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08/10/2021 02:20PM  
I am finally making it back to this area leading a small group and wondering if this is a good place to try to take a break/have lunch? Do tons of people stop here? Is there even a good area anymore to get out of the canoes and stretch legs?

For context, last time I visited I was still able to meet Dorothy and get myself a root beer.

After a tow up to the Birch Lake portage on Moose figure this to be a good spot to regroup and refuel before looking for a camping site further East on SAK.

For people who have been there recently, is this a decent plan? I worry about finding a site and hope that starting the search around noon we will be able to secure one. Only need room for a tent and a couple of hammocks, so we don't need to be too picky.


 
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Gaidin53
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08/10/2021 02:58PM  
Probably enough room around the bacon rock but then you might hold other people from looking and moving on. I noted some of the small islands around here did have nice spots to stop for a break. I just paddled by and noted one good spot. A group had lunch across from our campsite the day prior.

I would not recommend trying to enter from Moose or Birch and then going for a South Arm of Knife spot on the first day. We had issues getting a campsite at 1 pm and got lucky to even get a campsite that day. We had multiple groups come through trying to figure out what they were going to do. I’d recommend going for the best campsite you can get before you turn the corner into the South Arm. Next day get up early early eat a cold breakfast and head into the South Arm. I’d recommend you be looking for a campsite by 10 am or 11 am in the South Arm.

I’ll post the picture later but if you pick a campsite earlier you won’t need the lunch spot.

Ryan
Gaidin53
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08/10/2021 03:32PM  
08/10/2021 06:34PM  
Thanks Ryan, very useful information!
Gaidin53
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08/11/2021 10:50AM  
I’m heading back up in 2 weeks with a group of 4 adult males and having some of the same dilemmas on route. Everyone else is first trip. I think they will do fine portaging since I’m controlling what we bring and will keep it reasonably light allowing for some comfort. We’re doing 5 days which is a short trip for me. Moose entry tow to Birch and pick up from Birch.

Debating on Staying on Knife and working from North arm to South arm and back out. My wife didn’t think that was enough paddling. 34 miles with 4 miles of that portaging

Debating on Looping through Knife west end(1st night), South Arm(2nd night) into Eddy to Kekekabic(3rd night), Pickle, Spoon, Bonnie, West end of Knife(4th night), and out to Birch last day for a pick up. I think this is totally doable but the challenge becomes not knowing if we’ll find open campsites if we paddle slightly later in the day. 37 miles with 6 miles of that portaging.

Ryan
straighthairedcurly
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08/11/2021 12:25PM  
You won't likely have trouble finding campsites on the smaller lakes. But west end of Knife, Kekekabic, and South Arm can get very full early. On west end of Knife, if it is full, you can do a quick easy portage into Portage Lake and there are 2 campsites that don't get used too much.
cmanimal
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08/11/2021 02:05PM  
I think our tow hit the portage about 8ish, and we had lunch at Isle of pines 11-11:30 or so, and camped on ottertrack arriving mid afternoon if I recall. Also we single portage.
We "beached" between the small island and the big island and walked around a bit.
08/11/2021 04:26PM  
Once again thank you everyone for the input. Like I mentioned, it has been a very long time since I was in this area. cmanimal, I think our planned timeline matches up well with yours.

Will be good to have all this knowledge once we get out there and weigh our options while we enjoy our lunch...only one week from today!
08/11/2021 04:31PM  
Gaidin53: "I’m heading back up in 2 weeks with a group of 4 adult males and having some of the same dilemmas on route. Everyone else is first trip. I think they will do fine portaging since I’m controlling what we bring and will keep it reasonably light allowing for some comfort. We’re doing 5 days which is a short trip for me. Moose entry tow to Birch and pick up from Birch.


Debating on Staying on Knife and working from North arm to South arm and back out. My wife didn’t think that was enough paddling. 34 miles with 4 miles of that portaging


Debating on Looping through Knife west end(1st night), South Arm(2nd night) into Eddy to Kekekabic(3rd night), Pickle, Spoon, Bonnie, West end of Knife(4th night), and out to Birch last day for a pick up. I think this is totally doable but the challenge becomes not knowing if we’ll find open campsites if we paddle slightly later in the day. 37 miles with 6 miles of that portaging.


Ryan"


Sounds like you have laid out several good options. Always good to have different routes in mind depending on how the group is doing, weather, etc. this is something I am trying to emphasis when explaining the plan to the newbies - nothing is set and we can improvise as we go!

Tentatively we have a pickup at Splash/Ensign. Thinking maybe two nights on Knife/SAK and then traveling through Vera and spending two nights on Ensign (only a four night trip). I'd love to make a loop through Kek, down to Fraser/Thomas/Ima either to Ensign or Snowbank. Figure this is doable if 3-5 hours of traveling a day is ok with the others.

No matter what, I can't wait to get up there! Even if the long range forecast has rain for our first 3 days.

08/11/2021 06:42PM  
Cricket67: "Once again thank you everyone for the input. Like I mentioned, it has been a very long time since I was in this area. cmanimal, I think our planned timeline matches up well with yours.


Will be good to have all this knowledge once we get out there and weigh our options while we enjoy our lunch...only one week from today! "


I beached there too. It’s on the south side of the island, opposite the bacon rock. Might be a bit disappointing to see the island now given your last experience there. I wouldn’t worry about taking up space there for lunch, but I would worry about someone paddling past you and getting the last open site. I’d say have a power bar while you paddle and find camp, then maybe come back to see dorothy’s island.
Gaidin53
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08/11/2021 10:03PM  
My friend was a guide in the 80’s and had root beer at her island several times. Would have been neat at the time and neat to see again.

Vera is a nice lake to camp on so maybe consider a night on Vera. I camped on Vera last year on our last night. Ensign is very pretty and known as a very good fishing lake for Walleye. Ensign can get busy so if you come off Vera look for nice sites on the east end. Ensign being more of an entry lake with very little portaging to get into can fill up the campsites pretty quickly as well.

Last year I didn’t stick to my route and changed to plan B. My plan was way more than we could comfortably do. This year I stuck to route but paddled through and didn’t camp on Ester. That was hard since the best site on the island was open as we paddled by and I wanted to camp on Ester. That was the day we got a poor site but the only site we could find South Arm of Knife. We had rain threatening later in the week towards the end of our trip and I wanted to be closer to the exit based on the forecast a day sooner in the trip. We exited through the Knife portages into Birch the rain forecast day and camped on Birch for our last night. Made for a less stressful paddle to the Pick up point For our tow. Whole family came off feeling like we’d done plenty of paddling worked hard sometimes but persevered and we’re refreshed and relaxed finishing an 8 day trip. My wife did tell me I can’t add any more days to next years trip though!

Ryan
Savage Voyageur
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08/11/2021 10:33PM  
A few years ago I was at her island. We landed and walk all around the island and found the ribbon rock. Cool place to see.
 
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