Black Lake Route

CanadaOntarioSouth Central
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
21 km
2 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
6737 m
Longest Portage: 
1463 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Hwy 35 north on Minden, Shoe Lake access road (municipal parking)
West through Shoe Lake
P 1097 m to Blue Chalk Lake
Southwest through Blue Chalk Lake
P 46 m to Red Chalk Lake
Southwest through Red Chalk Lake
P 457 m to Carcass Lake
South through Carcass Lake
P 823 m to Upper Pairo Lake
P 137 m to Lower Pairo Lake
P 1463 m to Black Lake
East through Black Lake
P 914 m L around falls / rapids
P 337 m R around falls
P 228 m L around falls to Wren Lake
East through Wren Lake and Little Wren Lake
P 46 m around dam to Raven Lake
North then northwest through Raven Lake to Five Mile Bay
P 1189 m to retrieve vehicle at Shoe Lake

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Frost Centre Adventure Map by Chrismar Mapping Services


Post date: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 08:30


Just fisnished this loop on April 11 2012. Put the canoe in at 11am and was loaded back on the truck at 8:30 with an hour lunch.

I am really thinking that this route is more then 21km. Did a 20km the weekend before and never felt this worn out. Two days later and I am still hurting. I could be too, that there are a lot of long portages on this route. Some of them unmaintained so you end up wasting energy climbing around downed trees and through brush etc.

The first portage to this trip is hidden at the bottom of a swampy bay and would be very hard to spot and access when the vegetation in grown in.

The signage for the portages were ok. Could use a little improvement. The ATV trails can make this route a bit confusing at times, but if you keep your eye open there usually was a sign not too far away.

The portage for Black River was very confusing. The portage sign was missing. However, you'll see the take out to the left of the bridge. From there make your way to the gravel road and turn east away from the bridge and soon you'll see a portage sign baried in the woods. From there you have to follow the road for quite some time. When you come to the Y in the road keep to the left then watch for the portage signs.

The first third of the trip was a little boring, campsites were not the greatest and the scenery a little drab.

The middle third was much nicer and scenic with water falls, rivers and not too many cottages.

The end of the trip was cottage country with large open lakes. This can be a little tough if the wind picks up.

Also note: When you first turn off of hiway 35 onto Shoe Lake Rd. look to the east and you'll see a parking lot. This is your final portage and is located on 5 Mile Bay. The road to the Shoe Lake Access point is your final portage and you'll take this road back to your vehicle. On your return I would suggest that you leave your canoe and gear at the parking lot. Then walk back to your car and return for your gear. Make sure to bring your keys.

I wouldn't rank this trip the greatest. If you're into a challenge, then perhaps. I would suggest leaving it until you've run out of canoe trips to try. I had to use my GPS more then I ever had on any other trip. They may have a map at the Frost Centre, but I have all there maps and none that I had showed this route. I would also suggest leaving at an early hour. We left at 11 and were coming back with the sun going down.

Jon Hill

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


Attempted the Black Lake Loop on the July 1st long weekend. More portaging than canoeing. Very POORLY marked trails. Had to turn around after Pairo lake and retrace steps as the portage to Black Lake could not be located. Camping on Raven Lake was beautiful.

Post date: Sun, 09/14/2008 - 22:09


Did this trip in the opposite direction (counter clockwise). It travels through scenic and more remote parts of the Haliburton Higlands. The portage trails from Raven Lake to Black lake are well maintained, and easily identifiable.
We were using Kevin Callan's description in Cottage Country Canoe Routes. It mentions following a trail on the North Shore of Black Lake. Kevin's portage trail does not exist. There is an ATV trail here that leads to a clearing. We took an ATV trail that turns right in the clearing and goes uphill. In hindsight, we believe we should have paddled down the Black River to the clearing, the taken a left at the junction in the clearing followed by a right at the next junction and followed the road to Pairo Lakes. (This road is not on the topo so check out google earth.) So, after an hour and a half of wandering on ATV trails we returned to our canoe, dejected and retraced our steps to Raven Lake.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


Can be done in a day if you are fit and a good paddler/portager.