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member (12)member
08/10/2020 09:45AM  
We've got a permit for Trout Lake in a couple of weeks. I'm looking for any information regarding conditions in the area. Most importantly, is Pine Creek navigable all the way to Pine Lake, or is it necessary to take the 270 rod portage to get to Pine Lake? Looking on line so far shows everything from smooth sailing to dried up creek bed due to beaver dams. Any recent experience? Thanks.
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08/10/2020 12:54PM  
I have not been this year, but I would think the 270 portage is going to be quicker either way. I've paddled up Trout to Pine creek twice and it's big water up there and can get pretty windy. If your plan is to go to Pine lake, I'd suggest the portage. But I'd also guess that the creek is probably OK to travel. It's fairly wide from my experience.
08/10/2020 12:58PM  
If Pine lake is full, don't hesitate to go check out Chad lake. Great small lake with two decent sites.
distinguished member(1962)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/10/2020 09:05PM  
Pine Creek is long and winds around A LOT. You will have multiple beaver dam pull overs and it has a 45 rod portage on the Trout Lake end. Lovely paddle, if you have the time and love small creeks. However, if you are just paddling it in order to avoid the 270 rod portage, it isn't worth it. The 270 rod is a really straight forward portage. I completed it without any issues just 2 weeks after breaking my ankle. Trout Lake is big and has motor boats on it, so not the most pleasant paddle in my opinion.
distinguished member (157)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/11/2020 08:57AM  
I have been Pine lake both ways. When you get on Trout and the wind is behind you, you can make an easy paddle down to the end of the lake, do the short 40 rod portage and then paddle down pine creek. I have never heard any water level issues on this creek, but i could see it getting choked up with lily pads later in the year. As others have said, the portage is pretty straight forward; a little longish, but nothing unreasonable.

It appears that only a few of the 14 available permits are being used, so I would expect that you will find empty sites on Pine.

member (12)member
08/26/2020 09:58PM  
We're back. The trip took a turn when we scored the primo 5 star camp site on one of the Five Sisters Islands on Trout Lake on day one. Outstanding location, multiple tent sites; big, well built fire pit with multiple flat rock work surfaces; thick pine duff everywhere for cushy padding under the tents; lots of large red pines for hammocks; beautiful views in every direction; "parking stalls" at the landing (someone spent a lot of time piling rocks into "jettys" between cleared spaces for 3 canoes); waist high rocks for work surfaces; and a loo with a view plus a lid AND a fold up seat! The landing was rocky/pebbly with a small path of sand to deeper water for swimming. Very little firewood on the island (too popular),but plenty of drift wood on adjacent shores a short paddle away. So Pine Creek, Norway Point and the long portage into Pine Lake became the subject of day trips from our island fastness. We hit Pine Creek from each end, but never had the time to do the whole length. South end, deep and easy. North end shallow and annoying, but maybe navigable with a light load. Would be interested to see it in early season with higher water levels. Pine Lake is a gem. Beautiful place with several creeks to explore. Not a fisherman so I never wet a line. Never made it to Chad Lake portage, but we enjoyed our home on Five Sisters so much we stayed for four nights with no regrets. Watched eagles perched in the trees on one adjacent island. The Sisters are only a few dozen yards apart so dog paddling to other islands was no problem. Found a nice 6 foot high jumping rock off of one of them. Weather was great, just a little rain Saturday night. NO MOSQUITOES!! They were not an issue on the island! The flies (biters too) were annoying, but nothing like the hordes of bloodsuckers I've seen other places. Woke up to heavy wind 6am Monday morning, but it died down around 10:30 so we made our way back to the Moccasin Point take out on Vermilion in about 4 hours. And even though Trout is a motor lake, there were surprisingly few, even on the weekend. All in all an unexpected but appreciated glimpse into a new area for all of us (me, wife, two daughters, one son and son's gf). Just enough for our out-of-shape covid bodies to handle!
08/27/2020 06:30AM  
Glad you had a good time in a new area. I've never been myself but it is on my (ever growing) list. Thanks for following up in the thread with a little mini trip report.
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