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

Cranebill Loop

By CarlyKimona Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (1)
Dates:July 20-22, 2021
Entry Point:4 - Rain Lake (Algonquin)
Lakes:Cranebill, Hot, Islet, Juan, Jubilee, Moccasin, Rain, Sawyer

Day 1:

Since we both had to work, to was a late start Tuesday night. And I brilliantly led us halfway to access point #3 instead, so the detour back down the road added time as well. It was a quick departure from Rain Lake, surprisingly busy for a Tuesday evening. Lots of cars, and lots of rental canoes from Canoe Algonquin and Algonquin Basecamp scattered about. As cool as I think renting a Ranger cabin would be, I would not want the Rain Lake cabin, it is basically in the middle of the parking lot, and does not offer a lot of privacy.

It was just starting to get dark once we hit the water, so we ended up taking the very first campsite we could find, which was the most westerly campsite on Rain Lake, JUST out of view of the access point. As an unofficial jumpoff site, I was actually pretty happy with it. Only enough flat space for 2 tents, but you could squeeze in a third if its dry out. There is a muddy area that looks like it regularly gets mucky from rain. SIte itself though was pretty.

Lake viewSite viewsite view 2

Day 2:

Pretty early start. We were really happy to get the site we did, because paddling along Rain Lake, we realized we wouldn't have gotten to another empty site until the very eastern end of the lake.

The portages in an out of Sawyer Lake were really easy, and while Sawyer Lake itself was nice, it was unremarkable. I could see it being a good choice for an introductory overnight trip for beginners. If given the choice, I would go to Jubilee Lake instead. The portage was more complicated at the Jubilee end because there is a partial dam, but the bend in the middle gives it a more private feeling because you can't see half the campsites.

Juan Lake was more tedious than anything. It is so small, it takes only a few minutes to cross, and there were some muddy sections for both portages. It made Moccasin Lake a real treat. It was windy, but beautiful and some really cool campsites all over the lake.

Cranebill Lake was awesome. It was quiet. It was super pretty. The campsite didn't have a lot of flat spaces, so only one tent, MAYBE two. The site itself was big, lots of old growth trees, and a rocky area perfect for swimming and drying off. If you are looking for privacy without being super deep in the Park, I highly recommend Cranebill.

Cranebill 1Cranebill 2Cranebill 3

Day 3:

Lazy morning. On the water by 10am. Really short paddle from the water to the portage. The Cranebill to Islet portage was long, but not terrible. The hills weren't too bad, and it was surpising free on debris. But it was humid. And buggy. So it felt hella long. It leads to a lilypad pond that isn't super easy to access, but really short to cross.

The short Islet portage P45 is basically straight up, and then straight down. Its awkward, but straightforward.

Islet Lake was a pretty but easy paddle. Waved to some people just starting out on their trip. The Islet-Hot Lake portage was super easy and short in comparison to the long trek into Islet, so we made quick work of it.

Hot Lake was nice, but not super memorable. Although because it was the end of the trip I wasn't paying as close attention.

The portage back to Rain was easy, right up til you can see the lake. The hillside is pretty steep and sketchy, and while some attempts at steps have been made, I can see it being an ankle roller if you aren't careful.

Hot-Rain portage

After that. it was a straight shot from the portage across Rain to the access point. And somehow we had a headwind leaving even though we had one departing!

All in all, good trip. Cranebill as a lake I say is worth it if privcay is your number one priority.

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