Halliday Lake Circle Route

CanadaOntarioJames Bay south
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
74 km
5 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
2040 m
Longest Portage: 
900 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Hwy 144 north of Sudbury, then road access to Halliday Lake
Northwest through Halliday Lake
P 300 m to small lake
P 100 m to small lake
P 900 m to Kapiskong Lake
P 5 m at narrows in small lake
Southwest on Kapiskong Lake
P 350 m to northeast corner of Sinclair Lake
Southeast towards Grassy Lake
South through Grassy Lake
Northeast on Grassy River
Into Canoeshed Lake
Southwest on Grassy River towards Halliday Lake
P 25 m L around dam and rapid
Southeast through Halliday Lake to finish

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Thanks to Jonathan Bishop for the following information, based on his 1999 trip.

A put-in at Halliday lake ensures that most portaging can be left to the last day of the trip if travel is downstream.

There are a couple of beaver dam liftovers on the first leg of the Grassy river before the first portage. There is several hundred metres of wading and dragging below this portage in low water; other than that the entire route can be paddled at low water. Aside from marked portages, there are virtually no other obstructions on the route.

The main part of Canoeshed lake is partially blocked off from the river by grasses and marshes, but a good campsite can be found on a point on the west shore halfway up the lake. Alternatively, another campsite is found on the river just below Canoeshed lake. Neither appears on the MNR route description.

Heading downstream from Canoeshed, there is an extensive marshy section just prior to and following the power line. At times the river channel is vague and filled with grasses.

The campsite marked on the MNR description halfway between the power line and Grassy lake is excellent, and worth planning the trip around. There is another campsite on the north bank several kilometres further downstream which is not marked.

Grassy lake is almost entirely obscured by grass and marshes. The channel loops around on the west shoreline of the main part of the lake. Camping here is not much different than just camping on the river.

There is a great unmarked campsite on a small island which is passed almost immediately after leaving the river and entering the first part of the Peterlong dam headwater.

The string of portages leading back to Halliday lake is in good shape with signs of recent maintenance. The portage out of Kapiskong lake is clearly marked with a blaze. Most others still have some tatters of the yellow MNR signs remaining. There is a campsite at the portage into Sothman lake, and another at the start of the 900m out of Sothman lake. The only difficult portage is the final one leading into Nugent lake, and there are some
obstructing logs in a shallow marshy area leading to this portage. If travelling in the opposite direction, the landing area of this portage might be difficult to spot from the water since it is obscured by cedar trees and shrubs.

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 - 23:03


I created the following map in Google Maps Engine Lite which is of the complete Grassy River Canoe Route and includes 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: Sun, 08/25/2013 - 15:06


I returned from doing this trip on August 24th 2013 and I have some information to add to this route description.

Our trip started 22km in on Grassy Rd at the bridge crossing of the Grassy River. There is a crown land camping spot there that offers good parking for many vehicles. Our trip from this location headed east into Looming lake which has an awesome island campsite and good fishing within the lake. From here we continued east towards Sinclair Lake then north towards the roadside campsites on the north east shores of the lake.
The next day was a portage day with all the portages that lead towards Nobel Lake and Halliday Lake. All portages were in good shape and are marked with white and red portage signs at both ends of the portages. I must add that the portage that leads into Nobel lake is short but has a very difficult steep hill that is about 4 or 5 storeys high and it finishes off with a boggy area.
The paddle from Nobel Lake to Halliday is easy and Halliday lake has a number of camp sites both on the mainland and on the Islands.
From Halliday Lake travel up the Grassy River will take you to Canoeshed Lake that has a pretty good campsite on the Western point on the lake. this point also holds an active Eagle nest at the time of our trip.
South travel form Canoeshed down the Grassy river is well marked with canal like waterways through tall grasses and wild rice fields. Campsites are very limited on this part of the river and a good site was not found until the 28km mark from Canoeshed lake with maybe the exception of the bridge crossing at the hydro line.
From the last campsite on the Grassy River the paddle to the canoe launch is about 12 to 15km. Finding your way through Grassy Lake is a little difficult due to the fact that the lake is almost completely engulfed in Grass.

Over all, in my opinion this is a good 5 day trip but the river travel through the tall grass gets a little boring and tedious after a while. Most campsites that I found on various maps were no longer in the locations where indicated or were over grown or filled with the trash of un responsible past visitors. Our group of 6 did a lot of cleanup and repair on the trip and I marked the campsites with camp signs.

Post date: Fri, 06/18/2010 - 10:54


Just completed this trip.(June -13,14,15,16-2010) Took 4 full days.I flagged and brushed some of the portages to make them easier to find.Only hand a small folding hand saw, but a little easier for the next person.

Post date: Sat, 11/15/2008 - 10:58


I'm planning on doing this route solo next summer(2009), and a basic question, which would be the easiest direction to go.Grassy-Canoeshed-Halliday-Sinclair or the opposite. Any help would be appreciated.