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      Chad Lake to Little Indian Sioux     



member (6)member
07/26/2020 07:38PM  
Found an interesting path that I did not think existed from Chad Lake to the Little Indian Sioux River. The river/creek between Chad Lake was definitely passable. Beaver dam pull overs, but definitely passable other than that.

As can be seen from the google earth image, there is now a massive beaver dam about halfway down the river. It has raised the level of Chad lake about 2 feet and made the first half of the trek very passable. The only problem is that all of the muskeg is now floating and there are couple of pieces at the entrance that can float into the channel (easily pushed out of the way).

Google Map

Below the big beaver dam the river gets very narrow but still passable, with current the entire way. The trip was made 3 times (once up and down to explore the possibility). Once with packs. The river had two beaver dams over 2 foot tall and about a dozen of small ones a couple of inches high. It had one submerged log that had to be pulled over and 4 rocks that can catch a canoe. It took about an hour to run in one direction (both up and down stream).

Some caveats. I was in a Mad River Kevlar Explore 169 with ash trim. A very flexible and relatively short (16 foot 9 inches) canoe with a shallow draft. I had my 130 lb, 24 year old daughter who has gone on many trips with me in the front. She is not afraid of spiders, bogs, beavers, etc. Was able to expertly turn the canoe as it got narrow (and pull us along with muskeg when it got very narrow). This canoe has been everywhere on at least 50 trips in BWCA and all over Ontario. It has 1000s of scratch on it. If scratches bother you, skip this creek. I have a place on Burntside Lake and this is kind of in my back yard so if I had to call for help it was not far away. I spend most of my time in the BWCA going to remote lakes behind large portages. This is not a casual endeavor.

On the plus side, this eliminates the multiple 250+ rod portages to get into Chad Lake (a very beautiful lake with good fishing and a great campsites). It gives another neat destination from Entry Point 9. The channel is very similar to the upper Pony River going to Bootleg Lake (also accessible form EP9). If a couple of more people ran the creek, I think it would be even easier. The third time through the creek was much more passable.

Final very important caveat. The portages above the Pony River on the Little Indian Sioux are seldom visited and rarely if ever maintained. I have been to PMA lakes with better portages. The maps show at least one portage on the wrong side of the river.

Narrowest part of river (only about 100 feet long).

Below the large beaver dam

Entrance to the Chad River from Little Indian Sioux
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member (6)member
07/26/2020 08:34PM  
Oh... and the real reason I found myself on Buck and Chad. Was on a astro-photography expedition. Good views of the comet and Milky Way.

07/26/2020 09:20PM  
Great info and amazing pictures! About ten years ago my hubby and I had considered taking that route but figured we'd be doing more dragging than paddling. After staying on Bootleg we took the basically non-existent portages to the river then to Little Trout. That area sure is great for solitude. We just might have to plan another trip that direction.
distinguished member (284)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/26/2020 10:22PM  
That last picture of the comet is very cool
distinguished member(2340)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/28/2020 07:00AM  
That's pretty cool. When I was in my 20's, we camped on Chad and had to be out to the Echo trail! Our planning wasn't the greatest, ha ha. Anyway, we looked and looked for that creek which showed on our old Fisher map. Couldn't find a channel out of Chad at that time. Wound up having to portage back to Pine Creek. That was long day. I think it was pitch dark when we got to the Echo Trail.
07/28/2020 12:11PM  
How did you get to Chad on that trip? From the EP 9 or from another direction?
07/28/2020 02:02PM  
I paddled Chad Creek from LIS south to Chad lake September of 2015 in a 3-person canoe. It was the most miserable BWCA experience I've ever had. It took us several hours slogging through the bog, often times pushing the canoe up to our waist in muck. We had to have passed 20 beaver little dams along the way.

Glad to hear it was a bit easier to navigate for you though! Chad lake is great.
member (6)member
07/28/2020 07:25PM  
cyclones30: "How did you get to Chad on that trip? From the EP 9 or from another direction? " Portaged from Buck. We choose our trips based on wind direction. Rarely exit where we enter. As I said my family has a place on Burntside Lake and always have someone to pick us up or stash our truck. We exited EP9, entered at EP4.
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