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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through April 9, 2008 * Travel between Ishpatina Ridge and Sturgeon River < Previous Next >

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amy
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2007 - 4:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get between these 2 areas. I read in Hap Wilson's book that there are 3 choices: a 3.5km portage on a road starting in Hamlow Lake; a strenuous 2km portage from Stull Lake; or a stop and go trip down Stull Creek for 3-4 hours. Has anyone taken these options? I'm inclined to go with the creek, but I've had bad luck with low water elsewhere in Temagami. Any info would be much appreciated.

For those interested or with additional comments, the trip starts on the Montreal River, to Smoothwater Lake. After we reach the Sturgeon we'll follow the Solace Lake chain into Florence, go down the Lady Evelyn River (north channel) to Lady Evelyn Lake and get picked up at Mowat Landing. We have 13 days for this challenging route.

Thanks,
amy
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 722
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 1:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Absolutely avoid the creek. It is way more work than either alternate. Some people don't mind a the longer walk on the gravel road to a shorter forest trail. In this case, I prefer the latter.

A shortcut to Solace, that avoids the Sturgeon, should you need it, is through Regan to Solace. It is mapped here:

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/solace-hamlow.htm


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amy
Member

Post Number: 13
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 1:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Brian for the warning. I figured as much for the creek, but held out hope. I would prefer the forest trail as well - is it clear once you're there?

Now that you mention the way to Solace through Regan, I'm interested in that route. It would mean a bit less portaging and an extra day to use exploring/making up ground later on. Do you (or does anyone) think we would be missing out if we took Regan Lake instead of the Sturgeon River/Selkirk Lake/Pilgrim Lake route?

Thanks again,
amy
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otter_mel
Member

Post Number: 81
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 8:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Amy,
Stull Creek is not that bad or as bad as others think it is!! We did it in September one year (but we don't mind the tough going, it's all in a days work!)
I would go down to the Sturgeon. The lakes are too nice too miss before you hit Solace. Unless, of course, you prefer to see the work Chris and Al did!
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 724
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2007 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Of course, there is always something to miss if you don't go somewhere, and if you have the time, you should do it. But it's not like it's a must-go section of the river, IMHO.
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simonb
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2007 - 1:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

We took the gravel road from Hamlow to the Sturgeon as we needed the fastest route. It turned out to be a good choice. At 3km it sounds long, but 3km of gravel road is easier walking than forest trails. We had to take a 10 minute breather halfway through, but it still went by faster than we expected.

Simon
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doublebend
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2007 - 2:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Amy,

There is a fourth option for this crossover. It’s marked on Craig McDonald’s map, which you can view here at Ottertooth. The portage runs just under one mile between the bottom of Stull Creek and Hamlow Lake.

We traveled this in the spring of 1993, and I know of at least two parties who used it in subsequent years.

At the Hamlow Lake end, it starts from the most southerly point of the lake in a bay to the east of the outflow of Stull Creek. You’ll find an ancient blaze on a cedar tree marking the start. From there the trail goes uphill for a short distance before beginning a long gradual decent. Expect to hunt a bit from time to time to locate the trail, but for the most part the groove in the ground is quite evident. About halfway along the trail you’ll come to an old logging road running east-west from the main road into Hamlow from the Sturgeon. South of the road the forest was logged perhaps 20 to 30 years ago and has regenerated a jack pine forest. We marked a trail through this stretch but don’t know how the markers have survived, so may require a bit of scouting. It ends just below the final rapid on Stull Creek, immediately upstream of the junction of Stull Creek and an un-named creek entering from the east a few bends upstream from the Sturgeon River.

DoubleBend
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 727
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well done, Doublebend. I have often wondered if any of it survived, but never had the chance to explore. That is definitely worth re-opening.
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amy
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 1:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

So many choices now. I think we'll have to see how the first couple days go then decide. At least it's better to have options, and I'm so happy that there are so many responses!

I may try the portage that DoubleBend mentions, sounds interesting. I'll report back after the trip.

Thanks,
amy
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 43
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good day all,

I'm back from my 11 day adventure through Temagami and found this thread, had to put in my 2 cents.

Stull Creek is beautiful, but is strenuous. It is not, however, the hell-hole that many make it out to be. I guarantee you will not see another soul for the hours you are down in the creek. There are several portages, some good, some ugly. I was down this route in July 2006.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 732
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Have you done either of the other routes to compare them?
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mdwag
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was 2 or 3 times in my youth across to the "upper" Sturgeon, I think after heading upriver on the Lady Evelyn, I guess on past the Florence turn-off a ways. I may be confused in this. I am not sure now how we headed across to the river, but do know that we didn't take a long portage. We paid an old fellow, Murphy, $20 to take our canoes on the back of an old pick-up truck. We did this each trip, and I know some other camp trip leaders did this as well. He seemed to really like having the canoe trips visit. He lived all alone in the bush, and seemed to be sort of a caretaker/watchman on an old logging camp. He had two dogs which he fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We called him, "the mayor of Maple Mountain". Old Murph must be gone now I guess. I've sometimes wondered if someone ever got him out of the bush; or if he died in the bush leaving his dogs behind. If anyone has any info on him, it would be appreciated. (this was back in the 1970's)thanks
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 762
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Murph lived on Duncanson Lake and he was the caretaker at the old White Reserve Mine, near Anvil Lake. The mine went by various names over time, as different operators tried to hit pay dirt. He is long gone, and I, too, am wondering what happened to him, in the end.

Did he portage you between Anvil and Skull?
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 199
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 1:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Brian and Mdwag

Old Murph was a huge part of Elk Lake Lore and
legend... and in Elk Lake was affectionately
known As "Durty Murph... King of Maple Mountain".
It wasnt a derogatory term, and it brought a grin, to him, for he was a True Northern Mountain
and Bushman

Two or three times a year he'd paddle his way in
to Elk Lake to Resupply his Stores... pretty basic stuff Barrels of Beans, Blackstrap Molasses, Flour, Sugar, Teas and Coffees, Bags of
Rice... his "fixin's" he'd call them.

He also always had the wherewithall on Arrival
to Preorder his next supply, and give the date
he'd be back to "claim" his grubstake.

He was quite a character... played the the "part"
of the "Wild and Crazy Bushguy" with all the youngsters in town... me included... and we'd
follow him around (at a safe distance) on his
shopping rounds... then the bravest of the bunch
would steady his canoe while he loaded it up...
grumbling, and growsing, and muttering things like: "towns are a great place fer kids... keeps
them far away from my cabin!!!".

Then he'd pull out a paper bag of gumballs or some such treat, and any kid brave enough to
approach got a free handout.

I interviewed Murph several times... officially,
and unofficially... he WAS One of a Kind.

Long Gone.

I believe he eventually went into a Seniors Residence down Toronto/Barrie way.

And, I'm sure he kept the Staff up to Snuff.
He had a way of "Running Things"... especially
his own life... and I expect he gave the Doctors
and Nurses and Staff plenty of Advice.

Sundown

Sundown

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