Post Number: 1
|Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010 - 9:26 pm: ||
This is a great forum and I'm glad I found it!
Anyway, just wanted to file a short-ish trip report to help any fellow paddlers looking to do the same trip my friends (4 total, 2 couples) and I just did.
Shuttled a car to Lundy Lake and put in at Thieving Bear Lake. Did about 5 portages and lifted over numerous beaver dams up to Mountain Lake.
The marsh lands between Thieving Bear and Mountain lake are really beautiful, and the water levels were low, but it was passable.
Portage in to Mountain Lake sucked big time, at least for us. There is a trail, pretty sure it's a little used ATV trail) that bisected the portage trail that messed us up big time. I had a GPS, as well. We all ended up going in separate directions, I lost my dog for a bit, bugs were driving us insane, etc. Ended up being pretty stressful, but it turned out ok.
Turned out that we should have just continued in the same direction that we were coming from and all would have been fine. Problem is that you have to go right for a bit at the ATV trail, then pick up the portage again maybe 10m down the path.
Stayed at the camp site on the island, which took us a while to find. The site had a bunch of chairs strewn about, including a 'toilet chair'. Gross. Otherwise, the site was alright.
Mountain Lake to Mannajigama Lake (which we couldn't stop calling 'Marijuana Lake' ha ha.)
A few portages into Anima Nip, which were ok. There's a hunt camp before a couple of the shorter portages which was kind of cool. No one was there, but the camp was very well maintained and clean. Nice old cabin. On Breaches Lake we saw a bunch of young canoeists (a summer camp?).
We hit some serious headwinds on Mannajigama Bay (before the Mannajigama Lake portage). Too bad, 'cause we were making really good time...
Portage between Mannajigama Bay and Mannajigama Lake was really lovely, though challenging.
Stayed on the island site on Mannajigama Lake that night, which was breathtaking.
Portaged from Mannajigama to Snare, and ran into a kayaking couple that had just come from Lundy Lake. They claimed that it took them 2.5 hours to do the "portage" from Lundy to Gilbert - said it was pretty much a swamp.
We had no choice but to get to Lundy lake to our car. Plus, we figured they were just inexperienced and missed the _real_ portage...
Anyway, we found out the hard way - the 'portage' from Gilbert to Lundy is basically useless, due to beaver activity. It was truly awful, bushwacking and mud-wacking through about 500m of swampy muck and angry bugs to get to Lundy. Not recommended. Took us about an hour or so to get through, but felt way longer. Nothing even resembling a trail, despite what the MNR Temagami Canoe Route map would have you believe.
We actually found the original portage, but it is now useless, with the water levels in Lundy being much higher due to the beaver dam.
So it was a really great little trip, and would highly recommend, though maybe consider the route from Gilbert through to Theiving Bear (lots of long portages) or maybe the portage from Snare Lake up to Anima Nip, to McLean, and pick up your car at Red Squirrel Road where it meets McLean and the Anima Nip river.
I'm used to portages in the Adirondacks, Algonquin and Killarney, so these were much more 'rustic' than I expected. Didn't usually have any problems finding them, but there were lots of dead falls, and some unmarked pathways that made travel through a little more challenging.
All in all a great trip. We liked it so much we're heading back this weekend to do another.