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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 19, 2011 * First canoe trip with my son...where to go? < Previous Next >

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hotplate
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2011
Posted on Friday, April 8, 2011 - 9:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello all,

My son is turning 4 at the end of this summer and I figured its as good as any to get him out fishing/canoeing (he has fished plenty...just not on a canoe trip). I am looking to go mid to late August and i have invited a bunch of friends and small children to join us. We are looking for a nice lake...easy portage (or no portage)....decent lake for fishing (likely bass and pike and/or walleye)...and a place that has a nice big campsite (there could be up to 6 dads and their young children) and it would be great if there was a beach area or somewhere relatively easy to swim?

Does such a place exist? I heard Iceland Lake is pretty nice...what are the campsites like on this lake? Is it hard to get into? Can we park our cars on the road?

Thanks so much in advance.

Cheers,

B.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 290
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, April 8, 2011 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Red Squirrel Lake has all that.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 264
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Smoothwater Lake
Sandy Inlet on Lake Temagami
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irishfield
Member

Post Number: 304
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 2:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The only thing I'll caution about the beach at Sandy Inlet... and young kids.. is the mass of huge red ants.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 265
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 9:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think you might be referring to a hill on one specific site. I've been hanging out at Sandy Inlet for over 20 years (even lived at Camp Wanapitei for 3 years) and I've never thought of ants as a problem. Broken glass might be something to look out for, but you should be doing that anywhere. Mostly watch out for awesome sunsets, great hiking, and lazy afternoons on the beach. Oh, and houseboats. Watch out for houseboats.

(Message edited by curly on April 9, 2011)
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irishfield
Member

Post Number: 305
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

All I can tell you is I'm glad I was wearing shoes Aug of '09. Beach was crawling, Wanapitei sign to the reed bed to the West.
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groggins
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 10:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Camp on the sandbar at Smoothwater, or the campsite were Marina dumps in, for swimming etc and fish Lady Dufferin for the species you mention. Good Walleye fishing on Dufferin and occasionally a Northern Pike to 36". My kids absolutely loved this when they were young.

Red Squirrel would be okay but often noisy and crowded in July and August and the fishing
(except for SMB) is not what it once was.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 62
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 9:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i've been through smoothwater a number of times in summer and the beach site(s) tend to be already "taken", usually by campers who plan to stay there for days or weeks.
unfortunately this is likely to be a problem with any moderately accessible beach site.
you may have to broaden your search to include sites with safe swimming on gravel or flat rocks.
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hotplate
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2011
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 - 8:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks everyone. Smoothwater sounds great but my only concern is the driving distance from toronto? Looks like at least 5 hours? How far, of a boat trip is it from Mowats landing to the beach sites? I assume there is more than one site that would be good for a decent sized group? Are they close to each other?

It sounds perfect...i guess i am just trying to weigh the possibility of going all that way and not getting any sites?
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 63
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 - 9:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

access to smoothwater via lady dufferin is from beauty lake road (gowganda). from toronto to the put-in you're looking at 6+ hours.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 155
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 8:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is my opinion that if you have lots of young kids and Dads, you could go just about anywhere. Finding the perfect beach may be nice but is it a top priority.
I would consider Maskinonge Lake and the area around it to the northwest. Lots of campsites, clean water, very few people around, extremely pretty with many islands. There are a few portages into Edna and Karl Lakes that are easy and short. Cannot speak to the fishing but the put in is a fishing lodge. It may have fishing boats on it in August, I am not sure.
But, it is just over four hours from Toronto, free of charge except for car parking ($6/night last I checked)and has a nice solitude to it.
It may not be a jewel of temagami but there you are.
if you really want a beach, you might consider crossing Lake Temagami (daunting at times) through the Obabika Inlet and onto Obabika where there are any number of beaches. Although sandy campsites get a bit tiresome in my opinion.
either way, a sons and dads trip is bound to be a success regardless of where you go. have fun. I miss those days.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 292
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 3:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Red Squirrel Lake.

You can bug out for the afternoon and get more beer and icecream.
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irishfield
Member

Post Number: 306
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Heck.. I was thinkin Marten River PPark... camp in the group area.. sand beach to play on. Adventure.. hop in the canoes and paddle around the bend and up under the #64 bridge.. then come back along the other shoreline under the campground bridge.... beach by the horseshoe pits and "hike" to the store for sugar filled candy (and more beer). At that age it won't matter where or what... it's with whom.

Also cuts your driving down to about 3hr-30/3hr-45 from Toronto.

(Message edited by irishfield on April 12, 2011)
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 3:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hotplate:
I noticed in you last post that you mentioned going into Lady Evelyn Lake and going to beach sites there. I haven't been on that part of the lake for many years, but if you are thinking of camping on the Eskers, I think those sites have been closed now for a number of years. The beach site on Red Squirrel is also closed, but you could camp in other spots close by and still swim off the beach.
Go here for info:
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Canoeing/sites- closed.htm
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hotplate
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 8:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks guys. I get what you are saying about how it doesn't really matter where we go and some of the other dads are saying this too. But I still like to get out there away from the crowds. My son has camped plenty in prov parks (although never been to marten river) from here to cape breton but we have never backcountry camped. Plus he is an absolute amazing fishermen for his age but has only sort of caught one small pike (I hooked it and had him reel it in). I can't wait to see his face when he actually hooks onto a fish that is fighting back!

Anyways, I do need something probably south of temagami (the town) or very close to it to cut down on driving. That's why I thought iceland lake as I have some friends (who would come on the trip) who have had great fishing success on iceland. It appears relatively easy to get to. Close to temagami if we need to head in (not sure why but this is important to some of the other dads)and plenty of opportunity to portage or explore the surrounding area. My only issue is if we can park on the road by the put in and whether there is a good sized campsite/ place to swim.

The other option I have been told is thieving bear has a nice big campsite but not sure if its easy swimming.

Either way I can't wait and I know it will be a great experience. One that I hope to duplicate more than once a year and every year.

Thanks in advance again for all your advice. Very helpful site.
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bigwolf
Member

Post Number: 55
Registered: 04-2005


Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 9:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

You should try Island Lake below Red Cedar and Temagami. Cuts down your drive a lot and there is a secluded island with a huge beach. No worries of campers as it's a lake with little traffic and lots of isolation.

Go thru field and then hwy 64 to Island Lake. (There is also a lodge there Island Lake Lodge). WE have been on the lake for 45 years and we have the best beach on the lake (lucky us). But the one on the iland is very very nice especially if the water is low....
Great fishing. pike (I have caught may over 40 inches, ton of smallmouth, walleye and whitefish.
Happy to provide more details.
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dock
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 9:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

You can park by the road if you choose Iceland Lake. It is a fairly short paddle up the Tetapaga River with possibly a couple of lift-overs. Its been awhile since I have been there and I don't remember the campsites status.
There is a good possibility that there will be other fishermen while you are there.
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groggins
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thieving Bear campsite is close to the road with lots of dusty traffic and almost always occupied when I go by there on my way to Sandy Inlet
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curly
Member

Post Number: 269
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 6:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There is another campsite on Thieving Bear, not on the road. Not sure what it's like though.
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hotplate
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 04-2011
Posted on Sunday, April 17, 2011 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Big Wolf,

I'd love to hear more. I looked it up on the web and it looks good. How far (hours) do you think it is from TO? Are there more camping sites on the lake than this one? How far from the put in are they? Will this particular site you are thinking about hold up to 7 adults and 7 kids? where do we park our cars?

This is sounding like it could work. Thanks so much for the reco. Just need a bit more info and then might go for it!

thanks so much.

Just got back from Algonquin with my son and, despite the rain and snow, he had the best time. I just can't get enough of this!!!

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