Kukagami Lake – Carafel – Maskinonge – McCarthy Bay

CanadaOntarioTemagami
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Jacob Carter
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
82 km
Duration: 
5 days
Loop Trip: 
Yes
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
11
Total Portage Distance: 
3115 m
Longest Portage: 
1100 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Novice
Lake Travel: 
Intermediate
Portaging: 
Moderate
Remoteness: 
Intermediate
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Unknown
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Kukagami Lake – Carafel – Maskinonge – Rice - Lower Matagamasi – Edna - Karl - McCarthy Bay - Doon – Kukagami

Put in approx. 3 minutes before Sportsman Lodge on Kukagami Lake.
Paddle East around the peninsula and then North to Outlet Bay.
P 150m to small pond
P 80m to Carafel Creek
P 110m and continue on Carafel Creek
P 440m and continue on Carafel Creek to Carafel Lake
NIGHT 1 SPENT ON CARAFEL LAKE.
North then East on Carafel Lake
Continue on creek with 2 lift overs, and a short portage over rocky stream-bed during low water levels.
North on Maskinonge Lake
NIGHT 2 SPENT MID WAY ON MASKINONGE LAKE
Continue North on Rice Lake
Continue North on Lower Matagamasi Lake
P 180m and paddle North West on Edna Lake
P 170m and paddle West on Karl Lake
P 340m and portage to the right side of the falls
NIGHT 3 SPENT AT THE CAMPSITE ABOVE THE FALLS
Paddle upstream
P 60m to McCarthy Bay Lake
Continue West, then South 9.5km to the Doon Lake Portage. It is on the Right side of the inlet.
NIGHT 4 SPENT ON AN ISLAND 1 KM FURTHER SOUTH THAN THE DOON LAKE PORTAGE
P 1100m. This portage was not well worn, requiring lifts over a couple downed trees. It slowly rose up a hill, then descended quickly to Doon lake. This was a very long portage requiring two breaks with a fiberglass canoe, complicated by a thousand mosquitoes. (*reminder to self* – bring work gloves to prevent itchy hands on long portages).
Paddle East on Doon Lake to the West side of the stream at the very back of the marsh.
P 175m to Kukagami Lake
NIGHT 5 SPENT ON THE NORTHERN SECTION OF KUGAGAMI LAKE
Paddle South back to the put-in.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

We originally decided on a similar loop to the one that we completed (Kukagami - Carafel – Donald – Kugagami). This is a good entry level loop that gives you access to pristine water and wilderness, however is still close to other adventurers and camps should problems arise. In fact… we found that there were almost too many people around for our liking – we both prefer seeing negligible people, or traces of people. That being said, the people we came in contact with ultimately added value to our trip as they knew the history of the land, and shared our respect for nature.

We knew the original 74 km route could be completed without a problem in 5 days. During the trip we decided to paddle further and expanded the loop along the Northwestern corridor to include McCarthy Bay and Doon Lake. This was a great addition to our trip and we would recommend it for added paddling time, decreased total distance of portaging compared to the Donald lake loop, and a very cool narrow, long lake to explore. The Doon lake portage was long, but rewarding to know we could portage 1100 meters in the summer heat during the height of the mosquito season.

Despite it being the height of blue berry season we did not see any bears, or recent traces of their presence. Same goes for any other large game. Should you be weary of this, there are numerous islands en route for your camping convenience.

As our trip was during mid-July, we learned quickly that we must be ready to enter the tent around sunset to avoid mosquitos. After we learned this lesson, and planned accordingly, the following evenings were much more enjoyable.

Overall a fantastic trip, and we would recommend it to those looking for easy flat water, moderate portaging, and moderate remoteness.

Jacob and Kendra

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
The following links are maps needed for the trip: http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini8.htm http://www.deepnettech.com/chiniguchi_full_map.png