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bojibob
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01/05/2011 01:05PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Claire Quewezence
Assistant Park Superintendent

Woodland Caribou Prov. Park
Box 5003, 227 Howey Street
Red Lake, ON P0V 2M0

Tel: (807) 727-1388

e-mail: claire.quewezence@ontario.ca

Post Messages for Clair under this thread and she will get an email and be able to respond
 
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Que
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01/09/2011 01:45PM  
Hi folks
Please do not hesitate to ask away. As many already know, I have a deep appreciation for WCPP and have a desire to see park visitors enjoy it and respect it as much as I do. I've worked in this park for 18 seasons now and never tire of it. I am humbled every time I visit the backcountry and never stop learning from it.
Claire
 
kanoes
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01/09/2011 02:05PM  
thanks for joining bwca.com claire, and for providing this service to everyone.

we did a group solo out of leano last may and it certainly wont end up being my last trip to WCPP. its a special place for sure.

jan
 
01/10/2011 01:50PM  
Claire,

It is my understanding that float planes will be limited to certain lakes, after a certain date, in 2011? I know you told me, but could you clarify the the lakes that float planes will be limited to?
Welcome aboard and Thanks for all your help!
SunCatcher (aka Paul)
 
Que
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01/10/2011 06:31PM  
That's correct. Flying in and landing in WCPP will be restricted to remote access zones effective July 1, 2011, 4 years after the approval of the park's management plan. These access zones are shown on the centerfold map in the park's tabloid (2010 and 2011 Information Guide) and are the following:
Sabourin Lake
Donald Lake
Lower Artery Lake
south half of Hansen Lake

Please consider all lakes along the periphery of the park as options. These are Job, Robert in the north, Valhalla in the northeast, Dowswell, Eagle in the south, Garner, Obukowin, Gammon River west from the west.
 
01/10/2011 06:43PM  
Thanks Claire!
 
Longpaddler
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01/11/2011 08:28AM  
Welcome Claire...you are living our dream.
 
01/11/2011 12:21PM  
Hi Claire. Where can I purchase maps for WCPP?
 
Que
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01/11/2011 07:10PM  
A simple phone call to the park office in Red Lake (807) 727-2097 with credit card detail and we will send you a map in the mail. No shipping cost.

Or be in touch with your outfitter. They have the park's canoe route map plus they may also suggest other maps worth considering.
 
Que
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01/11/2011 07:14PM  
Correction... please phone (807) 727-1329 at the park office for a canoe route map of WCPP.
 
PortageKeeper
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01/11/2011 08:54PM  
Welcome Claire, and thanks for your help.
Tripped in WCPP last season... great park... love the short portages!

I understand that there are plans of mapping some of the camp sites. Any chance that they could be placed on a map such as this (on this site) for planning purposes:

link
 
Que
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01/12/2011 12:19AM  
The Campsite project is still a work in progress. Inventory is still underway. In the interim, we offer a map that shows our current inventory of campsites but the scale is not the greatest. It is lacking details and it is to be used as a guide only. Your outfitter will be able to recommend you some sites. Or you can drop in at the office and we can point some out to you on your maps. We've recently updated last season's map. It is available by e-mail if you send us a note at woodland.caribou.mnr@ontario.ca
Last season, some visitors were disappointed in this map... said they couldn't find the campsites as they were marked. Please remember that WCPP's campsites will likely not resemble the more frequently used campsites at more established parks. WCPP campsites are still quite primitive, may be hard to detect from the water... are generally not very large in size or overly trampled, and may or may not have firerings as markers.
 
jcavenagh
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01/13/2011 05:21PM  
Will WCPP be included in the new reservation system that has photos of campsites? Is that part of the plan for the campsite project?
I know we don't have to reserve specific campsites, but will they be mapped on the website?
 
adam
Moderator
 
01/13/2011 08:17PM  
This messages is from Claire who is having trouble posting:

Ultimately, the plan is to create an electronic campsite map where folks will have the ability to click on a site and view photos and read a detailed description of the particular site (# tent pads, exposure, swimming area, etc...). But we are not quite there yet. At this time, one must still use their observation skills and explore the shores to find the quaint little campsites where moss is thick and firewood still abundant.
There are no plans to join the reservation system at this time as there is no need to reserve. Imagine that... no reservations needed, no entry quotas. Simply get a park permit and away you go. Permits can be obtained in advance by phone and e-mail, at the Ontario Park office in Red Lake during weekdays, or at one of our 2 self-serve kiosks - 1 at Four Seasons Sport Shop in Ear Falls and 1 at the entrance of the Heritage Centre in Red Lake.
 
01/17/2011 03:04PM  
I found a couple spots where the campsites didn't exsist no matter how you'd imagine it. But other than that... and even then we found spots to camp and the campsite map was very valuble. The staff has a huge undertaking in just keeping the portages open. Thank you Claire for that... Are you going to be in Minneapolis in April again?
 
Que
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01/18/2011 07:09AM  
I am told by the biologist that she included sites that had not been developed quite yet but were suitable for use as campsites. We looked over the map very carefully before putting it out there as a trip planning guide, but if visitors find errors, we need these recorded and reported to us. That would be of tremendous help. Big park, small staff.

Yes I should be in Minneapolis again this April. I always look forward to meeting folks there. Come and drop in at the Ontario Parks booth.

 
adam
Moderator
 
01/24/2011 08:28PM  
Another messages from Claire:
"The park office can e-mail you a road map showing the park access and the network of roads leading to the access from the towns of Red Lake and Ear Falls in the south.
Longlegged Rd starts at Ear Falls and will lead you to the Leano Access point in the south... it can be in rough shape. Best get a road condition change before traveling this road. It takes one a little over 2 hrs to drive from Ear Falls to Leano on this road.
Most folks will drive the extra 45minute up Hwy 105 from Ear Falls to Red Lake, pick up last minute supplies, or stay one night in Red Lake, drop in the park office for changes perhaps, and from here it is 1 1/2 hrs to the Leano Access in the south end of the park.
Park e-mail address is woodland.caribou.mnr@ontario.ca to request a road map and any other brochures and fact sheet you may want via e-mail. The 2011 Information Guide (newsletter) will be available this week."
 
04/28/2011 07:54AM  
Claire- Was good to see you in Mpls. You had a very informative presentation. I was wondering how the Chukuni River is from I think it's called Pine Ridge Rd to Olive lake. I think it was a Jim Hegi trip report that said he'd had trouble paddling up through a chute or something. Is this a problem going upstream... I'm thinking end of July.

Ben
 
Que
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04/29/2011 06:51AM  
The Upper Chukuni River waterway entry to the park can be tricky in spring or high water levels. There is a fair amount of current that flows from Valhalla Lake to Little Vermilion. You then travel downstream from Olive to Bigshell or Olive to Linge which pose no worries. This route has not been visited by a crew in recent years and might have a number of down trees.... though I heard no reports from groups that traveled it the last couple of years.

In a normal season, by July, the current is not nearly as strong and the Upper Chukuni is quite tame and lazy again. But we had flooded conditions for the last two seasons... floods that lingered well into fall. We are hoping for a break this year. Sorry this is all the info I have at this time. Perhaps I will get updates from park visitors before July rolls in.
 
jcavenagh
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06/20/2011 12:15PM  
Hello, Claire – We are starting to plan our 2012 trip into WCPP. I received your full package of maps and brochures early this Spring, so we have a pretty good idea of the routes, portages, and campsites. We hope to have 2-3 men and 2-3 14 yr old boys. Not a lot of canoe experience in the group, other than me with 7 trips to Quetico and 1 trip to Wabakimi under my belt (as of August, 2011). I am the "Master of Ceremonies" so to speak.
Fishing is secondary to the canoeing and camping. We will likely have 6-7 days on the water and I would like to get away from other people as much as reasonably possible.

Of course, we are still very early in the planning. I definitely want to try and stay on flat water as much as possible.

I have a fairly firm commitment from at least one Dad and his boy. They are boy scouts, and the Dad is in pretty good shape (better than me) so I think they may be able to handle the Onnie routes. The other possible pair is an experienced outdoorsman and his Eagle scout nephew. They have plenty of outdoors experience, but not so much canoeing or boreal camping experience

I am looking at a couple possible routes and thought I would run this by you for your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. The main questions:
1. Can we expect to see fewer folks if we enter through Onnie?
2. Are the Onnie routes overly difficult for folks who are not experienced canoeists?
3. Is there some other route that you would suggest that would keep us away from other paddlers and the fly-in lodges?

Route 1 - Onnie, Telescope, Optic, Glenn, Hansen, Rostoul, Cyclops and back. About 90-100km and 35 portages.

Route 2 - Onnie to Glenn then back thru Mexican Hat, Jake, the Lunches, Bunny and out at Leano It is about 80-90km with 35 portages.

Going in at Onnie gives a nice long stretch of paddling on Telescope that first day, but there is a 625m portage right at the start.

Route 3 - Less attractive option may be an out and back Leano - Mexican Hat?? Not really sure that would be any easier than the other routes, except that it seems to be much more popular and so the portages are probably more well worn. The down side for us is that I would think that in the first half of August this route would have about the highest degree of traffic in the park.

I see a lot of reports about folks going in at Leano and spending a lot of time around Mexican Hat and Burnt Rock. I'm thinking we might run into fewer other paddlers if we go in at Onnie. My goal is to not see other folks while in the park, to be truly alone out in the wilderness. That may be a little too much to ask for, but I think we can come pretty close. I remember my BW trips from the 70's. We would go days without seeing another person. I want to give that memory to my boy, too.

Obviously there is no big rush. But any help you can give us would be appreciated.
Thanks, Jim C
 
Que
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06/21/2011 08:24PM  
Jim,

My response will follow by e-mail as I have received your e-mail message as well. Note: avoiding people in WCPP is usually not a huge challenge, even at Leano. I'll be in touch.
Claire
 
jcavenagh
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06/22/2011 02:14PM  
Thanks. I thought you did not get the email because it bounced back.
 
06/23/2011 04:46PM  
On the waters connecting Bell and Page Lakes there what I thought was an unltralight plane wreckage. I talked to someone else that thought it might be something used for ricing. The propeller was a little small, but with the possible wing material I saw in two locations I think it was a plane. Do you know the story here Claire?

And do you know the story of the guy who has the memorial on Crystal Lake?
 
Que
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07/10/2011 10:48AM  
My apologies for the tardy response. I finally clued in and have subscribed to the thread so I may be notified of new posting.

The "plane-like" piece of machinery you saw in 2 locations are retired wild rice harvesters - air boats. This year marks the first year where wild rice harvesting by non-aboriginals is no longer a permitted activity in this wilderness park. We are in communication with the owner to have these removed along with other operation equipment you might have noted (little cabin and content, other boats and old canoes). The removal of these items will be costly for the owner and will not be done overnight... but over a couple of seasons.

The monument was erected in honor of a trapper that spent much of his life in the area. After his passing, his cabin and boats were being unlawfully used so they were removed. The monument was erected without our knowledge seeing that this area of Page-Peterson has only been recently added to the park. The monument will likely remain and we will continue to tell the story...
 
07/10/2011 05:56PM  
Thanks, I'll be coming into Red Lake Aug 3rd, but won't likely be in the office til the morning of the 4th. This time a twenty day solo. My question to you would be... Did the portage crew stick with the routes Martin had GPS tracks for on the Irvine Loop for the most part? Or do I need to get updated information. I haven't marked those portages on my map yet.
 
Que
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07/10/2011 07:44PM  
Yes... the crew has kept to what Martin had GPS for the most part along the Irvine Loop. The crew has also recently visited the passage from Royd to Murdock - should all be nice and clear now. I am heading in this week to complete the Lund Lake trail into the Unnamed Lake to the West, bypassing the pond. I only have 300m left to cut on this 1km portage. Updates on portages can be found in a pamphlet we produced in the spring - Map Inserts. If you e-mail me, I can send you a copy.
 
ZaraSp00k
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08/15/2011 09:46PM  
does the park office sell Ontario fishing license?

what are the office hours?
 
solotrip
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08/15/2011 10:02PM  
park office does not sell licenses, but the MNR office in the same building does....so do 2 other business in Red Lake

Try TJ's Gas Bar on hwy 105 or Red Lake Marine
 
ZaraSp00k
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08/17/2011 09:31PM  
thanks,
what are the office hours of the Park office and the MNR office?
 
Que
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08/21/2011 06:44AM  
Park Office is open from 8 to 5 weekdays only. MNR building office from 8:30 to 4:30 weekdays only.
 
09/20/2011 10:01AM  
So... What's the verdict on the Larus Creek Fire or whatever you called it. The area I planned to paddle in August was all closed down. My main concern is the Irvine Lake Loop. Also the Murdock to Royd chain. I suppose with the fire you had to hold back your portage work out of Lund.
 
Que
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09/29/2011 06:50AM  
RED 124 - the wild fire in the Larus/Murdock/Knox area is still smouldering and being monitored.

The portages affected were the 750m from Murdock to Larus, the last 6 portages from the Royd/Murdock route and 4 portages at the top of the Irvine Loop. The NE and E shores of Irvine Lake are burnt also.

Due to the intensity of the fire in these particular areas of the fire and the hazards associated with a burnt forest, traveling through here is not recommended until such time as a crew has had a chance to remove hazard trees and then clear the trails.

Hazard tree removal was already done for the 750m between Larus and Murdock, in fact a new trail was flagged out but it is not cleared yet. We hope to return here within a week or so to finish it so that the Bloodvein River route may be opened to visitors again - first thing next season.

The other trails will not be visited until early next summer. It is a changed landscape out there but all part of the natural cycle of the Boreal Forest. It will be very interesting to watch it grow again over the years.
 
bojibob
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03/29/2014 11:44PM  
bump
 
solotrip
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03/30/2014 09:15PM  
Wow, talk about going back in time. That trail was cleared shortly after Claire's post and is now regenerating nicely.
 
jcavenagh
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05/16/2014 04:18PM  
bump...ice out!
 
dpkesler
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08/15/2014 02:29PM  
Claire,

I am trying to plan a trip to Woodland Caribou for next July/August with 4 other experienced BWCA paddlers. I looking for a route in which we can loop to and from a parking area. We are planning on 7 nights with one or two lay over days. We don't mind paddling hard on the days in which we travel.

Thanks,

Phil Kesler

 
ECpizza
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08/15/2014 10:12PM  
I don't know if Claire hangs out here, but I'm sure Harlan will steer you right.
 
Que
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08/15/2014 10:34PM  
Phil...
There are endless options. Most first time visitors to WCPP like the southern 1/2 of the park due to the numerous interconnected routes in this area, smaller lakes, caribou habitat. In the north half, visitors have to commit to larger loops - although we are working hard at changing that in the future by opening up new routes, bit by bit.

Anyway, an entry at Leano would put you in a good area for your first trip. Depending on whether or not you aim to fish and target walleye, you may want to dip south into the Kilburns and then westerly (walleye) or NW out of Leano toward Mexican Hat. If lake trout appeals to you, keep going west... plenty of lake trout water.

Where you go depends largely on what your interests are. An outfitter would be able to tweak your route accordingly. Or else call our office for a few more details.

Hope to hear from you soon...
Claire

 
jcavenagh
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08/26/2014 03:03PM  
To add to what Claire says...if driving in you really need a HIGH clearance vehicle. The roads to Johnson, Onnie, Leano are no longer maintained.
 
Alan Gage
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03/07/2015 12:21AM  
A question for you Claire:

I'm hoping to do a multi-week trip this summer that will probably start and end near Red Lake but will also take me into Atikaki and down the Bloodvein and back. I don't think there will be a definite route or schedule so I won't know how many, or which, nights I'll be spending in WCPP ahead of time. Is there a way we can work around this? Could I leave you with a credit card number and be on the honor system to report when I get back or do something like check in each night via SPOT?

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Alan

 
Que
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03/07/2015 11:22AM  
Allan... no problem.

When you obtain your permit from the park office, simply explain your situation. We are very flexible and reasonable. It is the wilderness after all. It is difficult to keep to a set plan especially on an extended trip as this one will be.

You will be asked to provide your best guestimate, a permit will be issued accordingly, payment may be deferred till after the completion of your trip and then adjusted if need be. If an officer happens to make contact with you in the park and the dates do not quite mesh with what your permit indicates, the officer will be reasonable about this. He/she also has contact with the office if they need to verify the details.

So... no worries. Plan away. Sounds like an awesome trip. Just ask away if you need any further clarification on routes, entry, permit, etc...

 
Alan Gage
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03/07/2015 12:28PM  
Wonderul, thanks Claire. I'll be in touch this summer as dates firm up and plans finalize.

Alan
 
04/27/2015 05:25AM  
Planning on going in Lund. Do you have details on the road going in and where the parking lot is?

Also, has the route including larus lake and Irvine including Larus Creek been visited by your crews since the snow down event.
 
04/28/2015 09:45AM  
I'm guessing you're just getting back and such from Midwest mountaineering... But one more question... If I were to put in at the Chuluni, how far between that access and Lund access. And how far would I have to go before I could camp?
 
Que
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04/28/2015 08:51PM  
Hi
Yes I just got back from Mpls Midwest Mountaineering Show.

Road to Lund in usually in better shape than the Iriam. But we have not yet gone out to check it. There is one crossing near the access that usually requires good bottom clearing (water over the road). There is a parking area at Lund and has been safe leaving vehicle here.
The Larus Creek from Irvine Lk to Larus Lake has not been visited by a crew since the storm. We expect that there are some down trees to clear across the river at its south end for a stretch. The river then soon meanders in open grass wetlands and free of debris for the rest of its journey to Larus.
Entry at the Chukuni River shaves road travel by half. Paddling up the Chukuni will require at least overnight on Crown land before reaching the park boundary east of Olive Lake. Traveling upstream here is not recommended in early summer due to current.
Hope this info helps. We will be checking out the roads soon and will update our roads condition report when we have details.
 
04/28/2015 09:18PM  
Thanks Claire, yes I'm talking August for the Chukuni. Kind of like the Minjim in early June. You could never go west out of north prairie early in the year. I have always wanted to do Olive to Knox lakes and this may work out good. On another loop I wanted to go up larus creek. But I was told the south end was pretty brutal like you said. So we'll likely go south out of Murdock. Hope you had a good time in Minnesota. I heard it was a good show.
 
KerryG
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07/31/2015 10:00AM  
Hi Claire,
We'll be beginning our trip this year starting August 8th, heading west, more or less, from Broken Arrow to Red Lake take out. Can you give me any updates on the condition of the MinJim route between Constellation and North Prairie? Much appreciated.
 
Que
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07/31/2015 01:18PM  
nctry
Encountered a major hick up in our maintenance efforts and we have had to put the Sabourin River and Upper Chukuni River on hold. Not sure that we will be able to get to these this season. Sorry... I thought you should know.
 
Que
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07/31/2015 01:20PM  
Kerry,
Unfortunately, I have not received any reports from paddlers about the MinJim route this year. I did hear that a party had difficulty finding the portage into the creek system West of North Prairie which occurred when conditions were dryer. We have good water levels now.
 
Que
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09/03/2015 09:48PM  
Water is high. Good for navigating small systems such as the Simeon Creek and the Minjim. However, trails are saturated. Expect to get your feet wet.
 
Que
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02/25/2018 11:03AM  
Hey folks,

There was a hint of spring today in Woodland Caribou Prov. Park. While it is true that we all have to be patient until the lake ice goes out (first part of May, latest), this is the perfect time to select a destination and start planning for another great wilderness paddling adventure.

Do not hesitate to request up-to-date planning materials and ask questions as you explore the endless possibilities that Woodland Caribou has to offer. Use this message board, e-mail us at woodland.caribou.mnr@ontario.ca, phone us at (807) 727-1329, or follow us on Facebook. Visit the park's official website at
WCPP

 
03/19/2018 07:34PM  
Claire,
Is there a finalized park map of the approved camp sites in the park? Just curious. Thanks!
 
Que
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03/20/2018 05:39AM  
Thanks for asking. The campsite overview map for 2018 has not been updated yet. The park biologist will be reviewing it in April. It is fair to say that we do not expect many changes from the 2017 map. With a route itinerary, we can assist in providing campsite recommendations.

Winter is lingering so far in the Red Lake region, with tale tell signs of spring. We expect a first week of May breakup in these parts... perhaps even 2nd week. Please visit:
Canoeing.com to view the updates about Spring Break-Up 2018.
 
03/20/2018 05:18PM  
Thanks Claire. I'm looking at potentially a Chukuni river entry all the way into WCPP and travel around the Olive Lake area. Alternatively, the Leano route is an option doing the loop all the way out to Aegean and back.

Is the campsite map online by any chance? I thought I saw a link in a thread somewhere.
 
Que
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03/20/2018 08:26PM  
Yes... you can get more planning documents including the map at this link:
WCPP

If you wish, now that I have your potential route, I can send you a zoomed in section of this map focused on the Upper Chukuni access and the Leano/Aegean loop. Do you you intend on doing a loop from Olive if you go up the Chukuni River? What time of the season? The Chukuni can have some current in the spring, not so much later in the season. You would be traveling upstream.


 
03/23/2018 04:42PM  
Thanks Claire. I'm looking at either late July or mid- to late-August which might mean that the water levels will be too low to travel the Chukuni. I'll have to wait and see. A possible route would be Little Vermillion to Olive, then Olive to Bigshell, Burntwood, Dutch River, Thicketwood and return to Bigshell via the Sabourin and then over to Olive and out. Or if I need to shorten it a bit due to time constraints, I could do Bigshell and explore a bit of the Sabourin river system before retracing the route back to Bigshell and out via Olive.

If you have the capability to zoom in on any of these two options such that the view would include portages and campsites, that would be much appreciated.

The fall back if water levels will be low, would be to do the southern route with a Leano entry.
 
Que
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05/01/2018 07:34AM  
Lingering spring and late break-up this year... to no one's surprise. We guestimate May's late teens for ice-free lakes in the Red Lake area, a few days earlier for the smaller lakes and river systems.

 
05/01/2018 11:30AM  
Thanks for the update!
 
SinglePortage
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05/08/2018 05:43PM  
Are there any entry points that have a safe parking area and are accessible with an average car?
 
05/08/2018 06:20PM  
Here's a short list but Claire is the expert!
Lund
Johnson
Onnie
Leano.

It depends on what you intimate by safe parking. Are you thinking 'vandalism'? Nuisance bears might be your primary concern if you leave food in your vehicle but that's only at certain EPs. Just my two cents.
 
SinglePortage
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05/09/2018 07:46PM  
Thanks HighnDry, I will keep my vehicle clean to avoid bear issues. I am trying to get as much information as I can about the park and then set my course from there. So many great sounding lakes, so little time.
 
Que
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05/09/2018 09:27PM  
SinglePortage... have you contacted the park office yet? I’d be more than happy to provide you details. Woodland.caribou.mnr@ontario.ca
You may also read about road conditions to access roads on our message board on canoeing.com.
 
Que
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05/09/2018 09:32PM  
WCPP Updates
 
SinglePortage
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05/10/2018 01:51PM  
Que: "SinglePortage... have you contacted the park office yet? I’d be more than happy to provide you details. Woodland.caribou.mnr@ontario.ca
You may also read about road conditions to access roads on our message board on canoeing.com. "

Claire: I will give the park office a call then. I am in the early planning stages at this point and I did not want to fall in love with a route only to find out later that my chosen access point is too rough for me to travel with the vehicle I will be using. Using an outfitter for transportation by land, water or air is not out of the question, I just want to know my options.

Thanks,

Jeff
 
Que
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05/12/2018 10:59AM  
Awesome Jeff. Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
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