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Post Number: 16
Registered: 08-2017
Posted on Monday, June 8, 2020 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Planning a trip into Makobe probably late July-early August. I am wondering if anyone has any intel on the condition of 1740 portage from Weekend L. into Trethewey? I read on one of HeatherLynn's lovely blogs that the Elissa Ck. route is pretty overgrown. Also where is the best place to park a vehicle (Gamble or Chance L?). The alternative is to get a shuttle and come out to Elk Lake via the Makobe R. I see mixed messages about going down the river at that time of year. I have fairly light kevlar canoes.
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Post Number: 36
Registered: 05-2017
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 6:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

There is room to park at the junction of the Weedend/Trethewey portage. The portages are both generally in good condition. :-)
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Post Number: 177
Registered: 03-2011

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 6:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Parking is good at all three locations - at Tretheway portage, Gamble and Chance. Driving to Chance can present some additional challenge, it's a narrow forest road, but nothing unreasonable. I'd make a choice depending on my canoe route, not driving.
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Post Number: 17
Registered: 08-2017
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2020 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Excellent, thank-you both!
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2020
Posted on Monday, July 27, 2020 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

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Post Number: 18
Registered: 08-2017
Posted on Monday, July 27, 2020 - 8:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have just returned from July 17-21 loop from Trethewey, Makobe and Banks Lakes. We left from Elk Lake and began the portage into Trethewey around 10 am aiming to get to a site in the narrows leading from the south arm of Makobe into the main lake. We are geologists studying the region so wanted to see as much as we could especially since the big fire (North Bay 072) of two years ago. Fires actually help geologists because they burn the lichen off the rocks and increase the overall quality of exposures. Taking the series of portages along the chain of lakes (including Teagarden Lk.) leading to the south arm of Makobe, we encountered the devastation beginning at the end of second portage (700m on Ottertooth map) and from that point onward to the put-in at the end of the 240m portage into Makobe. For several reasons I consider this one of the most difficult series of portages I have done in many years of travel in Temagami. Obviously the fire damage caused (and is still causing) many trees to fall across the trail. Some of these had been cut and cleared, presumably by Ontario Parks employees. The portages are now overgrown with secondary plants, mostly ferns and fireweed, so the path is generally very difficult to follow. I got the impression that these portages were not well travelled, even before the fire. Luckily someone had replaced all the portage markers or we would have been lost. We made it to the nice campsite in the narrows leading from the south arm by 6pm. FYI, there were a few unburned patches along our route but in general it was total devastation, including the two campsites marked on the Ottertooth map. The burn affected the whole eastern shore of Makobe Lake but managed to spare all of the island campsites shown on the map. Same can be said for Banks Lake (eastern shoreline and beyond were torched), where we travelled on day 2. Unfortunately the island campsites there and the beautiful site on the peninsula leading into Banks did not survive. We camped at the site above the first falls on the Makobe River, a very nice spot with lots of flat areas for tenting. Luckily the fire did not make it to the north end of Banks. We had entertained going down the river, but the fire burn distribution map I had showed that it crossed the river about a third of the way down, so we were concerned about getting through that area. Instead, we decided to do the loop back to Trethewey via Cranberry Creek (beautiful) after spending a third night at the camp site leading into the north arm of Makobe. This is a nice but small site with a view to the north. From there, in the distance, we could see more damage from a tongue of the fire that presumably extended across the river to the west. On day four, we took the series of portages from Cranberry Ck. through Schmalz, Marko and Lefebvre lakes into Trethewey. These portages were in better shape, generally. The portage leading from Cranberry Ck. into Schmalz is tricky at the end because you have to reload and paddle across a small, mosquito-infested, pond that has been created by a beaver dam on the creek that follows the portage. The portage into Marko from Schmalz is a bit hard to find because there are two portage markers. After finding the first one (take-out) you need to follow along the edge of the marsh for about 100-150m until you come to the second one, which takes you through the woods. This comes out to another marshy shoreline and tricky put-in. After that its a couple of easy lift-overs into Trethewey. We stayed at a nice island campsite on central Trethewey (the smaller one on the west) on day 4. Again, it appeared that we might have been the first humans to occupy these sites this year. NB that there is a very nice signed campsite on the west side of the narrow peninsula (not marked on any maps), about 500 m due west of our island campsite. We arrived back at our car, parked at the head of Trethewey trail, around noon. The road into this point is very good until you reach the park boundary (last 1km). I recommend a vehicle with good clearance for any entry south of park boundary.
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Post Number: 29
Registered: 03-2004

Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Terrific trip report, Rainbird - thanks so much. I get the general sense that the carries between Tretheway and S. Arm Makobe Lake are brutal (even by Temagami standards), and the ones between Tretheway and N. Arm Banks Lake are no picnic, with Cranberry Creek adding to the challenge?

Does anyone have any other thoughts on this general area, including the 3200m portage from Grays River into Makobe Lake (little used trail? likely blowdowns?), Graymud Lake (current water level conditions?) and water levels on the Makobe River ?
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Post Number: 1977
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2021 - 3:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have done all the portages between Grays, Makobe and Trethewey (though not in the last two years). They are not among the most brutal in Temagami. Actually, just normal for the area.

Just got back from Temagami, and water levels are normal to above normal due to post-spring rains.

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