Clover Lake

CanadaOntarioAlgonquin
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
PedlPadl
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
35 km
Duration: 
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Yes
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
15
Total Portage Distance: 
9965 m
Longest Portage: 
4305 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Novice
Lake Travel: 
Novice
Portaging: 
Difficult
Remoteness: 
Intermediate
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

This loop trip can be done in either direction. It can also be extended to other routes around Achray. The route is shown on the park map but there are some unmarked things to watch out for. It is a low maintenance route and a couple of portages were in very bad shape when I did them in October of 2005. The water was exceptionally low that fall and I had some difficulty getting to some of the take-outs but I did make it through all of the paddling sections, just barely in some places. Overall a very nice route with some difficult portaging.

Access point is Sand Lake gate, put-in is at Achray.

Cross east end of Grand L.

Instead of turning left toward Straton L and the Barron River, continue southeast all the way up Carcajou Bay.

P 90m, 190m and 320m; portages are quite easy.

Paddle almost 2000m up McDonald Cr. It was a bit confusing trying to find the channel through the bog in the middle but I think it followed the pink route line on the map more or less.

P 2010m to Turcotte L. This portage begins with a “boardwalk” which was made from small logs but is now badly decayed, falling apart and full of protruding rusty nails—quite nasty. The rest of it is not bad.

P 130m to Guthrie L.

P 120m, short paddle, P 660m to Clover L.

Clover is a very scenic lake. The first campsite is on a promontory on the west shore opposite a small island. It is one of the nicest sites I have seen anywhere with a splendid view of the lake. I once read a blog claiming that you can jump off the rock face into the lake but I did not explore the water depth to make sure.

P 440m out of Clover L to Pogonia L.

P 1215m. There used to be 585m then 230m portages to Grass-pink L but those have been replaced by a single 1215m. At one point it comes out at a large bog that is mostly filled in with vegetation; there must have been a paddleable channel at one time. The trail seems to disappear and only a few small portage signs remain, those having been blown down and now lie on the ground here and there. The trail goes along the NW side of the bog for a few hundred metres then into the woods at the other end before emerging at Grass-pink L.

Paddle down Grass-pink L.

P 10m then 400m to Little Tarn L. There is a swampy section of creek into Little Tarn L with a large mud bank to lift over at the end.

Paddle to North end of Little Tarn L then down shallow, swampy section of McDonald Cr to Tarn L. Campsite is in a low boggy place between the cedar roots. It is not connected to the portage so the next day I had to load everything in the boat, paddle about 50m then unload for the portage.

P 4305m to St. Andrews L. This portage was very rough with numerous fallen trees across it. Took me 3 hours to go 4.3 km.

From St. Andrews L it is mostly paddling with lift-overs of 45m and 30m back to Stratton and Grand L.

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map published by the Friends of Algonquin Park.
Other
Special Comments: 

I will try to post some pictures in the Gallery but I've been having trouble with that.

I used a light touring kayak which is a bit awkward due to the frequent packing and unpacking at portages; a lightweight open canoe would be better. On the other hand, both crossings of Grand L were in strong winds that would have swamped a canoe but were no problem in the kayak