Abitibi River

CanadaOntarioJames Bay south
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Brad Ellis
Trip Date : 
Sat, Aug 07, 2010
Route Author: 
Brad Ellis
Additional Route Information
185 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
700 m
Longest Portage: 
500 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

We started below the hydro dam at Fraserdale about an hour north of Smooth Rock Falls which is about an hour west of Cochrane.
At Otter Rapids we jumped on the train and took it north about 50k to Onakawana River crossing. Rejoined the Abitibi and paddled north to where the Abitibi joins the Moose. Continue north to Tidewater Prov Park. Return on Polar Bear Express to Fraserdale.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Our group of 14 paddled the Abitibi from Aug 7-13th 2010.
Its a long drive from Barrie to Fraserdale! Approx 9 hours of driving. After unloading below the dam (cross dam and turn immediately left. Follow down to river) we shuttled one vehicle back to the train "station" at Fraserdale before departing.
Paddled to New Post Creek. Split up into two groups and made camp. Camp high well above high water marks. Next morning we paddled up New Post creek and explored the falls. We swam across at the top and explored down the other side. There is a trail on both sides. Today (sun) we paddled to Otter Rapids Generating station. Slept overnight here at top of hill (river left) in amongst the mountain of wood they have piled there. Next am caught train to Onakawana River crossing knocking off approx 50k of river travel. This is to avoid the "treacherous" rapids below Otter rapids gen station. No one I could contact had done that section so we bypassed it like everyone else does. That night we camped on the south point of medicine island. Not a bad site. Next day we couldn't find anyplaces to stop so paddled right to Allen rapids. We took the far left chute and with water levels so low managed it easily. only a few standing waves and ledges. It was late and we had travelled about 40 k so we squatted on the grounds of the hunting cabin located here on river left where the Abitibi meets the Moose river. Thank you who ever owns that spot. Next day we had planned to do half of the remainng distance and camp on Hancock Island but there was no sites to be found so we just kept paddling to Tidewater. The large rapid: Kwetibihogan were actually way smaller than 2 summers ago when we had run the Missinaibi. Easy, down the middle this time. This and Allen rapids are the only whitewater on the trip.
First portage was from Otter rapids take out, river left, to train tracks to catch train (500m) second portage was from tracks down to Onakawana river about 300m. Once in Moosenee some took a shuttle boat into James bay to see it and have a swim. Many of us did this when we were here 2 summers ago for the Missinaibi. Saw 2 large seals hauled up on a beach at Tidewater on the Thursday. Took the train on Thursday afternoon back to Fraserdale. Loaded vehicles and drove to Smooth Rock falls and slept in Moose Motel on Friday night. Drove home Friday. Any more info can be obtained by emailing me at bradfordellis@gmail.com

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
I used Softmap software for this trip and GPS software as well.<br />
Special Comments: 

Water levels fluctuated significantly due to hydro dams. Camp high and tie your boats. Our first morning we found our boats all floating and some tied to logs 2 feet underwater. Campsites, or should I say places to camp, are few and far between.
DON'T miss New Post Falls, AMAZING!! (You have to paddle up New Post Creek about 1k to find the gorge. Explore both sides, well worth it!!