Grassy River

CanadaOntarioJames Bay south
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
115 km
7 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
5640 m
Longest Portage: 
2000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Papokameka Forest Access Road running south from Timmins
Access is at bridge just below Canoeshed Lake
Southwest on Grassy River
P 35 m L around falls / rapid
South on Grassy River
West through Halliday Lake
P 300 m to small lake
P 100 m to lake
P 350 to Sinclair Lake
P 5 m (liftover) at narrows
P 350 m over road
Southwest then northwest through Sinclair Lake
North into Kapiskong Lake
North through Peterlong Lake
P 200 m L around Peterlong dam / rapids
North on Grassy River
P 2000 m R around long set of rapids (or line & wade in combination with shorter portages)
North on Grassy River
P 1400 m R around long set of rapids
North on Grassy River to junction with Mattagami River
North on Mattagami River to finish at Timmins

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
42 A/6 Timmins 42 A/3 Peterlong Lake 41 P/14 Sinclair Lake
Other Maps: 
42 A/SW Timmins (Provincial Series map)


Post date: Thu, 07/31/2014 - 23:04


I created the following map in Google Maps Engine Lite which is of the complete Grassy River Canoe Route including the Halliday Lake Circle Route. I have only ever done parts of this Canoe route so would appreciate feedback on any errors or omissions. Note that this was created based on a hardcopy map provided by the"Mattagami Region Conservation Authority" published / copyright 2011. The details of most portage sections were difficult to decipher from the map and the accuracy of my representation of these sections cannot be guaranteed. Use at your own risk.

Post date: Sat, 08/28/2010 - 08:43


Sounds like the portage has been cleaned up completely:

Post date: Wed, 05/14/2008 - 22:52


This trip is wild and rugged. We put in just below Loon Lake, and did great until we got to High Falls. We did not even realize we had reached the 400 meter gauntlet of rapids immediately preceding High Falls, but luckily still elected to line our canoes instead of attempting the long chute of standing waves. UNFORTUNATELY our inexperience with rivers showed and one canoe was sucked into the funnel and bucked in and out of the drink as it disappeared around the bend and down into High Falls. As you near this dangerous set of water hazards, there is an abandoned cabin on the right (we were NOT told the cabin was a landmark until after our mishap). We lined and portaged on river left; where there is essentially no portage at all but rather thick, thick forest.

I would like to post pictures; but don't see where to add them.

We thought a few trips to Quetico and some rivers in the lower 48 would make us well prepared; it did not. Don't take the Grassy lightly unless you are an experienced Canadian paddler.

It chewed us up and left me limping badly and minus a canoe. That said, I loved it. Others in our party who love canoeing said they would never do the Grassy again! You Canadians are lucky to have so many manly rivers. Great stuff!!

Post date: Sat, 06/06/2009 - 10:39


My girlfriend and I did the Grassy from Mica in the last week of May with a water flow of 40cu/m/s. They said that was three times the normal flow for that time of year. The Peterlong Dam portage is in great shape. The next 2000m portage is almost non-existent. The first part is total bushwhacking and the second part has been cleared a little. Good camp sires at the star and finish on thos portage. The peterlong dan is a good spot to camp too. High Falls would kill you if you got suck into it! The portage entrance is very close to the start of the falls. We didn;t have much problem getting off the river in time and marked the trail head a little better with flagging tape. 1400m portage witha great site at the end. This should be the end of rapids until at least Timmins. Not the case for us. After High Falls it's very windy and we had class teo rapids for several Kms. Waves were cresting the bow and threatening to swamp the bow. What fun! But we're just flat water paddlers and this was a real challenge for us. The river slowed right down when it joins the Mattagami. We covered 45 kms in 6.5 hours! Exciting trip and a beautiful route.

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


We did this route in September 2005. The trip was very good - scenery, good fishing, wildlife viewing - but we were lucky to get the water level of the river below Peterlong dam at it's highest. The difficulties you are going to meet en route are following:
1. Campsites on the lake portion of the trip were few and far between. Some obvious ones were badly trashed by fishermen.
2. If the water level below the dam is low - and according to locals it's where it usually is - then the river trip will be a lot of wading & dragging. We were blessed with high water and could ran all the rapids except High Falls. There is no sign of portages around the rapids - except the falls - be ready to do a log of bushwacking if you can't run them in low water.
You'll have to use services of an outfitter to get to the put-in - folks from were very good.