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      Side Lake to Sarah portage... please clarify     
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06/07/2018 08:33AM
I've read where there are two routes from Side to Sarah. Could someone clarify these two options and if there is a preference for one over the other?
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distinguished member (387)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/07/2018 09:39AM
I am not aware of two portages from Side to Sarah.
distinguished member(4460)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/07/2018 11:00AM
One is a big climb up and over the hill from Side to Sarah. One portage.

2nd way is the wet way via the creek to the north. About 3 shorter portages with ponds and creeks along the way.
distinguished member(1719)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/07/2018 11:03AM
The route along the creek is far easier and quite pretty. Two or three carries depending on water levels. The first being a little pull over at the beginning of the outflow from Side Lake. In times of plentiful water this can be paddled or a full canoe can be pulled through. A quick paddle across a beaver pond and a portage of about 20 rods to a winding creek (portage is on left if traveling to Sarah). Paddle about 1/3 mile on beautiful winding creek to another portage into Sarah (also about 20 rods), fairly steep downhill to the lake. There are trails on both sides of the creek but the better route is on the left if traveling to Sarah.

I travel through Sarah often, at least two or three times a year. I've used the overland route once and won't use it again unless the creek dries up.
06/07/2018 01:28PM
I think it is what you prefer. I prefer to just unload once and get the job done. I think some people like the built in breaks of a paddle and take out. To each their own.

Now I am going to contradict myself :) When going from the Pond to Side, I prefer the alternate route if the water is normal or high to avoid that heart attack hill from the pond to Side. You go the southern route from Pond to another Pond into Side. The two portages were easy and flat. I am biased, though I was really tired before I even did the Pond to Side the first time and just wiped afterwards.

distinguished member(1719)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/07/2018 05:10PM

I too think the low road is the easier route into Side.

The single portage between Side and Sarah I found both long (seemed longer than the listed 630 meters) and fairly strenuous. Using the creek portages a short, quick and easy but the real attraction is the sweet paddle through the marsh. The creek route no longer appears on the 2017 Chrismar but the portages were maintained last year.
distinguished member(1701)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/07/2018 08:21PM
I have always liked the single carry across the portage. I have taken it dozens of times over the years. With that said I began to discover a couple of years ago that the Quetico Park staff must have been doing some significant work on the portage and somehow they seem to be adding about 30 rods to that old portage each and every year. Without a doubt it gets longer and longer each year. A couple of years ago they even dropped several huge pines across the portage just to enhance the wilderness feel of the portage.
As a direct result of the portage lengthening project I became a convert to the stream route the past couple of years. I don't like the loading and unloading but it is pretty and the water has always been high enough when we have gone through.
06/08/2018 07:39AM
GC...great I am 5 years older since I last did that portage. That means it is 150 rods longer...I retract my previous comment and will take the stream version :) next time. I knew this was happening, thanks for the confirmation!

Banksiana thanks for confirming the stream version has been maintained recently.

distinguished member(6851)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/08/2018 02:06PM
Isn't this as simple as the song "...O ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road, And I'll be in Sarah a'fore ye..."
distinguished member(1065)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/08/2018 04:10PM
+1 for creek/low route. Short paddles between carries is a bit annoying, but the route is visually appealing.

distinguished member (490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/11/2018 02:38PM
I prefer the longer one portage trip rather than the creek. We make Sarah in one day, we are tired and ready to get to Sarah for an evening of fishing. One longer portage is preferable for me after a long day.
06/12/2018 11:24AM
The two portages are not that far apart (Map is not totally accurate) The creek route starts at the mouth of a tiny finger bay. We did it in May and paddled across the rock hump at mouth of bay. Short paddle down the tiny bay to portage on left......that goes down hill to the beaver creek valley. Neat little paddle down the creek til you reach a beaver dam that spills downhill to Sarah. There is a portage on either side of dam. I did left side.....very open, fairly steep, a tad slippery in the Pine duff.
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