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

Quetico Nym Lake Loop

By bobrowicz Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:July 7-9, 2023
Entry Point:21 - Batchewaung Lake (Quetico)
Lakes:Batchewaung, Gillnet, Nym, Pickerel

Had a free weekend, weather looked good, so I tried a little loop I've wanted to do from the Nym Lake access in Quetico to check out the three "Racers Portages" between Nym Lake and Pickerel Lake. The annual Quetico portage maintenance map (available on the Ontario Parks website) showed that the Racers Portages had been maintained in June 2023.

The east part of Nym Lake is lovely. There are a few parcels of private land, but I didn't see anybody at the camps, despite it being a Friday evening in July.

However, the first of the Racers Portages (186m) was dismal. Much of the portage is through a spruce bog; I twice sank up to my thigh, extracating myself was not easy. The portage officially ends just across an old, mostly grown-over logging road. But the creek that shows up on the satellite image was dry, and another 200m of hummock hopping (and another plunge in the muck) was required. Future users would benefit from following the old tote east and putting in past the small beaver dam where the open water begins.

The other two Racers Portages (736m and 794m) were in decent shape for rarely-used portages.

I was running out of daylight when i finally got to Pickerel Lake, and ended up camping on what was a marginal site at best.

But Saturday completely made up for the hardships of Friday. Clear skies, light wind at my back all day, no portages and a fantastic site on the west side of Batchewaung. I hit my site by lunch and relaxed all afternoon.

Sunday was a quick skip over to the Batchewaung-Nym portage (799m) which was well used, well maintained, and easy. Crossed Nym before the wind came up.

All in all, a nice little weekend jaunt, but I wouldn't recommend the Racers Portages to anyone going solo like I did. Stuck in the muck with no one to help is frustrating at best, potentially dangerous on a route few people use.

Calm July day on Pickerel Narrows

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