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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through July 29, 2014 * Ottertail Creek: Part 2 < Previous Next >

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curly
Member

Post Number: 455
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 8:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Earlier in the year we had a thread on Ottertail Creek. Its headwaters are east of Marten River near Wickstead Lake. The creek flows NE until it hits a big fault line, then goes SE until it hits Lake Temiskaming. I am unaware of recent canoe travel, but apparently Camp Wanapitei used this route at least once in the 1960's.

http://www.ottertooth.com/discus/messages/3/89287.html?1379539551

I've been exploring the falls where the creek dumps into Lake Temiskaming recently. Last week I drove out the McConnell Lake Road past McLaren Bay and hiked an ATV trail to the falls. This is on the south side of the creek. Then today I drove out to Quebec, put in on Lake Temiskaming at some cottages directly opposite Ottertail Creek, paddled across, then hiked up to the falls on the north side. The Ottawa-Temiskaming Highland Trail actually forms the portage around this lengthy cascade.

I've now explored two sections of Ottertail, both in day trips from North Bay. The first is in the middle (see the earlier thread). This creek definitely shows promise as a canoe route, probably in almost any water level. There are rapids and falls in the middle section, with either overgrown portages or none at all, necessitating either bushwhacking or lining. The two major drops at the bottom both have portages, first on river right (south) along the ATV trail I mention above, and the 2nd on river left along the OTHT to Lk Temiskaming. There are two put ins that I can see, first being on Wickstead Lake for a 3-5 day trip and second at the end of the LaSalle Road for a 2-3 day trip. Take out is in Quebec at a public access just downstream of the Opimican Narrows, at the end of Chemin Cedar Pine. Or you could paddle north to the Matabitchuan for a circle route.

Someone needs to paddle this route. Maybe me next spring.

See my Facebook for some photos.

(Message edited by curly on November 20, 2013)
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1596
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I presume no one has actually paddled to the Ottertail from Wickstead in recent years? If this were to be built into a loop through the Matabitchuan, a route from Maxam, at first glance, looks to be the most direct.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 456
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 - 1:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think the smallest loop would be to start at the Rabbit Lake south access and go counter-clockwise through Redwater, Marten River, Ruth Creek, Ottertail Creek, Lake Temiskaming, Matabitchuan and back to Rabbit Lake. It might be possible to head upstream on the North Ottertail Creek and back to the Maxam area, is that what you mean?
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1597
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes, I did mean upstream along the North Ottertail linking to Maxam via Lepage. It looks like its all the same fault line as Ottertail Creek.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 325
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 1:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

as noted by hap wilson (p. 6, 1989 edition), ottertail creek is part of a faultline running all the way from from ishpatina ridge to lake temiscaming, that once was used as a series of winter roads (bon-ka-nah).
this faultline comprises parts of florence lake (the sandspit), nasmith creek, diamond lake, net lake, rabbit lake, maxam lake, ottertail creek.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 457
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, December 2, 2013 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

grncnu, there are two creeks: Ottertail Creek and North Ottertail Creek. North Ottertail Cr follows the fault line you mention until it hits the "main" Ottertail Creek a few km upstream of Lake Temiskaming. The main creek rises east of Marten River. There seem to be 3 ways to get into it. First are some overgrown portages from Marten Lake to Otter Lake. I spoke with someone who paddled this route over 20 years ago, but I think the portages would mostly be bushwhacking today. The second is from the NE end of Wicksteed Lake. Follow the creeks along the train tracks into Ruth Creek, which then flows into Ottertail Cr. This is likely an easy route. The third is from Fall and Fanny lakes (can't remember which, don't have maps in front of me). Anyway, then the main creek heads NE until it hits the fault line, where it does a 90 turn and goes SE until it hits Temiskaming.

I think both creeks offer some interesting possibilities. I'd love to explore from Maxam down the North Ottertail. It would be even cooler to do a trans-Temagami trip from Ishpatina Ridge all the way to Temiskaming. That would involve some serious bushwhacking between Florence and Diamond. I know some people on here have paddled most of the fault line between Scarecrow and Florence.

BTW, I will be paddling this route (Wicksteed to Temiskaming) over the May 24 weekend next year. Anyone interested?
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 31
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 - 2:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm interested for sure !!
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 326
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i love the idea of the trans-temagami faultline trip and it's fascinating that someone has actually paddled/portaged most of the scarecow to florence leg. yeah, florence to diamond could be a serious challenge...
many years ago we walked a couple of kms. down the (then at least, quite well-maintained) trail through the scarecrow cut which is a different faultline and as i recall extends down towards the solace lakes via a series of long ponds... looks quite tempting on the map and (at least back then) the first couple of kms. from scarecrow were definitely portageable with minimal bushwhacking. unfortunately it started to get dark and we never made it to the first pond.
anyway it was pretty nice and definitely worth a look if anyone feels like exploring.
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bush_pilot
Member

Post Number: 232
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fault just south of Scarecrow.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 327
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

bush pilot, that is in fact the scarecrow cut- and a great picture of it i might add! some things you can really only see from the air.
assuming the photo is looking south, the trail is actually on the right, i.e. roughly west, side of the cut- about 20 feet up from the actual bottom which is all jumbled rocks.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 328
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

looking at that photo again it made me think that this is the sort of feature that could easily be destroyed by logging without anyone even thinking twice about it.
i don't think the scarecrow cut is in a park but it should be protected!!
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1598
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is protected within the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Park and North Yorston Conservation Reserve.

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/heartland0 3a.htm
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bush_pilot
Member

Post Number: 233
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes Brian the photo is looking south. I thought people would find it interesting to see how well defined the fault is near Scarecrow.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 329
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 - 8:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i'm glad that it is protected.
all the faultlines around temagami make you think about the amount of seismic activity historically in the area. the largest earthquake ever recorded in ontario was close to temiscamingue quebec in 1935:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1935_Timiskaming_eart hquake
that was a 6.2. there was also a 5.2 around lac kipawa in 2000.
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canotmaitre
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 06-2007


Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 8:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

This photo is a little late getting to this thread but interesting none the less. This is the scarecrow cut viewed from the island camp. I also have photos of the ponds in the cut taken in 2012.

Enjoy

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