View topic - Lake Nogonosh Trip Report

It is currently February 17th, 2019, 9:03 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: July 2nd, 2010, 10:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
Posts: 548
Location: Burlington On.
My 2nd trip into Nogonosh just confirmed what I felt the first time last Sept.-this is one of the great little gems in "off piste" canoeing, not just because it's free, or the fact we saw no one else there in 5 of 6 days- one fella on the way out; but because it's as pristine as you can get within a short drive in Ontario.

I almost feel guilty to tell anyone about this - I know it'd piss off the regs-but I don't see huge throngs of paddlers out there, and a few more will help keep it on the map. This area was getting some attention a few years back and there were a couple dozen people or more coming out last labour day as I was going in-man did I time that right 8)
It was exceptionally clean almost everywhere.

It's easy to paddle in from Ess Narrows off Hwy #522 and do the 3 easy portages on Smoky Creek ( total under 500 yds. ). You can stay on Smokey Lake which is quite beautiful or continue. The total distance into Noganosh at the main intersection of a number of arms and bays that give you all sorts of options to explore is approx. 16 kms.
Travel time was about 5 hrs to get to a great site at the bottom of Smoky which was a mere 400 m from the narrows into Nogonosh. Oh and for 2 of us we have 2 barrels and two huge canoe packs plus daypacks and the boat so we aren't exactly breezing through.

It took me a while to notice and realize what it meant that the shoreline was overgrown with healthy mature trees growing out of the rockscape right to the very edge of the water, -this area hasn't been cut for a very long time if at all in parts. you see huge cedars and pines.

You have to hunt for campsites and there are long stretches where none exist.But they're usually good sites when you find one.
A thing I like about unregulated parks is how useful creations people make like shelves and tables are not dismantled and these at my age are back saving luxuries that save me a fortune in therapy bills. Almost every site has some. At one we had a fairly new picnic table to hang our tarp over and those rainy days weren't nearly as unpleasant. All sites had grills and well built firepits. most had toilets.

In all cases you had to walk about 10 to 20 feet to get firewood !
I found wonderful sites so underused there were plants growing in the ashes.. the scenery is excellent with lots of georgian bay type rock in places, and about 75% of the shoreline is perfect Bass / Pike territory- not sure there's many left in there but caught a few smallish bass and some good size pike.

There are long narrow arms on Nogonosh which can funnel the wind but you can use shoreline features to get breaks.It was an asset heading into Sandy Bay. There are big bays and islands to explore and only about 4 cottages or camps in the whole area. A large tourist camp on Smokey Lake is now out of business indefinitely-which was nice as last trip there were many flights to the island lodge and lots of bustle around there. This time it was a ghost of a camp.

There were huge herons cruising the lily beds and more loons than I usually see- groups of 5 already.

I used a Katadyn Base Camp water bag for all filtering-best $65 I ever spent, no pumping at all and for 6 days that would have been a lot of pumping-especially for two.

After two trips here each 6 days long I have only covered a fraction of all the places you could explore that connect to this.

We base camped in Sandy Bay at the edge of Last Lake this time and explored down into Mud Lake - which isn't. There were lots of nice features to the shorelines; narrow channels, cliffs, bays and islands , big rocks too where's my dutch girl ? it's quite full of character. I see a lot of great white pines and all sorts of other fauna you don't see other places. I have a genuine interest in plants and it amazes me how I find different varieties of wild perennials in each different area I explore on canoe trips. Each area has things I've never seen before and don't see in other areas.

Also spent a night in a beautiful bay on a rocky point with diving rocks on 2 sides and a wonderful site in the pines that was literally carpeted with pine needles and no undergrowth - it was so wonderfully clean everywhere !

Ok the cat's outta the bag- don't tell anyone else - ok ?

some pics here;
http://picasaweb.google.ca/100644288953 ... directlink

hope that works it's new to me

and more here;
http://picasaweb.google.ca/100644288953 ... vUysiwqAE#


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 7th, 2010, 9:49 am 
Offline

Joined: April 24th, 2007, 9:32 pm
Posts: 40
I totally agree with you. Been there twice now and its one of my favorites considering the ease of getting there vs. the beauty of the place. We alsways camp on that last site on Somky near the narrows.
We are big fisherman and do quite well for bass, fish the narrow in the evening and you should boat a good 20 bass! There are some big ones every trip has produced at least a couple around 4lbs.

Always a little tight on time we have yet to explore most of the chain of lakes.

It must be really quiet now with fly-in camp done. Is the houseboat still at the portage? What about the large beaver dam?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 7th, 2010, 10:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 5th, 2003, 2:50 pm
Posts: 756
Location: Toronto
Hi, I was Jonnys partner on the trip and also a bit quiet on what a great place the area is since I rather enjoyed the seclusion and dont want the competition for the sites.

The biodiversity in that area is unique.Very strong fish populations, very healthy trees and variety, Birch, Pine, Maple. Clean clean water and oxygen rich judging by the moss growing on a snapping turtle visitor we had.

I find that canoeing in Ontario can vary dramatically from one region to another or sometimes from one lake to another. Each place has its own set of characteristics. Noganosh seems to combine all that is best about paddling in Ontario. It is in that rare "Goldilocks" strata, not too big not too small, just right.

The narrowness of the passages allows for solo and tandem paddlers to rarely encounter headwinds and Id be surprised to hear of someone getting windbound there .

I have also avoided paddling in areas that have cottages or motorboats and fishermen, and while this area has that I have now learned to ignore it ...we really only did see one person in 6 days !

Oh and yes to the previous post the houseboat is still there and its portage caretaker Glen and his beautiful boarder collie are there to greet every paddler coming through.

And yes the beaver dam is still pretty HUGE.

But really , you wont like it , dont go .


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 7th, 2010, 10:40 am 
Offline

Joined: April 24th, 2007, 9:32 pm
Posts: 40
Yeah agreed don't go, :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 12th, 2010, 10:11 am 
Offline

Joined: June 16th, 2010, 2:33 pm
Posts: 7
I was there Jul 1-4 and found there too be quite a few people. It is a popular weekend but I was expecting a lot less traffic. There were a lot of motorboats (albeit small ones), which was rather disappointing. The area is stunning as stated above. There were a lot of campsites, but most of them were of smaller size.

The fishing was good, we caught some bass. This was the first time in the area for me and I'm not sure if I would return due to the excessive number of motor boats, cottages and hunting cabins. We canoed all around the area as far as Lost and Mud Lakes.

The beaver dam was quite large, but we still pulled our canoes over it on our way back. And it was lot faster than unloading and doing the portage. All 75 metres of it!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 12th, 2010, 12:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 5th, 2003, 2:50 pm
Posts: 756
Location: Toronto
Too bad it was busy...but if anyone goes during the week you wont find many people. The local fishing lodge is out of business so it really quiet on Smoky lake these days.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 12th, 2010, 12:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 7513
Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
Quote:
The local fishing lodge is out of business ...

I guess that means no more airplane landings and take-offs. :thumbup:

_________________
“What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?” - Thoreau


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 14th, 2010, 11:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
Posts: 548
Location: Burlington On.
I went in there last Labour Day for my first time to see what it was like. I was amazed at the number of people coming out as |I worked my way in - probably a total of 30 people in all sorts of watercraft from old junker canoes to inflatable multi colored ones and one couple paddling up the creek on what appeared to be an inflatable airbed with a high back and oars in little rubber holders.
So I expected to find a crowd of rowdies but they'd all left and I made a note to self- don't come here on peak weekends- for all the traffic it seems to stay remarkably clean.

I had 6 days of amazing weather and only saw 2 other canoes so picking the right time is critical.It is somewhat well known.

Regards numbers of people wherever you go it stands to reason that if you pick up some sort of publicity about a locale so will a lot of other people. My plan now is to go to places off the beaten path by searching them out on Google earth. This Noganosh area has all sorts of remote lakes surrounding it - they may be hard to get to but that could make them all the more worthwhile.

The last night of that fall trip was highlighted by wolves howling rather loudly and not that far away at 3 am. With pups yelping and adults baying it took some serious self affirmation that it was ok to get out of the tent- since of course I had to pee!
30 years of paddling and that was the first time I'd heard that-quite a rush. Someone later told me they could have been celebrating a kill. There's an old trappers cabin deep in the woods there that was covered in leg hold traps of all shapes and sizes- it had a sense of history and and mystery about it reminding me of Jack London novels. This year the traps were gone-I hope for good .


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 15th, 2010, 8:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: March 7th, 2005, 3:00 am
Posts: 561
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
FYI-- Smokey Lake Lodge is just shut down for this season, it'll be open again in 2011.

The fishing can be hit or miss until you figure them out, because it's an impoundment reservoir most of the bass don't behave like usual shoreline bass. Fish shoals and suspended fish in open water, whenever you're paddling somewhere always have a diving minnow bait in the water. You'd be surprised where you pick up your biggest fish on those lakes...that's all I'm sayin'.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 18th, 2010, 8:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5437
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I'm looking at doing Noganosh early Sept. We will have 3 or 4 tents. Some of the comments I have read here on CCR have suggested that many of the sites are quite small. Do you think that will be much of an issue?

CL: Where are you getting your info that the lodge is just closed for this year?

Thx

_________________

Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 18th, 2010, 8:29 am 
Offline
CCR Assistant Administrator
User avatar

Joined: January 20th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 12084
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Quote:
Our fly-in camps will be closed this year, for a one year break only, call to inquire about booking for 2011!


http://www.tornadosresorts.com/wEnglish ... events.asp

_________________
I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard....what more do you want?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 21st, 2010, 7:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
Posts: 548
Location: Burlington On.
to answer Wotti

it's hit and miss with campsite size- no problem if you sleep in Hennessy Hammocks but for tenters some sites would only accomodate two while others will handle many. You can certainly find sites with several tent pads, and I am compiling a list / map of where they are so if you want the inside scoop I'll send you my Google Earth Map if you run that on your pc?

One thing you won't need is a grill-most sites had 3 or 4 by the pit.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2010, 6:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5437
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Jonny wrote:
I am compiling a list / map of where they are so if you want the inside scoop I'll send you my Google Earth Map if you run that on your pc?

One thing you won't need is a grill-most sites had 3 or 4 by the pit.



that's fantastic Jonny. :clap:

I had no idea there were so many broken fridges out there until I started canoe camping! :) :doh:

_________________

Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2010, 1:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
Posts: 548
Location: Burlington On.
Chris you are right about the fishing- I caught 'em when I least expected to like at midday. Have you been in the area recently-I know we talked about it before.
I'm going back next week.

Wotroc, map is coming.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: July 28th, 2010, 8:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 26th, 2010, 2:52 pm
Posts: 13
I hate to break the news, but this place is far from a secret. It has been published in many popular canoe books and is easily found on the net. I've found it to be quite busy before personally and have found the boat traffic to ruin the quiet canoe experience at times. Places like this are hit and miss and there are dozens more like it in the Haliburtan/Algonquin region.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group