Flack Lake and Mace Lake side trip

CanadaOntarioNorth Channel
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Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
0 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
6905 m
Longest Portage: 
1140 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Start at Flack Lake
P 490 m to Bruce Lake
P 850 m to Olympus Lake
P 1100 m to Astonish Lake
P 650 m to Ezma Lake

Side trip
P 200 m to Swamp Lake
P 265 m to Upper Mace Lake
Return to Ezma Lake via these portages

P 450 m to Ten Mile Lake
P 200 m to Hyphen Lake and then into Callinan Lake
P 290 m into Dollyberry Lake
P 220 m to Bobowash Lake

P 125 m to small unnamed lake
P 110 m to Samreid Lake
P 210 m to Lost Canoe Lake
P 140 m to Monster Lake
P 1140 m to Flack Lake

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

This diary is based on a trip paddled in August 2002
Day 1
We found out that the local outfitters do not have lightweight canoes. So we started out with one owned canoe and two rented canoes, each weighing in at about 75 lb. Ouch! Our crew consisted of seven...four somewhat experienced adults, two somewhat xperienced teenagers, and one newcomer ... a ten year old.

Day one consisted of leaving the comforts of the Laurentian Lodge. Once we got on the lake, we were greeted with a rainstorm which last for several moments. We chose the campsite to the south shore of the lake, and then decided to hike up Mt. Baldy that night. The hike up was somewhat challenging although very beautiful. The blueberries and the views were exceptional...you should not pass on this side trip.

Day 2
The day of the portages...We covered the four portages to Lake Ezma. What I can tell you about these portages is that they were challenging. We definitely needed our hiking boots and lots of insect repellant. This is definitely mosquito country. There are lots of large rocks (boulders) along the paths and hills. The rocks can be very slippery...trust me. A highlight of the Olympus to Astonish Lake portage (1100m) was an eagle`s nest spotted from a cliff in the middle of the route. The views of Mt. Baldy are great from most of these lakes. Astonish Lake is perhaps the most beautiful that we saw on this day, and would be a nice place to stay.

Finishing our fourth portage for the day (650m), we met up with nice folks from Ottawa. They were camping at the nearby site on Lake Ezma and had come up from the south. They directed us to a `great` site on the south side of the lake.

Day 3-
Side trip to Upper Mace Lake. After two short portages, we made it to Upper Mace Lake. You don`t want to miss this one...it is absolutely beautiful with rocky shorelines and several islands. We had a great lunch on an island and later explored Secret Bay. We didn`t see a soul on this lake on this Wednesday in the middle of August. Very nice.

Day 4
We left Ezma Lake and headed to the portage to Ten Mile. The portage was easy and we again met up with the nice people form Ottawa. After we passed Ten Mile Lodge and we came out of this sheltered area of the lake, we began the paddle of our life! The winds were blowing from the south making it very hard to make our way to the portage. Yikes!!! We ended up paddling hard to get to our portage to Hyphen Lake. This beginning of this portage was straight up hill, and it ran next to a river with waterfalls and a fish sanctuary. We ate lunch on the shores of Hyphen Lake and saw some evidence of bears. Hyphen Lake was beautiful with a stone face cliff on one side. We had to get out of our canoes to ease them over the narrows leading into Callinan Lake. Onward, we progressed through the portage to Dollyberry. This portage was uphill, over rocks, and then into a swampy area. The path leads thru a old fence along the way...could it be from the mining days in the area? We picked up others` trail mix and trash and decided to hike it out with us, being the good campers that we are. The portage between Dollyberry and Bobowash, looked like a joke...maybe. The portage sign was high on a stone cliff....could that be it? Our youngest camper Danielle, scouted it out and confirmed that it was the portage. After the climb up the cliff, the path leveled off and became quite a nice walk.

Days 4 and 5
We stayed at both official campsites on Bobowash. Neither have privies although the site to the north has an unofficial privy. Day 5 was spent in total relaxation mode, we laid in the sun, swam in the water, and explored the lake. This was the true essence of vacation. There are many islands on the lake, including one that we named `mossberry` due to its incredible large amounts of moss and blueberries. This is island in the middle of the lake with the rocky elevation. We also found out was that there are many unofficial campsites on this lake.

Day 6
The day of portages...five of them...are we crazy or what? We started our morning with the best blueberry pancakes every made...with the blueberries picked from mossberry island. I can still taste them. We managed to make it thru two short portages before the rain got us wet on Samreid Lake. By the time we made it to the portage, we had to use our canoes as shelter and wait it out a bit. After half an hour or so, many snacks, some dry clothes, and some good songs, we decided to make our way out on Lost Canoe Lake. This was a little lake and not too interesting. We conquered its short portage to Monster Lake and then set out for the `mother
of all portages for the trip`, the 1140m portage to Flack Lake. Our crew decided to take our gear and canoes in smaller trips. I can`t tell you how long it took us to make the portage, and I guess it doesn`t really matter.
I can tell you that we really enjoyed our lunch of leftovers after making it to the rocky shoreline of Flack Lake. All the while, another storm was brewing. By the time we headed out on the lake, the winds were coming in from just west of Mt. Baldy area. The waves were immense and we had to paddle very hard. There were dark clouds over the lodge across the lake as well as to the northwest of us. It appeared that we were going to get hammered with a rainstorm at any minute. After what seemed like hours on a roller coaster, we hit the shores of the Laurentian Lodge property. I`m sure we must have been quite a sight for the campers and lodgers on the property as several greeted us with `wow` and `you must really know what you`re doing to come in in that`.

Needless to say, we booked rooms at the lodge that evening and enjoyed a fine dinner prepared by the chef. Later, it was Jacuzzi time while enjoying some relaxing music.

Some interesting notes about the trip...
-We found all of the portages to be well marked with signs and orange flags.
-We only saw two groups during the six day trip.
-This part of the country is beautiful.
-The folks at Laurentian Lodge are great.Chris Butler ChrisFromOxford@juno.com

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
Chrismar Adventure Series - Mississagi Provincial Park and Area
Special Comments: 

Great trip!

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