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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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Troutbum77
member (19)member
 
02/18/2019 02:42PM
Hi Folks. Like everyone else on this board I'm planning my summer trips. I'm planning to base camp in the lakes NW of Agnes. Wondering what is the best way to Sark or Cairn Lake? Through Kahshahpiwi or Trant? Thanks for any advice.
 
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Eyedocron
distinguished member (441)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2019 04:05PM
If going in at PP, Bayley, Burke, North Bay, Isabella, several short hops to Kahsh, on north. Nice route to central part of the park. Why are you in a hurry?
Troutbum77
member (19)member
 
02/18/2019 05:40PM
Unfortunately, we may have limited time this year. With any luck things will clear up and we'll get to take a proper 10 day trip. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the information.
old_salt
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02/18/2019 06:02PM
Could be as fast or faster to enter at Stanton bay on north side.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2019 07:52PM
Or consider going up via Agnes to Kawnipi and down to Cairn, etc. then exit on the Piwi route straight south. No need to repeat lakes and some of the best scenery in the Park. Really little difference in time in that Agnes is all paddle.
Eyedocron
distinguished member (441)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2019 08:51PM
You have so many wonderful choices. Presuming a loop is desired, On the way north, North Bay - Shade - Silence - Agnes then up will work well, avoiding the 5 hours of Agnes end to end (longer if a north wind). Then northwest on Kawnipi to a runnable rapids, then south through Sark and Kashah and Isabella. You are looking at 5-6 days of travel, plus fishing and layover.
Unless you like portage pain, avoid Trant-Kashah (used to be two but now one long with a beaver lake to edge), and the notorious Yum Yum Grey portages.
Banksiana
distinguished member(2037)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/19/2019 01:32AM
I think the paddle up Agnes Narrows is one of the most spectacular paddles in the park and not to be avoided. The S-chain not so much. Do the loop Agnes to Kawinipi and then sweep into Cairn or Sark from the north and exit via Kahshahpiwi (pick your portage pain). A wonderful loop that can be stretched to accommodate as many days as you can spare.
Troutbum77
member (19)member
 
02/19/2019 11:47AM
Whoa, thank you folks so much. Most of my Quetico paddling has been out of Atikokan so your input is really helpful.

The loop up Agnes to Kawinipi and then back down Cairn/Piwi is very appealing. My concern is that crossing Bailey Bay to pick up a 2pm shuttle could become problematic. I'm probably overthinking it - but, that's part of the fun during the winter.

AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/19/2019 02:20PM
You could always reroute through Sunday or Poacher. The outfitters will know if the wind is an issue for paddlers and besides most have cell service at PP and you could call them if running late.
GraniteCliffs
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02/19/2019 04:42PM
We usually camp on Sunday our last night and break camp by 7. That way you can always get out, even if it means portaging the short stretch of Bailey, which we have done.
Springer2
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02/19/2019 05:34PM
GraniteCliffs: "...even if it means portaging the short stretch of Bailey, which we have done. "

More info on this portage please.
PineKnot
distinguished member(1543)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/19/2019 07:01PM
Troutbum77: "Whoa, thank you folks so much. Most of my Quetico paddling has been out of Atikokan so your input is really helpful.


The loop up Agnes to Kawinipi and then back down Cairn/Piwi is very appealing. My concern is that crossing Bailey Bay to pick up a 2pm shuttle could become problematic. I'm probably overthinking it - but, that's part of the fun during the winter.


"


Been through that area quite a bit. My suggestion if you're looking to basecamp on Sark/Cairn is to go from PP through Isabella/Kahs. Spend a couple nights. You might then return via Kahs and basecamp on Trant (I never have been on Trant but have been told by reliable sources that it has a great campsite--you could then daytrip into Woodside (fantastic smallmouth) and Hurlburt/Payne (great lakers) where I've caught both....then return back via Kahs/Isabella and spend your last night on North Bay/Burke or Bayley Bay where you wouldn't have to fret about wind for a tow from PP....
Troutbum77
member (19)member
 
02/19/2019 08:26PM
Trant looks really cool too. Here is a great account of the day trip from Piwi there:
Trant Lake Day Trip

A last night on Poacher may be the ticket. I've always wanted to see that lake and a few of us are hammock campers so the small campsites shouldn't be a problem. Doing the trip that way would mean we go in on Piwi and the down Agnes the last few days. Would be nice to hit Louisa falls tub toward the end f the trip too. Feels like I have 2019 locked down....
Stumpy
distinguished member(1526)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/20/2019 02:53PM
I've gone to Sark and/or beyond, 4 different times, on our first day.
Prairie Portage, Isabella, Kahshipiwi, etc...
I believe this is the easiest route.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/20/2019 07:54PM
Springer2: "GraniteCliffs: "...even if it means portaging the short stretch of Bailey, which we have done. "
More info on this portage please. "

Not really a portage, but the short stretch of Bailey Bay on the east end of the bay, between the mouth of Sunday Bay and the chute leading to PP. Twice, when it has been super windy, we have crashed ashore and simply portaged along the shore to Sunday Bay where we were protected from the wind.

From Prairie, you can hide from the wind until you hit Bailey, tuck behind the small island for a bit and then hit the shore or just cross the chute when you first hit Bailey and go to shore. There is very little undergrowth there and portaging is quite possible. Once in Sunday Bay, you can hit the Sunday Lake portage and find a site on Sunday or Burke or crawl along the west side to Sunday Lake to get to the Meadows portages. We saw another group doing this with young teenagers and another group did this after we watched them flip when they came out of Sunday Bay. The moment they made the turn to head to toward PP as they left Sunday Bay, over they went.

Beats sitting and camping to wait out the wind on that point coming from PP. Only one word of caution. As some of you know, there are submerged reefs near the shore where you might abandon ship. Very easy to bust your boat.
Springer2
distinguished member(505)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/28/2019 09:38PM
Kash to Trant portage was a mess in 2011 when the water was up--most of the portage trail was flooded and we had to bushwhack in our canoe through flooded brush and hump over at least two big beaver dams to get to the final stretch of solid ground portage into Trant, this was late May, and there were a lot of trees down that we had to cut our way through also. Trant's a cosmic lake though. Here's a very dark Sark Lake trout.

 
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