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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through June 29, 2017 * Report-Scarecrow/Smoothwater/Florence/Solace Loop < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2015

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 - 8:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Here is a quick trip / exception report from our Scarecrow/Smootherwater/Florence/Solace Loop which was planned for 12 nights and ended up doing it with 11 (Sept 5th to 16th)

My first trip to Temagami, and the longest canoe trip of my life, and definitely worth it. I will be back to the region, but unlikely to ever duplicate this route again.

Campsites stayed at: Gervais Landing, Scarecrow (island, 2 nights), Smoothwater (island), Sunnywater, Gamble (2), Jack's, Bluewater Creek (top of 200m portage, emergency site), Bill, Selkirk (north site).

In general terms,
Gervais Road: In great condition. Went up with a minivan. Could have just been graded?
Paddling: Easy, other than a few beaver dams and the low water levels. Some small parts with swift water, which was mostly waded.
Water Levels: Quite low. Had greatest impact on river travel.
Portages: Decently maintained, almost all easy to find, trails are used and marked.
Campsites: Decent. About half had heads. Almost no benches.
Navigation: Trio - GPS, Ottertooth Maps, Jeffs Map

Some specific reports,
- Getting up the Sturgeon and Stull to get to the 1650m portage involved alot of wading and some portaging down the creek due to low water levels. We laid down a good effort on that first day.
- The 1650m portage had more blowdowns than most of the other portages we saw, mostly low trippers. Definitely needs some love.
- The island campsite on Scarecrow is nice, but lacks protection and firewood.
- The 1000m from Whitepine to Wilderness was easily the toughest vertical portage I've ever done. Walking up the 'rock gulch' takes a few nerves. If it was wet, I am unsure if it would be passable. Totally worth it to see Sunnywater though.
- There was a large blowdown on the 2700m portage out of Sunnywater, towards the end. Fell right down the path. Very rough trail partially hacked out around it.
- Easily walked from the end of the 2700m portage to the start of the 330m to Gamble. The pond has receded quite far due to the low water.
- The 1450m portage out of Florence down Bluesucker creek was one of the hardest and wettest portages of the trip. A wet day made some inclined rock surfaces quite slippery, and there was around a 400m walk through deep swamp with little in the way of logs placed
- Had to make an emergency site at the start of the 200m portage on Bluesucker Creek due to wet & dark conditions. Did not build a firepit. Area is up on top of large rock.
- The Pilgrim to Maggie portage was not very wet, and we found it reasonable.
- We also didn't find the 750m portage out of Solace to be terribly difficult.
- We took the portages on the north end of the Solace lakes. Comments are: The 90m portage is not marked on either side, trail was very hard to follow. Very strange considering all the other portages in Solace were marked and good. Also, the 53m portage into Selkirk is probably only that length in the spring. Required a 150m+ extension to the north on the Selkirk side due to low water. Extension was clearly visible, but not marked except for flagging tape on the lake exit.
- 1275m portage to Ghoul Lake was reasonably wet.

And one more thing - below is a picture of either a lynx or bobcat we captured on the east shore of Jack's lake, about 150m north of the campsite. It was towards the later part of the afternoon, we might not have even seen him except we were staring to the left looking for the campsite. Can anyone positively identify this guy? I've never seen a wildcat, they are usually so elusive.

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Post Number: 419
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Much too far north to be a bobcat. That would make it a lynx assuming it has sharp ear-tufts and a short stubby tail.
I guess it's a lynx, although (to me at least) the face doesn't look quite right... but if it had the stubby tail then it's a lynx for sure.
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Post Number: 11
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 7:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

White Pine to Wilderness, ahh yes - I remember it well. Portaging up a cascading rivulet in the rain with 100lbs on my back.
Some carrys you do not forget.
Nice route, I hope you enjoyed the experience.
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Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2015

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2016 - 7:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I thought the same thing originally, that it must be a lynx due to the northern location, but check out the map below (sourced from Wikipedia).

Green represents the range of the bobcat, and Purple the lynx. It appears that Temagami is in an area where the ranges overlap. Also, apparently there are bobcat/lynx hybrids in the wild. That why I am somewhat uncertain.

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Post Number: 420
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 5:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Interesting... I'm basing what I said about ranges on fairly old information, i.e. an Algonquin Park publication from the 80's which says the northern limit of bobcats is roughly around the southern boundary of the Park.
But a lot can change in 30+ years...
I do think the face looks somewhat cougar-like but it would need to have a long tail.
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Post Number: 421
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 5:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Just for interest here's a picture I took last fall on the North Magnetawan R. east of Sundridge.
Definitely a cat track, besides which we heard it at night making a very loud sort of squalling sound.
The track is 4 inches wide which works for either lynx or cougar but obviously we're assuming it was a lynx.

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Post Number: 65
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Seriously, grncnu? You go camping with a tape measure? That is awesome! For measuring record size fish, I take it! You caught a pic of wildlife at it's finest mcon99!
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Post Number: 422
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 2, 2016 - 12:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Gudwulf, that's a 25 foot tape...
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Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2017
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 5:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

We did pretty much the same trip this past summer! Some good times :-) I wrote a blog about it that you might find interesting ( Temagami is beatiful, glad you enjoyed it!

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