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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through August 10, 2009 * Montreal - Matabitchuan Loop < Previous Next >

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northernboy27
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 2:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello, I am looking to loop the Matabitchuan and Montreal rivers together in a loop and was wondering which would be the more appropriate direction to do this loop. I won't be doing this until next fall, so I assume water levels will be lower in the Matabitchuan river. Any information for planning this trip would be appreciated. Thanks
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 383
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 7:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'd go downstream Mata and Upstream Montreal...
or...
Usually... Downstream Smaller/Upstream Bigger.

Sundown
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 611
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Northernboy:
I would do the opposite to what Sundown is recommending and for the following reasons.

You would be going downstream on the Matabitchuan for a very short distance in strong current compared to the very long trip up the Montreal River in more moderate current.

You might consider starting your trip at Latchford, using a shuttle from Temagami and finishing back in Temagami on Snake Island Lake.
You should be aware that there are several dams on the Montreal River and the portages are not marked well.In addition, following 9/11 Ontario Power Generation has had to beef up security around all of their generating facilities, using locked gates and fences.There are ways around all of these obstacles but you will have to look for them as there are few if any portage signs.The only signs are those telling you to keep out, no trespassing etc..Don't be deterred... look for a way around the gates in the bush... you will find a trail(s) in all cases. The biggest impediment is around the Lower Notch Dam which now has several gates to negotiate, before you get out to Lake Temiskaming.Paddling upstream on the Lower Matabitchuan is relatively easy until you come to the Power Plant. From here you need to portage uphill on a service road runs behind the power plant and that is well used by ATV's. It is a long climb to arrive at 4 Bass Lake.From Latchford this would require about 3 days travel.
At 4 Bass you could then either travel up the Matabitchuan or avoid it completely by going into Cooper Lake, Glasford Lake and Maxam Lake before crossing over into Rabbit via Burwash and Ross Lakes.
You could also arrange for a pick-up from the Rabbit Lake Road access points along this route, or continue north to Cassells and Snake Island Lakes.
The campsites along this route are well used by fishermen and ATVers. Some have been trashed and some along the Montreal River have been closed by OPG presumably because people were leaving their garbage and trash all over the sites.
On the positive side the trip down the Montreal River has a lot of history associated with it.

I did this route a few years ago with another old guy in early September. My travel companion had spent one of his summers as a student with Ontario Hydro doing survey work for the Lower Notch Dam and had wanted to see the area again....
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 612
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 2:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I forgot to put this link into my post above.
For some historical information go to:
http://www.opg.com/power/hydro/northeast_plant_gro up/
and click on the links to the various dam sites, Lower Notch,Matabitchuan,Hound Chute etc..
There is also the site of the old air compressor plant on the Montreal River at Ragged Chutes that is an interesting place to visit... as long as you view it from a distance.Go to:
http://www.cobalt.ca/index.php?option=com_content& view=article&id=49&Itemid=57

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sundown
Member

Post Number: 384
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 4:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That's Very Interesting, Ed...

For your reasons prefaced, I'd do the precise opposite...

I'll take a long "moderate" (though most of it could well be downgraded to "malign" current), over a "strong" current uphill... with uphill portaging... pretty much anytime.

And, do... regularly.

Isnt it interesting how every paddler has their ways?

Sundown
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 613
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 7:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

You should indeed do that your way Sundown. Enjoy yourself and have a nice trip.
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northernboy27
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, February 6, 2009 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the information Ed and Sundown, that portaging information will come in handy. I guess I have to decide which type of paddler I am.
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darkly
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, March 9, 2009 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

the plan is to mission from toronto up 2 temagami with limited gear buy most of what we need there for less wieght by food and rent canoes and travel down the easiest route to the middle of nowhere for a week thats in the crownlands close to water and that isnt patroled because my crew are aloud bunch and we alwayz get kicked out of places and i heard something bout a purple lake any body care to share on ideas ext. thanks darkly
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darkly
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, March 9, 2009 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

p.s have noclue bout any of this stuff so all the info u can think of would be awsome }}
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curly
Member

Post Number: 163
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, March 9, 2009 - 9:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Matabitchuan is pond-and-drop, while Montreal is steady current. Start in Latchford and finish in Temagami, i.e. go down the Montreal and up the Matabitchuan.

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