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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 19, 2007 * Makobe to Florence - Potential Routes < Previous Next >

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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good day all,

This summer I am looking to do a 10-14 day trip in the Temagami area, and to mix it up I was planning on starting from Makobe Lake (via fly-in or paddling). I have typically begun trips from Lake Temagami.

I am wondering about several things:
1) How long does it take to paddle from the Elk Lake drop-in to Makobe Lake?
2) Can anyone provide me with advice on getting from Makobe Lake to Florence Lake? Long portages are not an issue with the group I trek with. I have looked up a few routes but would appreciate any insights.
3) Any idea on the cost to fly to Makobe Lake either from Long Point Airways or Lakeland?

Anything is helpful!

Thanks
Burt James
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 386
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Burt:
Get a copy of Hap Wilson's book if you haven't got one already. The routes are all described in there.
1) From Elk Lake you will be going upstream on the Makobe River to Banks Lake.I have done that once in the summer in the mid 1970's and I think we took not quite 2 days, as we had to portage all of the rapids and track up the swifts. As I vaguely recall the water levels were somewhat low.
2)From Banks Lake you have 2 choices to get to Florence.You can go out through Banks into Grays Lake, Greymud Lake and the Grays River into MacPherson Lake, most of a day. From MacPherson travel upstream on the Lady Evelyn River to where the South Branch joins in and then travel upstream to Florence Lake, again most of a long day.
Or},... portage from Banks to the North Arm of Makobe.Take the series of portages into Threthewey, close to a good days travel from Banks. Camp on Threthewey and exit the next day through the SE arm via a chain of lakes that takes you west to Elissa and Gamble.The latter part of this route is along a creek that is a difficult passage even in the early Spring with good water levels and may be more difficult in the latter part of the Summer as the water levels fall somewhat.This takes about another day.Follow the North branch of the lady Evelyn River downstream to where it joins the South Branch and then travel up to Florence., for another day.
The route through Trethewey is not well used and the portages, if not still marked by Ontario Parks will be difficult to find as they are not exactly where the Temagami route planning map seems to indicate.

Can't help you with the air travel question. But someone mentioned here a few months ago that Long Point may not be operating in 2007, so I would check that out with them.Lakeland is a long way to the south and will cost $$$.They did list some tariffs on their website to go into Florence from Temagami which might give you some info.
You could also enter the park at Gamble Lake and return there by going out through Florence via Solace PP and north through Smoothwater and back to Gamble via the long portage out of Sunnywater.}
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the info Ed. Much appreciated.

Last year I spent some time in the area around Solace PP and I absolutely loved it. Very isolated and quiet, with some good fishing too. This year my girlfriend and I were looking to extend our trip a little and take a slightly different route to see some new lakes.

It would be a shame if Long point stops service this coming summer. Lakeland is a great service but it is a little far to Makobe from the Temagami launch.

On that note, does anyone have info about water taxi services on Lake Temagami? I have found one company but they are very expensive given the distance that is travelled. Are there additional options here?

Thanks again. I love these boards, they are just about the best trip planning you can get.

Burt
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I just looked up Long Point Airways and it turns out they will no longer be providing fly-in service. You can see their message at
http://www.flyinfishingontario.com/

Which I guess leaves Lakeland Air as the only service in the area.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 648
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There are three taxis on Lake Temagami, but you may find them all a little steep.

Temagami Outfitting http://www.icanoe.ca/
Loon Lodge 705-237-8918
Boat Line Bay 705-237-8970
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tsm
Member

Post Number: 87
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 5:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That really is too bad that Longpoint has decided to close shop. Their location was great for accessing the northwest section of the park.
We had the pleasure of flying in with Longpoint in September from their base to Scarecrow Lake. They provided excellent service at a fair price. I wish Tom all the best in his retirement.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the discussion folks.

Does anyone have a more recent account of the trek
from Elk Lake to Makobe or Grays Lake? I'm interested to know what sort of condition the portages are in.
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pine_sap
Member

Post Number: 30
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The Portages should be in good condition. It is a well traveled rout.
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bilhenry
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 06-2005


Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 - 12:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

burtjames,
I have taken the route from Makobe to Florence Lake in 2005. Flew into Makobe and was picked up at Florence 8 days later. We took the route from Makobe to Elissa Lake on the N. Lady Evelyn R., down to the S. Lady Evelyn and up to Florence Lake. I wrote a description on the Canadian Canoe Routes web site (http://www.myccr.com/canoedb/routeDetails.php?rout eid=586). Contact me if you need other info. on this route. onarock01@yahoo.com

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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - 1:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Bilhenry, I have read your report. I failed (ie/ broke a boat) on a trip last year on the Sturgeon River just below Eaglenest Lake. If you want the story don't be afraid to ask. It's enough to say thank goodness for that Keewaydin camp we blew past the day before. Without them I might still be sitting on the river waiting for help. :-)

I started this thread because I'm looking for a different starting point. The intention, of course, is to hit the Sturgeon around Paul Lake (either coming across from Selkirk or down from Stull Lake or Stull Creek) and to finish the trip planned for last year. The canoe Gods willing it will happen this time 'round.

Burt
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 653
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Burt, we are all ears. What's the story of your Sturgeon disaster?
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micmac
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 12-2005


Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I seem to recall that the rapids below Eaglenest Lake have a sharp bend around an almost blind corner, with a number of large rocks poking up along it's length (ideal for wrapping a canoe...)
I'm curious to know the details of this mishap.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 3:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sorry guys, nothing so dramatic as wrapping a boat around a big rock while shooting a rapid.

Actually my girlfriend and I had spent the day along Stull Creek, and for anyone who has ever taken this route, it's very challenging but extremely isolated and quite beautiful. We hit the Sturgeon above Paul Lake, and after ripping through the portage below Twin Falls we decided that we still had the energy to cover a few more kms before the day was through. We passed by the campsite on Eaglenest, opting to continue to the next site which was only a few hundred metres downriver.

As we approached the portage below Eaglenest, we decided that we would line the boat through this last rapid (as we had handled much more challenging stuff earlier), but as yours truly was gently easing the boat through I lost my footing on the rocks below. The river swept the stern around, and our canoe actually bridged the last little section of the rapid. There is more water than you think, and our boat was actually pinned at nose-and-tail on two rocks, and we couldn't move it. Too much pressure, and eventually the yoke broke away from the gunnel, the hull was compressed and the boat filled with water.

I jumped in the water and gathered up our stuff (now drifting lazily down the river), got the boat out of the water, and we were forced to camp on the portage (if you are there, look for a 2-man tent sized clearing just off the path, that's where we were). But duct tape fixes all, and after a long patch job in the morning (fixing the 10 or so small cracks) the boat actually floated with us and our gear. Enter the Keewaydin camp and their sat phone ... we managed to organize a pick-up from Paul Lake 2 days later. So we slogged it upstream (not easy in a broken boat) to the Twin Falls campsite. I must say that if you are going to get stranded anywhere, that's a good spot.

To give you an idea of the force exerted on the boat, here's a top-down ....
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 3:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

To finish, it feels good to share this story with people who undoubtedly have stories of their own. I have been out on at least 50 canoe trips, without a single accident, even in dangerous conditions and rapids I had no business in. Lesson learned.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 655
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Glad you made it out okay. Thanks for the story.
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Burt

New Registrant "Sundown"

I was born/raised in Elk Lake & Elk to Makobe was
a daytrip upstream solo... mind you, empty. I have done the return trip in an 15 hour day a few
times. I'd give it 8 up and 7 down, but if you
don't have to drag/portage the Municipal Park at
Elk Lake, which I had to do to get home in time
for the "Siren", you can deduct at least an hour.

(To anyone who doesn't know, from 1960-1985 +/-
Elk Lake ran a Siren at 9:00 meaning all kids
had to be off "the" street, or Constable Jack
Ruddy would "bring you in". We never had a Tim
Hortons, and I reckon Jack invented the concept
of Drive-thru, given how much coffee my Ma served
him in gratitude)

I'm doing Mowats to Elk Lake the last 2 weeks of
July, with a major reconnection to my "Touchstone" of Makobe. My fiance will enjoy
her third annual craving for our Northern Rivers. We'll do a portage into Canyon Lake, halfway between Banks Lake and Elk Lake. If you haven't been there (and few have) here's one of my personal secrets... plan an extra day to your
trip... it's worth it.

In 1979 after returning from a year in New Zealand, I cut a trail along the west side of
the Makobe up to the forks at the Bear Creek.
I hear it's still there, and played some part
thereafter to encourage the Makobe/Greys Park
status. I only mention this, as the Makobe to
Elk Lake stretch, as i tell my fiance, "you
often HAVE to want to get thru... she can be
less than 'ppreciative some years". If you run
into an equipment problem or injury, lay out at
the forks and run the trail. Any Elk Laker will
"round up the posse", and you'll beat the Siren.

Regards
Sundown
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curly
Member

Post Number: 49
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Put in at Trethewey Lake. Drive the Beauty Lake Rd into the Park to an old logging road due east of Weedend Lake. (This is not the old nastawgan route shown on the Historic Map of Temagami.) Portage down this road about a mile and you come to an unnamed lake just southwest of Trethewey Lake. Be prepared, 1/2 the portage is mud due to ATVers who use it to access a boat cache on Trethewey. Paddle from here into Makobe either out the north end or the south end of Trethewey. Then you're on your way to Florence. No expensive flights.

That access point is a little known gem. It makes weekend runs down the Makobe very easy.

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