Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

Algonquin - Tim River 2016

By Chris Hoepker Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:August 17-24, 2016
Entry Point:3 - Magnetawan Lake (Algonquin)
Lakes:Acme, Big Trout, Daisy, Hambone, Little Misty, Longer, Magnetawan, McIntosh, Misty, Pandion Pond, Shah, Shippagew, Timberwolf, Trout

In planning our trip to Vermont for our son’s wedding, we decided to hang on some time and do a canoe trek in Algonquin. The route that we took was a partial repeat of that which we did in 1993 with our then 9 and 10 year old sons – namely take the Tim River in to Big Trout Lake and return via the Petawawa. Our canoe, a Souris River Quetico 16 was provided by Algonquin Basecamp in Kearney, Ontario.

Our route from Entry Point 3, Magnetawan, went through Daisy Lake to Misty Lake where we began a loop through Pandion Pond, the Tim River, Big Trout Lake, Trout Lake, McIntosh Creek, McIntosh Lake, Timberwolf Lake and then back to Misty from where we returned to the Magnetawan Entry Point.

Day 1, 8/17

After getting our permit at the Ontario Parks office in Kearney, we picked up our paddles and PFD’s at Algonquin Basecamp and headed for the entry point where the outfitter had deposited our canoe. On the way, we stopped at the Edgewater Lodge for breakfast just as they were opening - at 8 AM.

Outfitter in Kearney, OntEntry Point 3, Magnetawan

There are 6 portages between Magnetawan and Misty Lake - 135, 55, 420, 135, 450 and 805m. We wouldn’t have wanted any more.

Beaver dam, Petawawa River

Camped at site 861 on Misty.

Sunset, Campsite 861, Misty L.

Day 2, 8/18

Although a very short day lay ahead of us, we started early so we’d be sure to get a good campsite on Shah Lake, which has only four sites. We needn’t have been concerned, we were the only paddlers on Shah that night. Around 10 PM when the wolves started howling we sort of wished that we weren’t alone. From the strength, we estimated they were within a kilometer. The entertainment started with yapping and that soon changed to the classic howling, which then went on through the night. I heard the last howl around 6 in the morning.

Misty Lake at Pandion PortagePandion Pond - Portage to Misty

Camped at site 871 on Shah – a really good campsite.

Shah Lake, Campsite 871Shah Lake, Campsite 871

Day 3, 8/19

Up early again, but this time because a big day lay ahead. A 1125 m portage separates Shah from the Tim River. We were going back for the second load when we heard wolves howling from the direction of our previous night’s campsite.

Tim River at end of Shah PortageTim River

Tim RiverTim River

The Tim is representative of what draws us to Algonquin. Kilometer after kilometer of ever changing swamp scenery. Like most paddlers traversing the Tim, we did see the obligatory moose, a cow, shiny from immersion, she ducked back into the brush upon our approach.

Right after the second (460 m) portage, a heron popped up and flew off downriver. A few hundred meters further and the heron popped up and again flew off downriver. This continued for the rest of the day and ended only after we finished the final (125 m) portage. In a way kind of spooky, like the heron was showing us the way. I’d be interested if anyone else has had a heron lead them down river.

Camped at site 928 on Shippagew Lake – very good site, I gave it 5 stars.

Shipagew Lk., Campsite 928Shipagew Lk., Campsite 928

Day 4, 8/20

A short day, two portages (1465 m and 300 m), the first to Longer Lake and the second into Big Trout.

Longer LakePortage: Longer L. to Big Trout L.

As we closed in on the 1465 to Longer, a loon plopped in some 15 m away from our canoe and over a time span of some 10 minutes, gave us a real show of loon calls and arising from the water with wings flapping. I shot lots of video with my Sony compact camera – the visual is very poor quality but I now have some terrific loon calls recorded.

Camped at site 910 on Big Trout Lake – terrific site, I gave it 5 stars.

Big Trout L.: Campsite 910Big Trout L.: Campsite 910

Day 5, 8/21

Layover day at site 910 on Big Trout Lake. A loon came calling and later we got a fine display of potential thunderstorms.

Big Trout L., Campsite 910, Loon came by to say helloBig Trout L., Campsite 910

Day 6, 8/22

What was supposed to be a moderate paddle followed by two portages (745 m and 510 m) in McIntosh Creek, turned out to go on and on. Maybe we shot too many photos in Trout Lake’s Grassy Bay.

Trout LakeTrout Lake, Grassy Bay

Trout Lake, Grassy Bay, Portage 30351McIntosh Creek, beaver dam under construction

Camped at site 540 on McIntosh Lake.

McIntosh Lake, Campsite 540McIntosh Lake, Campsite 540

Day 7, 8/23

Easy day going to Misty. A 405 m to Timberwolf Lake followed by a 130 m to Misty. A kilometer of fantastic marsh scenery leading up to the 130.

Timberwolf Lake, creek leading to Misty portageTimberwolf Lake, portage 30209 leading to Misty L.

Very strong west wind was roaring when we arrived at Misty. From our campsite, we witnessed a capsize and launched as quickly as we could to help, however a group following had already assisted.

Camped at site 864 on Misty Lake.

Misty Lake, Campsite 864, looking westMisty Lake, Campsite 864

Day 8, 8/24

A repeat of Day 1 but in reverse order. Strong west wind. Stopping on Daisy Lake for lunch and water filtering. We capsized (our first ever) just as my wife was boarding. Problem was that the canoe was over a barely submerged rock that we hadn't seen. My Sony camera is a write-off. (I failed to remove the battery immediately and the electronics were fried.)

Petawawa River

On the last portage (135 m Hambone to Magnetawan) we turned to go back for the second load and were pleasantly surprised to see a young couple coming our way with our remaining packs! It may be that we really looked old and decrepit and they felt sorry for us. In any case, it sure warmed our hearts to meet such nice folks.

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