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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 30, 2017 * New Route for Labour Day < Previous Next >

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fireman
Member

Post Number: 216
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 9:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

with low water levels in mind, we have decided on a new route.
Park at Lakeland Lodge then head up to Wolf Lake, around in to Laura Lake and cross at Rawson Crossover. Then upstream to where I left my canoe last September to commemorate the event.
from there, downstream to Kelly's Crossover and into Maskinonge and via Gawasi Lake and then into Carafel Lake and Creek and back through Kukagami and in to Matagamasi.
I have never done the Rawson Crossover (we are west to east) or the Carafel Lake/Creek route.

So...any nuances, highlights, pointers any one is willing to share? we are taking lots of time. ten nights, which seems luxurious to us.
The Lower Sturgeon (Upper Goose to Kelly Lake) should not be too dramatically effected by the low water levels. at least that is our hope.

We are leaving the day before Labour Day, Sept. 4th.
any advice would be appreciated. Happy paddling to you all.
JR
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 95
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 2:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Rawson's is very straightforward, except for the last portage going to the Sturgeon - follow closely the ottertooth map there. Portages tend to be tougher than an average Chiniguchi, but nothing to be concerned about. I'm not sure if the put-in on Hammend lake will have much water in today's drought; water channel there hugs the south shore of a small bay before making it in the lake proper.
All together it's a very nice piece of Temagami.
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hahny
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2015


Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 7:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am also heading up to maskinonge this weekend, but heading north. I have never gone this time of year. When you talk about low water levels, is it 6" or a couple feet low?
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 418
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It's late August in Temagami. 9 out of 10 years, "low water" just means... it's late August.
Having not heard otherwise I'd assume everything is navigable...
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1772
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I just got back from the Yorston area. Low this year means a lot of water that you expect to run is not runnable. In some cases, not even enough water to wade a canoe.
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neotericpilgrim
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 01-2014
Posted on Friday, September 2, 2016 - 6:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Brian any improvements to the road? I'm heading that way in a few weeks...
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1773
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 7:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I came in from the west side of the Sturgeon, not up the Yorston or Twinkle Lake roads.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 217
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 2:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

just returned a few days ago from our trip.
This was a three person trip with two canoes.
parked at Lakeland, which, by the way, was full on our return with hunters..so good for those folks.
The Rawson Crossover was some of the loneliest feeling bit of paddling I have ever done.
It just seemed like no one was even close to where we travelled.
All of the portages from Laura Lake required clearing. Given that we were having to do the portages X3, we broke up the grimness by walking back with our two saws and clearing out anything we were capable of cutting. The huge trees were beyond us, but we were very proud and pleased to have cleared all of the portages over to the Sturgeon.
we wondered if this was a year's worth of windfall or if the portages had been underused for the last few years.
Either way, it was surprising how many trees blocked the trail. we cleared over 40 trees.
it added several hours to our day and certainly made for a tiring day, but it was cool to do something a little different and we felt like we were part of a community of paddlers who contributed to the whole scene.
The Sturgeon was flowing relatively slowly but it did not matter as all the real portages that are tough were upstream. we crossed over at Kelly Lake and searched for the portage south out of Kelly. we lacked the updated maps of Brian's hard work. after a lunch break, we ventured further and found the beaver dam, etc.
Although I notice that there is a nastwagan marked on the map.
I remember Denis telling us that the winds blow from the south in September on Maskinonge. this was quite the case for us. it made the long paddle a lot easier. camped at Karl Lake and were out on the tenth day. We celebrated in Sudbury at Golded Pizza and the GastroPub at the Clarion Hotel. it was an added bonus.
we also read Lost in the Barrens every night and finished it on the final night.
I love the solitude up there. The Chiniguchi remains the most accessible area if one is coming from the south and yet delivers all the remote vibe that we crave. And the fish were biting when we fished.
Rawson Lake is a charming lake. And we camped at Upper Goose for two nights. I had forgotten that I had camped there before. It is a lovely site.

It is remarkable how clean everything is out there. the odd bit of garbage really sticks out and the only messes we found were at ATV accessible spots. always somewhat heartbreaking.

A truly good trip. We did meet one couple on McConnell Bay. Heather from Capreol. Her dad was a warden and now runs a bear hunt. She seemed to know a lot of the people we have met over the years up there paddling.

Anyway, it never disappoints up there.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1789
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 8:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for work on the portages. Although there have been periods over the decades of MNR doing some clearing outside of the parks, once the First Nations stopped living on the land, it has been the canoeists and some locals who have kept all the trails open. That makes Temagami unique.

I p utthe one nastawgan out of Kelly's on the map because the treadway is visible, and should the beaver dam go at the outlet of the lake, it would be an alternate if needed.
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 99
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 2:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I expect to be making the Rawsons' westward in some 10 days or so and will certainly appreciate clean portages, thanks! It is a lonely place - even ATV sites used to be clean in this area.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 218
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 5:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

pretty sure we left a nice supply of firewood on Rawson Lake on the more northern campsite. enjoy the nice weather.
and before I forget. On the put in (going east) in to the final lake before the Sturgeon from Hammond Lake, we found a PFD. green, designed for fishing with front pockets and an old hat with the name Bullock written inside. the hat was trash but the vest came out with us. if one of you fine folk own it, just let me know and we can discuss getting it to you. although it is really nice and fits my cousin in the mean time.
Plus the usual socks, underwear and detritus one always comes across. my beautiful water bottle with carabiner and pulley went to the River Gods this time.
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stephent
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2016
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 - 8:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

fireman:

I suspect you cleared at least a few years of deadfalls.

When i went through the Rawson Crossover last year i got alot of practice doing the 'Temagami High Hurdles' (aka the THH) . The 750 from Sunfish to Rawson was especially challenging. I seem to remember a chunk of it being along a small ridge?esker?. Must be a downright pleasant jaunt now without all the THH's.

Also remember a challenging point on the 1600 from the River to Hammend. Near the end of the last 250 to Hammend the portage went through some spindly, but closely spaced Spruce trees. Ended up having to push one gunwale up, rotating the canoe 90 degrees, a move i dubbed the 'Temagami Twist'. I guess it was another one of those 'Welcome to Temagami ! ' moments. Not sure whether at this point i'm happy or sad that obstacle has likely been removed. But at the time i could've done without that level of effort at the end of a 1600, that's for sure.

Having said all that you are right it is a wonderfully isolated stretch. And that site on Rawson, you're right about that too - just darn gorgeous.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1790
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 8:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hammend used to be Halleck in the early 1970s. Till a map revision came out. Probably more map-maker sloppiness. Button was Burton. Yorston was Yorkston.

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