Post Number: 4
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 7:26 pm: ||
The Porcupine Canyon trail is a proposed southern extension of the Ottawa-Temiskaming Highland Trail. It is spectacular, remote and unexplored. Details about this trail can be found at the bottom of this webpage:
For anyone thinking of hiking this new and unexplored country here's some info from a trip my spouse and I recently did:
The access road, Porcupine Creek Road, is a bush road but it's in fairly good shape. To get there from North Bay, we traveled Hwy63 to McConnel Lake Road. Turning onto McConnel Lake Road we traveled to about the 12km mark and turned right on to Porcupine Creek Road. We were traveling in a Smart Car so the road is fine if you go slow.
The proposed trail indicated on the above webpage has been well marked with trail tape (Thanks to Les). But don't expect a path. There isn't one. (Not yet anyway). The trail my spouse and I followed/created is shown in the map below. We marked the co-ordinates of the campsites we created on the map. However we didn't mark any new trails we created with trail tape. Sorry.
We traveled along the bottom of the canyon on day1 and day2 then climbed out of the canyon on day3 where we rejoined the marked trail created by Les. When traveling along the bottom of the canyon it's impossible to climb out until you reach the spot where we exited. (Unless of course you bring mountain climbing gear)
The path along the canyon bottom was quite treacherous. Large boulders littered the way and created crevices that could easily trap your leg if you were careless, especially since most of these crevices were hidden with leaves and twigs. Bring a walking stick. You have been warned. On the day we traveled along the canyon bottom we took 7 hours to go 1.2 km. Much of this time was spent clearing a path. I'm rather sorry now that we didn't mark our path with trail tape.
There were some VERY old tree down in the canyon bottom. And at one point we were so deep into the canyon we found ICE. Image finding ice on a hot July day. I don't believe it ever completely melts. The path Joss and I took is an excellent compliment to the main trail indicated on nastawgantrails.org however it would require a lot more clearing.
The campsite locations are just about the only places where you could squat a small tent inside the canyon.
The main trail which is clearly marked with trail tape follows the top of the canyon ridge. The view is spectacular.
We've posted some of our photos on Google Earth so you can see where they were taken. They should start appearing on google next month.