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       5 weeks in Quetico. Where would you go?
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Date/Time: 06/25/2024 03:06AM
5 weeks in Quetico. Where would you go?

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
Laketrout69 01/17/2024 06:21PM
I just wanna know if Bobby knight threw any chairs in the Q. Marc
Stumpy 01/02/2024 10:16AM
28 years ago, I spent 4 weeks in Quetico.
November 1996.
Mostly on McKenzie and Ferguson.
Great times !
waverider 12/16/2023 11:11AM
Five weeks in Quetico. Where would you go? Everywhere if I had 5 weeks.
Stumpy 12/12/2023 05:53PM
cburton103: "Stumpy: "Aslowhand: "jdddl8: "I have done over 25 three week trips in Q and, like you, I triple portage. The two pieces of advice I have are to start in the west (Beaverhouse) and go east ending in French. That way you take advantage of the westerly winds. I normally do a U working my way south usually as far as Agnes and then work my way back north. There are so many routes you could take and each of them has different advantages. Since I am now in my 70s, I choose routes that have portages under half a mile in length, and there are lots of options. Have a great trip."
Wow! That's 75 weeks, or one and a half years, spent in Quetico. Amazing!!!
I envy you.



You're not the first to suggest starting in the west and going east. I think I should consider following this advice. Thank you!
"

I have friends who have done over 2,500 days in Quetico. They made a fortune doing so."




I'm curious what you mean by saying that you have friends who have made a fortune spending a lot of time in Quetico. Sounds like a dream!"



Guiding.
Husband and wife team.
They were featured on TV shows, going back to the late 70's, and thus drew many well to do clients.
They Guided Bobby Knight as a guest on one fishing show, and he helped me trap a nuisance bear at CBO.
Thus, I can always say.... I trapped a bear, with Bobby Knight.
cburton103 12/12/2023 02:45PM
Stumpy: "Aslowhand: "jdddl8: "I have done over 25 three week trips in Q and, like you, I triple portage. The two pieces of advice I have are to start in the west (Beaverhouse) and go east ending in French. That way you take advantage of the westerly winds. I normally do a U working my way south usually as far as Agnes and then work my way back north. There are so many routes you could take and each of them has different advantages. Since I am now in my 70s, I choose routes that have portages under half a mile in length, and there are lots of options. Have a great trip."
Wow! That's 75 weeks, or one and a half years, spent in Quetico. Amazing!!!
I envy you.


You're not the first to suggest starting in the west and going east. I think I should consider following this advice. Thank you!
"

I have friends who have done over 2,500 days in Quetico. They made a fortune doing so."



I'm curious what you mean by saying that you have friends who have made a fortune spending a lot of time in Quetico. Sounds like a dream!
Stumpy 12/11/2023 08:16PM
Aslowhand: "jdddl8: "I have done over 25 three week trips in Q and, like you, I triple portage. The two pieces of advice I have are to start in the west (Beaverhouse) and go east ending in French. That way you take advantage of the westerly winds. I normally do a U working my way south usually as far as Agnes and then work my way back north. There are so many routes you could take and each of them has different advantages. Since I am now in my 70s, I choose routes that have portages under half a mile in length, and there are lots of options. Have a great trip."
Wow! That's 75 weeks, or one and a half years, spent in Quetico. Amazing!!!
I envy you.

You're not the first to suggest starting in the west and going east. I think I should consider following this advice. Thank you!
"

I have friends who have done over 2,500 days in Quetico. They made a fortune doing so.
Aslowhand 12/06/2023 01:04AM
TrailZen: "Hoaf: "Paddle where the wind and your spirit leads you. You have plenty of time."
I REALLY like this response and the philosophy behind it!

TZ"

I like it too. That's what I did in Woodland Caribou PP a few years ago. Only three key points were determined: entry point, pickup point and that I wanted to cross the park from east to west. It was a great trip.
TrailZen 12/04/2023 12:44PM
Hoaf: "Paddle where the wind and your spirit leads you. You have plenty of time."


I REALLY like this response and the philosophy behind it!


TZ
Hoaf 12/04/2023 10:10AM
You're overthinking this. The whole park is beautiful. With 5 weeks, pick an entry.... any entry... and paddle & portage. Paddle where the wind and your spirit leads you. You have plenty of time.
Aslowhand 11/29/2023 01:41AM
jdddl8: "I have done over 25 three week trips in Q and like you I triple portage. The two pieces of advice I have are to start in the west (Beaverhouse) and go east ending in French. That way you take advantage of the westerly winds. I normally do a U working my way south usually as far as Agnes and then work my way back north. There are so many routes you could take and each of them has different advantages. Since I am now in my 70's I choose routes that have portages under half a mile and there are lots of options. Have a great trip."
Wow! That's 75 weeks, or one and a half years, spent in Quetico. Amazing!!!
I envy you.

You're not the first to suggest starting in the west and going east. I think I should consider following this advice. Thank you!
jdddl8 11/28/2023 10:49AM
I have done over 25 three week trips in Q and like you I triple portage. The two pieces of advice I have are to start in the west (Beaverhouse) and go east ending in French. That way you take advantage of the westerly winds. I normally do a U working my way south usually as far as Agnes and then work my way back north. There are so many routes you could take and each of them has different advantages. Since I am now in my 70's I choose routes that have portages under half a mile and there are lots of options. Have a great trip.
Aslowhand 11/28/2023 09:13AM
Stumpy: "Aslowhand: "Am I right that you can create loops as you wish? Or is there a “no go” because the current could be too strong? "
Don't worry about current. It's all flat lakes, and where they pinch, there is usually a portage. Spots like just west of Kawnipi heading into Keats. Get imaginative and don't just follow well-traveled routes.

You could spend a lifetime of vacations in the park and not see it all. I believe there are more pictographs to be discovered."

Thank you Stumpy. I appreciate your helpful information.
Stumpy 11/28/2023 06:53AM
Aslowhand: "Am I right that you can create loops as you wish? Or is there a “no go” because the current could be too strong? "


Don't worry about current, it's all flat lakes and where they pinch, there is usually a portage. Spots like just West of Kawnipi heading into Keats.
Get imaginative and don't just follow well traveled routes.
You could spend a lifetime of vacations in the Park, and not see it all.
I believe there are more pictographs to be discovered.
Gaidin53 11/23/2023 08:23PM
I emailed you photos of all my annotated completed maps. You can use those to mark up whatever maps you decide on getting.

Allanwater was pretty awesome. We’re going to do Blooodvein WCPP and Atikaki next year. The whitewater could be addictive.

Looking at all the Quetico stuff has me wanting to get another trip into the Quetico soon though.


Ryan
Aslowhand 11/23/2023 09:44AM
Again: thanks a lot for all the replies. It's very helpful.
I'm now looking at the maps and trying to find a suitable route that includes the Poets Chain, the Falls Chain and the chain of lakes to Louisa Lake/Agnes Lake. From Agnes I'm still looking for a suitable route west. Trant and Kashahpiwi Lakes seem worth a visit. There are so many options.
Am I right that you can create loops as you wish? Or is there a “no go” because the current could be too strong?


@billconnor
Quote: "Of course, you could just start and decide day by day which way to go."


That sounds very tempting. This is largely how my journey to WCPP went. I only knew the starting point and that I wanted to visit the western boundary of the park and where I would be picked up. Although the laminated maps I brought that covered the entire park weighed over 3 pounds.


@Gaidin53
Ryan I wasn't aware of the difference in fees depending on your entry point. Good to know.
Your suggestions are material for my brain. As I wrote before...I'm looking at the maps.
I would be happy to get to know you in person. Thank you for your kind offer. Since I live in Switzerland, that would be a long trip to Minneapolis.
Btw. I heard that this year, despite the fire, you were finally able to make your planned trip on the Allanwater in Wabakimi. I'm sure you had a great trip.


@ Jackfish
Your friend Mike Kinziger is one of my heroes, like Marten and HOOP. Just to name a few.


@thinblueline
Yes. Stanton Bay might be a good entry point!


@stumpy
Yes the park is huge...2000 lakes...so many route options...
That's why I'm asking the people that visited the park for recommendations.


@uqme2 and TrailZen
I almost spilled my coffee over the keyboard. Thanks for making me laugh!
I wonder what kind of car I see once I'm back from the trip....


@LarryS48
I plan to cover 10 Miles a day from point A to point B. A half a Mile portage would count as half a Mile, not the actual distance I walk.


André









Aslowhand 11/22/2023 06:09PM
Sorry I didn't react to the posts recently. It's busy at work...
Happy Thanksgiving!


André
Gaidin53 11/22/2023 03:46PM
Personally and this is what my son did and I recommended last year was Beaverhouse entry into Quetico. Work down into Sturgeon however your heart desires. You then work South towards Kahsahpiwi could head over into more recent burn areas. At some point work over into Agnes, then Kawnipi. Man Chain or Lousia and across. Falls chain or part of it into Kawnipi. Then Poet chain on way out. Possibly B chain Bisk Beg Bud with the option to instead go out Deux Rivière depending on how things are going!


I’ve got a huge portion of the park done on the paper maps. I’ve also got the entire Quetico not all annotated yet for areas we haven’t tripped in which is mainly the recent burn area. I live in the Minneapolis area and would be willing to meet up sometime and look at route options. Not sure where you live though. Should be an epic trip no matter what you plan and what you actually end up doing!


Ryan
Banksiana 11/22/2023 02:09PM
In five weeks?



Everywhere. Starting from the north.
LarryS48 11/22/2023 12:45PM
Just for grins, I am working out a detailed plan for such a trip. My usual trips are around 10 nights so I admire you. You say you cover about 10 miles a day. How do you count portages into that total? Say you have a half mile portage and you triple carry (three loads plus two walks back), do you count that portage as 2.5 miles or a half mile toward your daily mileage?
TrailZen 11/21/2023 01:47PM
uqme2: "I did my longest, slightly over three week, Q trip years back. There was a brand spanking new car in the garage when I came home. I was not a happy camper.


She did, w/o knowing it, get a great price. She took out a loan AND bought the GOLD protection warranty. HA! YMMV."



That, sir, is a funny story. Yes, my mileage would vary, as my wife is my paddling partner (and has no interest in cars).


TZ
uqme2 11/21/2023 12:43PM
I did my longest, slightly over three week, Q trip years back. There was a brand spanking new car in the garage when I came home. I was not a happy camper.


She did, w/o knowing it, get a great price. She took out a loan AND bought the GOLD protection warranty. HA! YMMV.
Stumpy 11/21/2023 02:18AM
deerfoot: "I have taken four trips to Quetico with all being about a week in length. I most enjoyed our cross over trip in mid May 2009 from Cache Bay to French Lake. Having traveled for many years in Wabakimi and last summer in Atikaki PP, I wonder what you would do for 4-5 weeks in Quetico. You could probably see most of the park in that time frame."


Hardly !
thinblueline 11/20/2023 07:44PM
I’ve started three trips out of Stanton Bay and highly recommend starting your trip there. Yeah, the road ain’t great, but I don’t think it’s wreck a vehicle bad if you take your time.

I’d head down the B-chain of lakes, then west through Olifaunt, into Sturgeon, down to Russell (a walleye factory), McDougall, over to Camel and Veron in the heart of the park, then maybe back north continuing through Cutty Creek, into Fred, then further north into Lonely, a side detour into Draper from Walter (one way in, one way out, but the smallmouth fishing is something to write home about), up into Jesse, heading back up into Pickerel, then east all the way to a French Lake takeout with first maybe a detour down into Buckingham.
billconner 11/20/2023 06:37PM
Of course, you could just start and decide day by day which way to go. My kind of trip.
Gaidin53 11/20/2023 01:49PM
I’d highly recommend poet chain as a section of the loop which could lead into or out of Kawnipi. That area is deep into the park and just spectacular. You’ve got options of falls chain. Cross over to Louisa lake and see Eddy Falls on Agnes. You’d have some steeper portages but my son was through that area this year. Head into Kahsahpiwi? Get over into some of the burned areas if you head further west. The routes do kind of bottle neck a little bit working back from the North into the south or vice versa.


Poet Chain is Russell, McDougall, Keats, Shelley.


As you get more into or have other specific questions Jordan at the Atikokan Quetico Park office is phenomenal to talk to. Was a portage maintenance person for several years and really knows the whole park. He can give great guidance on route. He will also know pertinent real time information as the trip gets closer. I had to change my route in 2022 and he was really helpful just prior to the trip in helping me change my route.


Ryan
Jackfish 11/20/2023 11:48AM
Not as much a direct answer to your questions, but a suggestion for a great read for someone who has done some lengthy solo trips.

Check out the book Alone in a Canoe written by my friend, Mike Kinziger. Mike was an Outdoors Education professor at UW-La Crosse and, in later years, the University of Idaho. After he retired, he went on a 5-week solo to Woodland Caribou. In subsequent years, he took a second trip to Woodland Caribou, one to Wabakimi, one to Opasquia and one to Quetico. I'm pretty sure that all trips (besides the first one) were a minimum of three weeks long. Trip reports on each of his solo trips are what the book is about. I highly recommend it.

The Quetico trip was primarily in the northeast quadrant of the park, entering at French Lake.
bobbernumber3 11/20/2023 10:15AM
Gaidin53: "...Keep the camping per night down by entering from the north...."


Very good point!
Gaidin53 11/19/2023 11:56PM
You’ve got a lot of options. I do think entering from the north is a good idea. Keep the camping per night down by entering from the north. I think they have now maintained the portages for all the park since the fires. I’ll include a link to the current portage maintenance map from this year. My son this year went Northwest Beaverhouse to South and then exited at Stanton Bay in 16 days. They went big miles at the beginning and then had more chill days at the end.


September 2023 portage maintenance map


Ryan
billconner 11/19/2023 06:31PM
FWIW I have trouble imagining a bad place to be in the Q. I suppose some burned areas might get tiresome, but there is a certain beauty to them. Along the border is less solitude. But all good.
Aslowhand 11/19/2023 01:04PM
Thanks a lot for your replies!


@deerfoot
Wabakimi has some stunning places. I like it very much. But after two challenging trips up there I decided to slow down a bit. I was told that in Quetico the trees are bigger, portages are cleared on a regular base and campsites are not as widely scattered as in Wabakimi.


@TrailZen
It's not a surprise that you recommend to travel to Kawnipi Lake. Looks like it's worth a visit. I'm not sure if I want to use the approach via Baptism Creek, Cache Lake, Cache River or McKenzie Lake. Those portages are long and at the beginning of the trip the food barrel will be very heavy.


@billconner
Your suggestion is very helpful. I'm already trying to find a route that connects the points you mentioned.


I have already ideas for at least half of the trip.
THANK YOU!


André







TrailZen 11/19/2023 12:34PM
billconner: "I would definitely try to include the McEwen Chain to Louisa. Also would include Quetico Lake - maybe with Citrus and or Kasakokwog.. I also think the trip through Trant between Agnes and Kashapiwi is special. Conmee, Williams, and Darkwater are pretty special but not sure how fire affected them. Just a few places I'd try to include. Should be fun to mark these on a map and try to connect them!"


Nice suggestions, Bill! So, French Lake to Kawnipi as mentioned above, Kawnipi to McEwen via Kenny Lake, the Falls Chain, and Wet Lake, then Agnes via Louisa, etc, then Kahshapiwi via Silence and Trant. That's ~80 miles paddled, ~125 miles total travel with triple portages. Looks like the first half of your route, Andre'.


TZ
billconner 11/18/2023 06:02PM
I would definitely try to include the McEwen Chain to Louisa. Also would include Quetico Lake - maybe with Citrus and or Kasakokwog.. I also think the trip through Trant between Agnes and Kashapiwi is special. Conmee, Williams, and Darkwater are pretty special but not sure how fire affected them. Just a few places I'd try to include. Should be fun to mark these on a map and try to connect them!
TrailZen 11/18/2023 02:15PM
So with 20-25 paddle days at ~10 miles per day, you've got a 200-250 mile trip in the works. Color me green with envy! If I were putting in at French Lake, I'd consider dropping south to Kawnipi via Baptism, Trousers, Cache, and the Cache River. That was part of our route several years ago, but we were there later in the year, and it was a dry year, so the Trousers-to-Cache portage was nicely manageable. We also single-portage, so Cache River, which took us a day, might not be a good choice for you, as I haven't even seen 'desperation sites' along the river. French Lake to Kawnipi is about 50 miles--I'll let someone chime in from there...


TZ
deerfoot 11/18/2023 10:21AM
I have taken four trips to Quetico with all being about a week in length. I most enjoyed our cross over trip in mid May 2009 from Cache Bay to French Lake. Having traveled for many years in Wabakimi and last summer in Atikaki PP, I wonder what you would do for 4-5 weeks in Quetico. You could probably see most of the park in that time frame.
Aslowhand 11/18/2023 02:03AM
Hello fellow wilderness paddlers
I'm in the planning stage for next year's canoe trip. It will be my first visit to Quetico.
I have already read all the Quetico trip reports on this site. Many thanks to the posters!

In the past, I have taken longer solo trips (4 to 5 weeks) in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and Wabakimi Provincial Park. So I know what I'm doing.

I have all the equipment. It is not necessary to work with an outfitter. My “food management” is set. I can bring 5 weeks worth of food without resupply.

A friend of mine will provide the shuttle from Thunder Bay to a northern entry point, French Lake (Pickerel Lake) is the closest. He'll also pick me up at the end of the trip.
I've heard that the road to the Stanton Bay entry point is bumpy and hard on your vehicle, but maybe I can talk him into it.

I'm in my sixties and I don't move as fast as I used to. My average daily progress is about 10 miles (triple portaging). I plan on 20 to 25 travel days.

The trip is scheduled to begin after Victoria Day (end of May). I know there will be bugs. And maybe high water, like in the last two early summers in Wabakimi.

I like to fish and eat fish. I love cooking over a fire when there is no fire ban. Looking for solitude.

I'm aware of the big fire of 2021 and don't mind traveling through burned areas (it's part of the ecosystem) as long as portages are passable and campsites are usable.

Which route would you take? I'm very grateful for any information!
André