Posted by: kimmeroo | October 1, 2011

Temagami Cont.

Day 5
Paddle: 30km
Portage: 950m
Hike: 8.6km

Woke up to another iffy-but-not-terrible day. Very cold, and although nothing was falling on us, it looked like it might be snowing on Maple Mountain.

Snow over Maple Mountain?

Undeterred, we packed up our stuff and left most of it in the campsite, and headed towards Maple Mountain with one pack carrying critical day stuff. Paddled a creek up to Hobart Lake, and then another up to Tupper Lake. Had to be careful of rocks in a couple of shallow spots, and had one beaver dam to lift over (which was a nice surprise – we were expecting a bunch of these). The trail left from Tupper Lake.

The hike is 4.3km one way. Maple Mountain is one of the highest points of land in Ontario and once the site of a proposed ski resort in the 1970s. It’s also an important First Nations burial ground, which effectively quashed the plans (besides the fact of it being in the middle of nowhere).


The old 100-foot-tall fire tower is still standing. Conor gathered his courage and climbed it.

I kept my feet firmly on the ground.

Jack LOVED the hike.

Dreaming of flying with the ravens

After the hike we paddled back to the campsite and whipped up some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. A nice treat on a cold day. We then carried on, portaging through one unnamed lake and back into the southeast part of Lady Evelyn Lake, where we set up camp for the night.

Day 6
Paddle: 21km
Portage: 2280m

The initial plan for this day was to paddle through Diamond, Wakimika Lake, and then into Obabika Lake, all of which are quite big lakes. However, when we hit Diamond Lake we were faced with a nasty headwind, so rather than battle the winds on the big lakes we opted for an alternate route through some smaller lakes. This meant more portaging, but this trip already had way less portaging than much of what we do, so it was almost a welcome change.

The lakes on this route were no less beautiful. First up was Bob Lake, then Mud Lake, and then a classic muddy Temagami portage took us into Shee-skon Lake. It’s neat to think how these are traditional routes that have been used for millenia.


Shee-skon is an important spiritual site for First Nation people. In this shot you can just make out the pillar of a conjuring rock, which is still used for vision quests. The lake is small but beautiful and surrounded by old-growth red- and white pine.

The Conjuring Rock

We took a break at a campsite on the lake to admire the view. A hiking trail leads to this spot, and it wasn’t long before some hikers arrived. So this photo is actually me trying to keep Jack from going over to visit repeatedly…

Day 7
Paddle: 18km
Portage: 1700m

Woke up to a very misty morning.

Big pine on the portage into Obabika Lake (perhaps the Three Sisters, which are located somewhere on this trail system?).

We planned our trip such that at the end of this portage we met Ojibwa elder Alex Mathias for the Changing of the Seasons ceremony on Obabika Lake, a gathering that commemorates the 1989 logging blockade that led to this forest’s protection.

Alex Matthias

We stayed at the gathering until early afternoon, and then headed off and set up camp on Lake Temagami. En route we saw one of these neat little houseboats:

These floating cabins are fairly common on the lake. Seems that people tow them around and anchor them in various locations.

Day 8
Paddle: 17km
Portage: 0

Our last day. Faced with a wall of fog in the morning, but it cleared up fairly quickly. Headed back to the take-out, stopping for lunch on a nice rocky island.

A long canoe trip is one of the few ways to truly exhaust Jack!

Tired Pooch

All in all, a fantastic trip.

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