Carlyle - Killarney - Three Narrows - O.S.A. Loop

CanadaOntarioGeorgian Bay coast
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Steven Mou
Trip Date : 
June 11, 2018 to June 16, 2018
Additional Route Information
55 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
13500 m
Longest Portage: 
3160 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Since the originally planned trip did not happen, three of us decided to do a six day trip at Killarney.  In order to make the trip a bit challenging, we picked the route Carlyle – Killarney – Three Narrows – Muriel – O.S.A. – Norway – Carlyle.  The paddle distance was not that crazy but there were 12, totalling 13.5km portages that included the longest portage in Killarney 3160m.  Besides it was the bug season.  To make things worse, both Tyler and Ri Ni decided to bring their dogs - Ace, Wiley and Jones, and all of them would stay in the same canoe.  Due to the length of the portages, we decided to finish each portage with a single trip.  So we planned carefully for our gears, what to pack and how to pack.


On June 10th, 2018 three people and three dogs set off.  That very night, we stayed at a crown land 15 minutes north of Killarney.


Day 1 (Monday, June 11th)

After getting the park permit and canoe rental (I needed an ultra-light canoe for this trip), we launched at Carlyle access point around 12:00pm.  The weather was nice, sunny 20 degrees.  It was about 2km paddle on Carlyle Lake before we reached our first portage – 940m that led to Kakakise Lake.  Then there was another 5km paddle and we arrived at our 2nd portage – 1440m to Killarney Lake.  It was 3:00pm.  The beginning  of the portage overlaps with Silhouette Trail and is only 60 minutes hike  to the Crack.  So we left our canoes and gears at the portage and took a side trip (which was part of the plan).  Originally we planned to finish the hiking by 5:00pm but when we moved our gears, we took the wrong way and wasted some time.  As a result, we didn’t start the hiking until 5:00pm.  When we came back from the Crack, it was 7:00pm already.  It took us another hour to finish the portage.  When we reached our camp site, it was almost 9:00pm and the sky was getting dark.  The first night, we stayed at site #21 on Killarney Lake, which was a very good site.


Day 2 (Tuesday, June 12th)

We got up late in the morning and took our time having breakfast.  By the time we packed ourselves and ready to leave, it was almost 12 o’clock.  Nice weather again, little wind.   Today, we were going to do the 3160m portage, and our gears were still heavy (because we haven’t consumed too much food yet).  After 2km of paddle, we arrived at the monstrous portage.  The first part of the portage was relatively easy.  Despite the climbing, the trail was very well maintained.  We took our first break at about 1.5km point.  The second half of the portage was a lot harder and rocky.   And the map was somewhat confusing too and we were almost lost.  We found our way with the campus and it took us about one and a half hours to complete the portage.  What a relief!  After a short paddle, there was another 395m portage that took us to Three Narrows Lake.  We had our lunch there and started the two hour paddle.  When we arrived at our camp site, it was 5:00pm.  The camp site was #50 on Doris Island, a very nice one.


Day 3 (Wednesday, June 13th)

We got up early and finished everything by 10:00am.  Then the weather changed and a thunderstorm approached.  We decided to stay put and waited for the thunderstorm to pass.  It was not until almost 11:00am before things seemed calming down and we decided to leave.  It was windy because we were now travelling south.  Day 3’s journey was just the opposite of Day 2’s.  We did a 2 and a half hours paddle against the wind first, had lunch, then it started to rain again.  We did a 1320m and 700m portage to Artist Lake, 1.5km paddle followed by another two short portages and we arrived at the destination of the 3rd night – Muriel Lake by 4:30pm.  There are only two camp sites on the lake.  We picked camp site #34.  It was windy and cold but the campfire helped us with some warmth.


Day 4 (Thursday, June 14th)

Knowing this was going to be an easy day, we all stayed late in the morning and took our time.  By the time we left, it was almost 12 o’clock.  There was only one 600m portage (so short!) and one hour of paddle before we hit O.S.A, a beautiful lake with four camp sites, three on the islands.  We took camp site #29 (pretty lucky, I think it may be the best camp site in Killarney).  When we arrived there, it was 2pm.  So we had plenty of time swimming, relaxing, taking a nap and enjoying the sunshine.  The weather was nice and warm, quite different from the day before.  It was a good refreshing of our energy from all the portages we had in the last few days.


Day 5 (Friday, June 15th)

We left the site at 11:30am.  We wanted to stay longer but a family of four was already waiting.  There was a short portage followed by a two hour paddle on Killarney Lake.  Then there was a 1390m portage to Norway Lake where we were going to stay for the night.  Since there was a swamp beside the portage and it seemed the swamp was passable, we decided to paddle through the swamp to avoid most of the portage.  But it turned out we may be better off if we did the portage.  The water was very shallow and the more we paddle inside the harder it became.  In the end, we just had to wade through the water and drag the canoes.  But it was a good experience.   At least the dogs were happy.  For the fifth night, we stayed at camp site #12.


Day 6 (Saturday, June 16th)

Two portages:  1470m to Kakakise Lake and 940m back to Carlyle Lake.   Because most of our food were gone, those portages became really easy for us.   We just went through each portage in one shot without breaks.  In between, Tyler did a couple for cliff jumping (I think it was at least 30 feet high).  Ace (a German Sheppard) was really worried.  He jumped into the water from the canoe and climbed ashore and followed all the way up to the cliff.  And he was disappointed because when he was up there, Tyler was already down in the water.  He could only keep barking.  Good dog, so loyal.  By the time we came back to Carlyle access point, it was 4:00pm.


Overall, the trip was hard at the beginning and quite enjoyable during the 2nd half.  The moskitos were bad throughout the trip though.  I had my bug net and jacket on for most of the time but still got bit a lot.  The poor dogs they had no protection on their nose and eyes.  Tyler and Ri Ni finally put some bug spray on them which may have helped.  Anyway, this was a good trip.  Everything worked out well and we all enjoyed it.