Allanwater-Ogoki-Raymond-Pikitigushi Rivers

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Ben Gervais
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
290 km
20 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
11530 m
Longest Portage: 
1340 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Get to Thunder Bay Ontario
Take highway 527 north to Armstrong. Catch Via Rail Train Westbound & get off at Allanwater Bridge.
Paddle Allanwater North via either west or east arm. East arm has various raps / boulder fields which are usually run/line/wadeable.
P20 River Right on left channel below where arms meet again around small falls/large raps.
P300 River L around boulder field
P250 River L or run boulder field.
P320 across island with falls either side
P85 River Right around small falls/large raps.
P310 (? we couldn't find port) or run/line/wade boulder field into Brennan L.
Paddle N then East on Brennan L.
We took N channel into lake above Brennan Falls Only Liftovers were necessary in August '06.
P140 River Right just as heavy current starts before Brennan Falls.
Paddle East, then North on Granite Lake.
P200 River Right around small swifts or run/liftover
P260 around Granite Falls (river right)
P340 River Right Black Beaver Rapids, or Shoot
P100 River Right unnamed Raps or shoot
P200 River Right Little Sturgeon Raps or Shoot
P140 Sturgeon Raps River Right
Paddle Northeast into and across Wabakimi L to River Bay.
Paddle Ogoki R downstream.
P900 River L or run boulder field
Paddle Ogoki through Kenoji L.
Run swifts along way.
P250 in all but lowest water levels river right above Oliver L.
P25 River L around small falls / quick drop
Paddle Ogoki East & N.
P600 or less depending on water and how much you run into Whitewater L.
Paddle East on Whitewater. Stop at Beckwith site if you like.
Continue on Ogoki R out of Whitewater L (NE corner)
P800 River L or run
P200 River R around falls
Paddle & explore Whiteclay.
Start upstream on the Raymond R at SE end of Whiteclay L.
P240 River Right (your left) around long falls.
Paddle Raymond R to Pickett L.
Paddle Raymond R upstream to...
P660 River L (your right) uphill portage for you.
P260 South of Raymond River to Unnamed Lake
Paddle south to end of lake.
P10 River Left (your right) around beaver dam
P20 River Lefr (your right) around beaver dam to unnamed Lake.
Paddle SE to tip of lake and P800 to pond over Height of Land
P700 from Pond to Butland L.
Paddle S on Butland L, take East branch at end.
P1000 River Left to Cliff Lake.
Paddle to South end of cliff L.
P20 around small stream (pikitigushi R)
Paddle across pond and
P600 River Right around small canyon with falls to Bad Medicine L.
Paddle E on lake.
P400 River L to Pikitigushi R.
Paddle short ways on Pikitigushi R to Ratte L.
S on Ratte L / Pikitigushi R to go either up Big R / Linklater to Caribou / Little Caribou. or
S on Pikitigushi R, Gort L.
P80 River R to Wash L or line
P160 to Pikigushi R on River R or line.
Paddle S to Derraugh L, then E
P1340 River R around Gooseneck Raps / boulder field, or Run/Line/Wade (not recommended)
Paddle S on Pikitigushi L / River.
Take out before rapids at bridge. Short hump to the road.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

2006 Wabakimi Trip

Originally trip was to start on 28th of July, to be in the park for the 30th. Due to the

enormous ammount of prep for a trip this length though, we pushed the beginning to the

31st, so we would catch the train on August 2'nd and be in the park then (we needed two days travel from Toronto to Armstrong).

Day -1
Monday July 31 '06
We loaded all the gear into the car and started the trip up from TO. Matt took the first shift driving, and I attempted to sleep a bit (somewhat successful). I realized that we

forgot the snacks and prep stuff for the boat (bungee cords mostly, I had remembered the knee pads and contact cement). We stopped for lunch (forget where), and stopped again in Sault Ste Marie to get bungee cords. No Canadian Tire to be found on our way downtown... and once we found a shopping mall, the hardware section of Sears had none either. We ended up finding them at dollarama in the mall, and we quickly escaped the 'soo' passing Canadian Tire, Home Depot, etc on our way out. Dinner was in Wawa. Camp at Obatanga PP tonight. Show matt how to setup hammocks & to bed.

Day 0
Tuesday August 1st
We wake fairly early, and continue on our way. Breakfast at the A&W in White River. Stop at T-bay for Lunch at a nice italian bistro type place with a patio. Then up the road to Armstrong. Arrive at the Wildwaters, where we meet Bert, Brenda, Mike and Crystal(sp?) an exchange student from France. We Glue the knee pads into our rented Dagger Venture, and

get our gear ready to go. Eat dinner at E&J's in Armstrong. Good food. We're told the train has hit a car leaving Toronto, and will be late (no big deal, I didn't want to get
up at 5 am anyways)

Day 1
Wednesday August 2nd
Bert shuttles us to the train station about noon, where we meet an american family bound for a fishing camp also at Allanwater Bridge. Train finally arrives about 2pm or so. We load our gear and canoe, and off we go. I wander the train a bit, sit in the observation deck, and shortly we arrive at the Allanwater Bridge. The kids from the american family help us by bringing the boat down to the water, and we're off. Matt has a bit of remembering to do when it comes to steering, but it's all good. We choose the South/East arm of the Allanwater where it splits, and make camp on an island in the middle of some small raps. Rain a bit in the evening as we make camp.

Day 2
Thursday August 3rd
Wake fairly early (at least compared with the rest of the trip) and paddle north, shooting all the small raps / boulder fields until the river rejoins from the west (don't see any portages anyhow) P20 over some small falls, and then a P300 as it gets late. There is a campsite at the end of the port (not great), and we make camp there. Leave the canoe at the beginning of the portage to get tomorrow, as sun seems to be setting fast. I call in to let everyone know we're ok and in the park. My spoon breaks, and we repair it with cable ties and twigs.

Day 3
Friday August 4th
Wake early again, take pictures in the mist, and try fishing. Couple bites, but no luck. Takes awhile to get the hang of the 'casting handline'. We get the canoe, and set off, shooting the P250, and then checking out the falls by the island, muck around a bit until we discover the portage in the centre of the island. Do the portage and have lunch. P85, then wade boat through boulder field at P310 (don't remember seeing portage start) It's getting late, but we can't find a site. We find one potential on Brennan, but check out another point before turning back to the original one. Site is better then we originally anticipated. Rain tonight. My toothbrush breaks, and I attempt repair with duct-tape. (why is all my stuff breaking?)

Day 4
Sat August 5th
Lake travel all today. Up and across Brennan, notice a fly in fishing camp, and get buzzed by a SEA-DOO! (this is why they invented guns) not pleased. We continue and find a site to have lunch. Notice old survey marker there. Wind is from the East, making paddling a bit difficult, but coulds are coming from the west (strange). Continue on to rapids before Brennan falls (or at this water level, liftovers) Scare some turkey like honking birds. Storm brewing. We paddle as close to the falls as we dare before the current gets strong, but no sign of a portage. We get out of the boat, and find entrance to portage just a bit further on. Storm starts. Lightning, heavy rains, and Hail! Quarter sized. ouch. We wait it out, then bail the canoe, and portage down to the campsite at the bottom of the falls. (shame you can't actually see the falls from the site, but good site nonetheless)

Day 5
Sun August 6th
We take the day off, as this is a nice spot, and the weather is still horrible. Slept badly as high winds and thunder kept us up. Seems that every 20 minutes the sun comes out, and then 20 mins later rain starts again. Winds rip grommets out of our tarp, I have to repair them twice before giving up on having a tarp up. Matt reads, I take pictures, do laundry, and fish. End up catching a pike after losing several lures. We wrestle it to shore, and I do a horrible job filleting it, but even after my butchering, still enough for a light dinner, so dinner we have (yum). Wake in the middle of the night, not feeling good. Throw up out of hammock, get up, wash some stuff, and back to sleep.

Day 6
Mon August 7th
Feel like hammmered sh*t. Wind is against us (from the north) up granite lake, Stop at granite falls to have lunch. Liftover and paddle at top raps before falls saves time on portage. We get to camp not having made very much distance. I call Andrea (my wife), and it helps to make me feel better, even though my appetite is still not back. Very depressed tonight, but very nice sunset. Rain tonight again.

Day 7
Tues August 8th
Make better time today. Feel better too. We get to black beaver rapids, portage the packs, then shoot it with the empty boat. big standing waves, but alot of fun. Shoot unnamed swift after that, and little sturgeon raps (p200 otherwise). Portage the beginning of Sturgeon Rapids, lunch, then shoot the end. Paddle to Wabakimi as rain starts. Good news is that virtually no wind. So we decide to cross to small Island, and then to river bay from there. Lots of Seaguls on island. Find a campsite in the bay, and rain starts again as we finish setting up camp. Matthew gets sick at supper time. Looks like same thing I got two days ago.

Day 8
Wed August 9th
Off day, Matt doesn't feel well, so we take the day. Boring site for it though, not much to do. I take pictures and nap. More rain again. Visited in PM by friendly fly-in-fisherman and wife.

Day 9
Thurs August 10th
Make a late start, but get moving today. Shoot boulder field on Ogoki rather than P900. And keep shooting to Kenoji. Make camp at better (for hammocks anyways) of two sites. Kenoji has had a burn and looks a bit desolate, but nice nonetheless. Have trouble with food-pack hanging ropes, almost get one stuck in a birch. use old tree to 'rescue' the rope. No rain today! But we are badly behind. We decide to paddle down Ogoki to Whitewater L instead of up Pallisades to Dawn L, then down Dawn creek and Arril/Grayson L. to save time. I call in, and we try recharging sat phone (it muct have turned on in the pack at some point, because one of the batteries is drained) Very bright moon tonight that we almost think is a forest fire as it rises.

Day 10
Fri August 11th
A bit of trouble finding mouth of the Ogoki, but we proceed, and shoot boulder fields along the way. See the beginning of P250, but don't need to bother, as easy to shoot. Find out later that in any other water level this set of raps has eaten lots of boats. but it was fine for us. Lunch on Oliver lake, then P25 around small falls/big rap. See people with dog camped where Berg R joins. Would like to camp as well, but no good places to do so. Continue to portage to Whitewater L. We take out at first opportunity, and end up portaging about 600m. Could probably have shot a lot of the smaller stuff and ended up only portageing 200 or so. Paddle to site, and make camp, There is a large, partially uprooted jackpine at 45 degrees over part of the site, and we argue about how safe it is. I end up moving my hammock. Food gets hung a bit of a hike away. Not a great site.

Day 11
Sat August 12th
Paddle Whitewater lake today. a bit windy, but ok overall. Wind from the south. We paddle across behind islands for wind shelter. Lunch, and then a last push to a large site with two cut stumps that make good chairs. See another paddling party camped across channel. Do laundry, As I'm setting up food ropes get buzzed by low flying bald eagle. Clouds roll in and rain starts overnight. Garlic pasta for supper, and we sample Matt's Scotch.

Day 12
Sun August 13th
Rain this morning and fog. Start late as rain lets up, lake is glassy and calm, but lots of mist and overcast makes it surreal and quiet. Paddling is easy, but sense of direction is no good without sun to navigate by, need to confirm postion often. We get to Beckwith Cabins as sun begins to come out. Explore, take pictures, and have lunch at picnic tables. Decide to cross to east side of lake tomorrow. Paddle to east side of Best island, and camp on island just to the east. No site here, but looks like nice sand beach, sheltered, and point where we'll start our crossing of lake is right beside us. Wind picks up overnight, from the north, and our sheltere site is now not sheltered. Sleep badly due to high winds blowing right into my hammock.

Day 13
Mon August 14th
Winds get worse from night, and we're now windbound with 2-3 foot whitecaps with wind from the north. I spend the morning taking pictures with rain off and on. Matt sleeps and reads. Just around the point there is a sheltered bay, and we do our meals there. Debate whether to move camp there, but if wind changes, it will be just as bad as current site, so we re-locate my hammock, and stay at original site. Make bread today. Put in barrel to cool and use for breakfast tomorrow. Call home, things not going so well there. Relocated hammock doesn't help much and I sleep badly again.

Day 14
Tues August 15th
My birthday today. Wind lets up enough for us to make an afternoon start. Eggs benedict with fresh bread for breakfast (yum). Make a sail with the tarp, and sail to east side of Whitewater lake. Then paddle bays looking for campsites, but none to be spotted. Continue until inside outlet of Ogoki River before we decide to improvise a site again, but just as we start setting up, I discover a beach and good site just around the next bend. We move, and enjoy site although it has lots of bugs. Stars out tonight, with shooting stars as well. More Scotch. Good night.

Day 15
Wed August 16th
Beautiful morning, charge sat phone, Matt does laundry, I shave (we have decided that me doing laundry means rain comes) We set out down Ogoki. Pass another nice site (with picnic table) and get to P800 where we meet 7 girls from a canoe camp. They are on week 5 of 6, going from Pickle Lake to Collins (I assume via Albany/Attwood/Witchwood/Ogoki/Smoothrock) Ask them about the lunch they're having on the portage trail, to which tye respond that its the same every day (ugh!). They wrapped one of their boats earlier in the trip, but salvaged it minus decks and thwarts. We scout rapids and decide to run difficult c2 on river left mostly. We take some water, but fair well. Portage around big falls (p200) and have lunch on rocks at end of falls. Paddle to Whiteclay, and decide we'll try to go up the Montcrief R for a day to explore and visit confluence of 89 deg lon, 51 deg lat. We improvise camp on Whiteclay after not finding a site for a bit. Excellent progress today.

Day 16
Thurs August 17th
Paddle up beginning of Montcrief R, liftover, and then 750m small raps to ascend. No portage, so we start, with me taking my pack and boat, and Matt on his own. I do well and get about 3/4 of the way, Matt not as sure on his feet and only makes it just past half way. Gets frustrated, and we argue. Turn back, but the dishes/cookware and fire grill have come off his pack and are now lost in the raps somewhere. We spend next few hours exhaustively searching raps until they are found. Exhausted, we make luch (probably around 8 or 9 pm) We paddle back to promisiong looking potential site, and discover it has been used before. I have to paddle across water to get rocks for a fire pit, as storm rolls in. Call in, and then we decide to skip dinner and have big breakfast. Bugs are worst of trip here (partial swamp) we sleep well.

Day 17
Fri August 18th
Paddle Whiteclay, we meet another nice & curious american fly-in fisherman. We see young caribou on sand peninsula. We paddle down until almost entrance of Raymond R. Improvise site (nice area). No good place to hang food barrel, so we take a chance and tie it to tree a ways down the shore.

Day 18
Sat August 19th
Food wasn't touched. Slept well. We paddle up Raymond R, portage is mucky. Get to Pickett Lake, but no good sites. Stop at Fly in camp to inquire about sites in area, but empty. We decide to continue, and we find horrible, but used, site with no fire pit at edge of river in the least swampy of the swampy shore. Fish, but only catch 2 too small to eat pike. Northern lights tonight. Beautiful.

Day 19
Sun August 20th
Paddle up Raymond, and decide to try P660 as 'one'er' (single portage) I take dishes and fire grill, and all remaining food from Matt. Doesn't work out so well. 200m in we resume double portaging. Lunch at end of portage, then P260 after pumping water. Paddle unnamed lake, and two short portages to next lake. Beautiful campsite on lake, and lots of good firewood.

Day 20
Mon August 21st
Paddle unnamed lake, see mosse near take-out to P800, then P700. This height of land port is a bit swampy, and has lots of pitcher plants. pretty in its own way though. Rain at end of P700, and we eat lunch. Paddle Butland L, and rain threatens for 1k port. Weather holds, and we complete 1k. Paddle into Cliff lake, and set up camp on beautiful raised site across from rock face. No good places to hang pack, so hang off side of cliff (good as trees) Call home. Hear some bad news (friends dad died), and some good news (lots of work lined up for me when I get home). Cold night

Day 21
Tues August 22nd
Off day. Shave, bathe, do laundry, make bread. Paddle lake and see pictographs. Matt reads in afternood as I fish and climb cliffs. Beautiful day, beautiful lake. Very cold night, wear clothes to bed.

Day 22
Wed August 23rd
Paddle and portage south. P20 as a 'one'er' (the only one of the trip) and then P600 along narrow canyon that has falls which would be good to explore if you had the time and a good camera. Paddle through Bad Medicine lake, and P400 to Ratte L. We paddle up the 'Big River' (which is not so big right now), and after 2k of getting out and in the boat, dragging and wading in shallows wonder if Linklater creek will be worse. Call Bert at outfitters, and decide to change route to take out on Pikitigushi R (either via road or train depending on how we feel.) Camp on improvised site on Gort, that could be made a good site with some work. Warmer night than last couple, but not by much.

Day 23
Thurs August 24th
There are some portages today, but we can't find them. We line P80, explore broken down plane. Line P160. Lunch on site at Derraugh L. Nice site but some garbage. (no longer in the park, which might explain some of it.) We can't find entrance to P1340 at gooseneck raps. Have shot half of them fefore we're 100% sure we completely missed port. Shoot, line, and wade boat rest of way to Pikigushi L. Improvise site at road access to Pikigushi Lake. We decide to take out at road, as there doesn't look to be very much interesting stuff further down from there. Call in and let everyone know.

Day 24
Fri August 25th
Off day. Matt reads, finishes book. I hike shore of lake for a km or 2. See very old cedar trees 'old man' and hike up road where I see blue bug and not much else. Fish in PM, a bite or 2 but no luck. early dinner, Scotch, and discussion of trip. a bit of rain tonight.

Day 25
Sat August 26th
Paddle to out, Pickup scheduled at 3pm, but we're there by noon. Call in to let them know. Bear hunt camp here. They've got a small villiage set up, with canvas tents, generators, satellite tv, showers, etc. Two dead bears in back of pickup. one over 400 lbs. We wait, and Bert arrives around 2 pm. We return to outfitters, Ribs and Chicken at E&J's in Armstrong. Good.

Day 25 +1
Sun August 27th
On the road by 9am. Lunch in Nipigon - burgers and milkshakes. Arrive in the Sault, and hunt around downtown for open nice restaruant. Forget it. Only good restaruant is attached to another hotel, but it is reasonably priced, with huge portions. Wine and dinner both good. Stay the night at Holiday Inn, get un-broken 'complimentary' toothbrush from front desk (so cheap bristles are falling out, but better than my multiple-repaired brush)

Day 25 +2
Mon August 28th
Good breakfast at hotel restaruant, then on the road. Lunch in French River, burger again (yummy). Back in Toronto for 5pm. Sort gear and Matt goes home. Andrea arrives home. Missed her. Good Trip.

Ben Gervais
Matthew Biggar

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
52-J/01 Seseganga Lake 52-J/08 Wilkie Lake 52-I/05 Onamakawash Lake 52-I/12 Wabakimi Lake 52-I/11 Goldborough Lake 52-I/14 Grayson Lake 52-I/15 Whiteclay Lake 52-I/10 Linklater Lake 52-I/07 Pikitigushi Lake
Topo Maps (1:250,000): 
52-I Armstrong 52-J Sioux Lookout Other Maps I found the 52-I Armstrong and 52-J Sioux Lookout sections from \"the Canoe Atlas of the Little North\" helpful for portage information. You may also find that paying for custom maps from an outfitter is helpful, as they have fishing info, and are very up-to-date. The \'section\' sheets from Armstrong Resources Development were somewhat helpful, but are very old and out-dated.
Special Comments: 

Great trip, a bit of everything, big and small rivers, shield rock, cliffs, lowlands, beaches, rapids, big and small lakes, and lots of boreal forest. A good 'overview' of the park.

We ran or lined/waded the boats wherever I have indicated in the description/log that it is possible. Most of the time this involved exeensive scouting, and we had extremely low water levels. Your mileage may vary! Always scout rapids first.

I have listed 20 days, but this is an estimation based on days travelling, we actually took 25 days.