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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through January 25, 2007 * Sugar Lake - Muskego River Link Info Please < Previous Next >

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ca_shannon
Member

Post Number: 13
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 2, 2006 - 2:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Folks,

I am planning my annual trip to Temagami and was considering incorporating Hap's Route # 15, the Sugar Lake - Muskego River Link, as I have never been there. The whole trip will go something like this:

- put in at Anima Nipissing Lake and do part of Route 13, through Red Squirrel, Ferguson Bay, Sharp Rock Inlet, Diamond Lake and into Lady E
- then cut off at the Sugar Lake Link and spend a couple of days in Sugar Lake, Goodfish Lake and Angler Lake
- head down the Muskego River and go into Eagle Lake for a night
- I would finish off by going back out to Anima Nipissing through Shallow Lake and Harris Lake, and thus return to the car

Can anyone give me information on the Sugar Lake area such as the amount of traffic, portage conditions, campsite suggestions? Also, I am very wary about water levels in the Muskego River as it looks pretty tiny. Anyone been there lately?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Chris
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 327
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Sunday, July 2, 2006 - 8:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Chris:
If you can't go through the Muskego river route because of low water, the Nastawgan map shows a route through the south of Sugar Lake into Isbister then east to Barter and Turner then Eagle.
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/nastawgan/ nastaw-3B.htm
Someone here may have some thoughts about that approach.
Ed.
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ca_shannon
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 2, 2006 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Mac,

Thanks, I read something about someone who did that route recently and he had to bushwack initially and then went back in the fall and cut a trail. Either way, I am sure it will be an adventure. My friend and I are interested in delving into the South Muskego, thus the side trip into Eagle Lake. Certainly your suggestion would allow us to see more of the area... but will we have time? I can see it taking at least three days to get from Sugar Lake back to Anima Nipissing. I will have to have another look at the route and pull out the topos for a serious study.

Thanks for the helpful advice.

Chris
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 582
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, July 3, 2006 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Be warned. If it is on the Nastawgan map, it may not have been used in decades, or more a 100 years. Current routes are shown on:
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/muskego-so uth.htm
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marty_s
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, July 3, 2006 - 8:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Chris - I saw the post from the person on CCR that said the LE-Sugar portage was a nightmare . I was there two summers ago and it was fine . An occasional blowdown , but certainly well used . Some of the landings on this route are rough - like the portage ending on top of a rock garden - but nothing that extreme. Trail finding shouldn't be a problem . Can't speak to traffic, as I have always done it post Labor Day :-)

Probably heading back this fall to do Pinetorch - LE River - Maple Mtn .
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ca_shannon
Member

Post Number: 15
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, July 3, 2006 - 9:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Marty,

Thanks for the info, I was beginning to worry. I asked about traffic because I have never been to Temagami during peak season. My canoe buddy and used to trip in early May and then we switched to post-Labour Day. This year, however, I have a new boss and he is being a complete a@#*&#*!!! So I have to do my trip earlier; the week prior to labour day (probably one of the busiest weeks up there I would think).

Anyway, I am hoping that the moderate portages at either end will keep a lot of the crowd out.

Cheers,

Chris
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hillbilly
Member

Post Number: 191
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, July 3, 2006 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Chris,
I do not think you will notice much difference in traffic going a week or 2 early. All the camps have closed down and they are not on the water. I was in one of the most traveled area of Temagami last week and saw another solo canoest, 2 couples with 2 kids and last Sat. I saw my first camp group.That is not busy at all. I was told that they think many are staying away from Temagami because of the $7.50 per night cost if you camp within one of the park boundaries.

Bill
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otter_mel
Member

Post Number: 49
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The portage from Sirdevan to Isbister is hard to find (unless it's been cleared by now). In 2001 we tried going that way to Turner but gave up when we did not find it (in the rain).
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chris
Member

Post Number: 15
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2006 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would be very interested to hear of conditions throughout the Muskego's as this is considered a priority area from a Nastawgan Network perspective.

There are many potential routes in there, un-used routes and routes in jeopardy.

Sadly, our knowledge in this region is somewhat limited - I hope we can remedy this situation before long. Any trip information that can be provided will be used to highlight the needs and issues within the area and promote appropriate usage.

We could also provide a venue to post trip logs, pictures and the like.

Chris
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ca_shannon
Member

Post Number: 16
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2006 - 8:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks all, I appreciate the input. I will certainly post a trip report to this forum when I get back. A lot will be time dependant as to where we get. Although my friend and I try to plan our route thoroughly before we go, we usually take extra topos and copies of related routes/areas from Hap's book so that we can alter our route as time/terrain dictates (another reason I stay away from areas where you have to prebook campsites). Sooo, depending upon what we find when we get there, we may do more of the South Muskego area than we plan... or less.

Either way, I will certainly post any pertinent info.

Chris
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ca_shannon
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well folks I did my trip; unfortunately I can't offer much in the way of info on the South Muskego area as we ended up changing our route and skipping the Muskego River (I got a bug and was sick for three days and we thought that the Muskego River Link would be a little much for me). The route that we took was as follows:

- put in at Anima Nipissing Access Point and spent first night at the narrows into McLean Lake
- Day Two we travelled to Ferguson Bay via Red Squirrel Lake. The portage from McLean Lake to Carrying Lake was not necessary as beaver activity actually allowed us to paddle all the way to Carrying Lake with two lift-overs.
- Day Three we went across the Napoleon portage and stayed in Sharp Rock Inlet on the large island near the portage into Diamond Lake. The whole island is practically one large campsite as there are at least four sites all joined by paths.
- Day Four took us up into the Sugar Lake Link. We had planned on going into Sugar Lake for a night, then going up into Angler Lake for a day and night and finally exiting back through Sugar Lake into the east end of Lady Evelyn. However, instead we portaged directly from Lady Evelyn into Angler Lake via the Goodfish Lake portage. It was very long and very, very up hill (at least 160 feet of elevation).
- Day Five took us out to Lady Evelyn and we camped just a the start of the Lady Evelyn River
- Day Six we paddled up the Lady Evelyn River to Mowat Landing and then down the Montreal River to Bay Lake where we camped (near the portage into Anima Nipissing)
- Day Seven we portaged into Anima Nipissing and camped at the base of the trail to the fire tower.
- Day Eight we paddled to the car and headed back home

A few thoughts:

- in Ferguson Bay we were heading to a campsite on the first point on the west shore into a fairly stiff wind and a houseboat that motored out from the sandy beach passed us by heading for the same site - they beat us by about 100 metres and tied up for the night - as we paddled by them I said, "thanks a lot" and the response was, "oh, where you heading for this spot?" - IGNORANT JERKS!!!

- the portage into Goodfish Lake from Lady Evelyn was very, very tough (probably close to 2k because it splits off from the portage into the small lake near the end)
- we were a bit disappointed with the campsite on Angler Lake as the access to the water for swimming was not very good (no nice exposed rock) and because in the evening we could hear the motor boats on Lady Evelyn Lake as if they were in Angler Lake. Also, despite the difficulty of getting into Angler Lake (long portage into Sugar Lake and then another into Angler Lake) the fishing lodges on Lady Evelyn Lake have left boats in Sugar Lake and in Angler Lake and they are used.
- there only appear to be two small campsites on Bay Lake (near the portage) as the large campsite (black triangle) marked on the route map on the eastern shore seems to have been leased out by the government or taken over by squatters (there were a bug tent and picnic table on the site with Private Property, Keep Out signs all over it.

- we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of people during a period that we thought would be heavy traffic (the week up to and including Labour Day Weekend). We actually saw very few people including motor boats.

- once again, it was a wonderful trip to Temagami and I can't wait until next year!!!

Chris
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marty_s
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 9:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I agree that the fishing lodge boats stashed at various portages in the Sugar/Anlger Lake area are an eyesore to say the least ; some appear to be abandonded. I wish they would disappear.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 605
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 9:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Great report. Thanks.

That Bay Lake site was sold a number of years ago for a cottage lot, along with the most of the rest of that entire shoreline. Not sure which campsites you saw on the opposite shore near the portage, but there are four, the two larger ones are not marked on the map.

WRT, to the boat caches, you should send a letter to TIP, as they are dealing with this issue, or attend the Toronto or Ottawa meetings while caches are on the table.
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/newsbriefs.htm

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