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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through August 2, 2004 * Ishpatina Ridge - Temagami < Previous Next >

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heed
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 7:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello everyone,

I am planning a 5 day trip for the first week of July and wanted to go to Temagami (pretty much done all the routes in Algonquin).

I thought a fun trip would be to canoe down to Ishpatina Ridge and climb to the top. With help from the routes section and my Temagami map, I was able to come up with the following trip:

Day #1
- Put in on Montreal River (at bridge)
- South on Montreal, through Lady Dufferin to Smoothwater Lake
- Camp on Smoothwater Lake
Note: No portages on day #1 - WooHoo!

Day #2
- Smoothwater
- Apex Lake
- Whitemud Lake
- McCulloch Lake
- Miheil Lake
- River to Scarecrow Lake
- Camp on Scarecrow Lake

Day #3
- Hike up Ishpatina Ridge to the top of Ontario
- Camp again on Scarecrow Lake

Day #4
- North back to Smoothwater Lake
- Camp again on Smoothwater

Day #5
- Back to the Car

I guess I am just posting this to see if anyone else out there has paddled in this area or climbed Ishpatina. Any tips or info would be appreciated. For example, is the river from Miheil to Scarecrow accessable? In the routes section, some have paddled it, while others have taken the portages. Anyone been down that river recently?

Also, will I need a permit to camp on Smoothwater Lake, Scarecrow Lake and other lakes that fall into Lady Evelyn Park?

Thank you,
Ian
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garrett
Moderator

Post Number: 53
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 8:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Last summer I paddled from Smoothwater to the Sturgeon with a stop on Scarecrow for a hike up Ishpatina. At the end of July, the river was not accessible along the route. There was one spot where I spent the entire lunch break cutting through the dead falls along the creek (I was tired of walking). This was at the southern end of McCulloch (I think). There is a 150 yard portage around this section and it's probably faster just to walk it. We ate lunch at the start of the portage.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 191
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 10:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

You imply you haven't been to Temagami before and on your first trip you are going to Ishpatina. Which makes me wonder why?

If you are going for the view, it is more spectacular on Maple Mountain.

If you are going to step onto the highest spot in Ontario, let me blow away that myth. Yes, Ispatina Ridge is the highest elevation in the province, but the tower is not on the highest point on the ridge. That is farther north and has no trail to it. (Now there's an idea for a little trail building.)

A caveat. If you climbed the tower you would, technically, be on the highest spot in Ontario still attached to Ontario.
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ghislaine
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was on scarecrow lake this summer and we climbed ishpatina...it was beautiful. i say it's definetly worth the trip. its an amazing experience.
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tripper_dave
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Went to Maple Mountain a few years ago and spent the night. The view of the surrounding landscape was beautiful but the star gazing was second to none.

We could actually make out the bands of the Milky Way in the sky as they crossed from horizion to horizon. I was amazed at what the night sky showed us that night. All we needed to do was leave the lights of the city behind.

Although Ishpatina may be the higher of the two, Maple Mountain will still provide an awe inspiring visit. And the path is somewhat easier to climb.

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garrett
Moderator

Post Number: 55
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 4:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Maple Mountain is a better vantage point than Ishpatina. Plus, the fire-tower on Ishpatina is beyond sketchy! Ishpatina is more out-of-the-way than Maple Mountain, though. Thus, the hike can be just as rewarding.
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ghislaine
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 1:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The ishpatina fire tower is incredibly sketchy....i almost peed myself going up and down. but its still cool to be up there..there is a nalgene up there that a bisco trip(a trip from the taylor statten camps) started a few yrs ago..people have written in it even none taylor statten people abotu their trips and their hike up ishpatina..its pretty interesting reading all of them. especially for us taylor statten-ers
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 74
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 3:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Heed:
I did this hike on Sunday May 30th.
I would not plan on taking the river(creek) from Mihell to Scarecrow in July. I think it will be too shallow and you should consider the portage.

As to Ishpatina, I was unimpressed. Maple Mountain is a better climb and a better view.

MNR has recently posted a new metal sign on the approaching trail advising that climbing the tower is not permitted according to Parks Regulation RSO number xxx and that the access door to the cupola is closed and locked. The first 20 feet of ladder has been removed (and put back and wired in place by some enterprising person, with the safety hoops crushed flat against the ladder).I think the cupola floor is rotting, as the windows are out of it.

The trail up to the ridge is not well used, has a lot of deadfalls to negotiate and in late May required me to cross the end of a boggy part of a lake in water (swamp) up to mid thigh.

On the way up you pass through a flat area, between the 2 peaks that Brian has mentioned.The area appears to be sheltered from the elements and has an incredible concentration of flora that is further advanced than lower areas by about 2 weeks. That I found very interesting, but the view from the top was somewhat ho hum. I would prefer to do Maple Mountain, if I was looking for a good view and a decent climb.
Ed.

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tripper_dave
Member

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 9:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was told by someone at a recent canoeing event on the Grand River that the path to the top of Maple Mountain is being maintained. The foot bridges over the boggy areas are being repaired making the walk to the top a bit easier.

Anyone have any first hand knowledge of this?

And is the same thing happening on the path to Ishpatina Ridge?

Dave

(Message edited by tripper_dave on June 12, 2004)
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 77
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Tripper Dave:
Try this link to an earlier discussion by C_Mel who was up there in late May, with alscool and others.

http://www.ottertooth.com/discus/messages/3/485.ht ml?1086977954#POST1270

As to the Ishpatina trail, it looks as if it has not had any maintenance work done on it in many many years. But, I am not sure how well used it is either, so that may be a part of the problem.
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heed
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for all the great advice guys.

I'm thinking of changing the route to Maple. I've posted some questions about it under a new thread.

Can we make it to Maple Mountain in 2 nights (from Mowat Landing)?

Thanks again,
Ian
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chip
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 9:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It's possible. Pending on winds and what kind of paddler you are.
I've paddle from Sucker-Gut Lake ( 3 hrs from the mountain) to mowats in two days with not so experienced padders, so it's possible for sure.
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ghislaine
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 9:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Going up ishpatina was not maintained as of last summer

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