roughly followed today's road corridor into Wolf Lake.

So, the loggers built the road on top of the old Nastawgan... tsk....tsk...

Anyway, I've arranged it so I have the entire summer off work, to devote a couple months to paddling.
Anyone up for a work weekend to re-open this route?
Brian? Sid? Anyone welcome...




(Message edited by micmac on May 6, 2008)
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 883
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Not sure I agree with you. There is still too much unclear. I have a old map from Lakeland Lodge that shows the trail more closely paralleling the creek. It seems to be about halfway between the creek and the nastawgan trail marked by Craig. (But then neither of these maps are that precise.)

Having walked some of that bush, I noted that a trail could parallel the creek and stay out of that crevass without going to the top of the ridge. The east side of the creek is not as steep as the west side, and seems to be where the Lakeland map indicates the trail.

Furthermore, the nastawgan map does not show the trail going so far east that it reaches the SE bay of Laundry Lake, which suggests it did not go over the top of the ridge.

If we can time it correctly, I am up for it.

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