La Verendrye Circuit 33

CanadaQuebec04 Ottawa
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
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Additional Route Information
76 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
4800 m
Longest Portage: 
1100 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Hwy. 117 north from Le Domaine Base
Left on gravel road 28 for 9km(see large park map)
Follow sigh for "Hunting 38"
Take first road on left to lac barrage
Put in is at Grand Barrage campsite
South out of Grand Barrage into Grand Lac
Stay East of first big island
Enter narrows that lead to Lac Echallon
East through Lac Echallon
South through narrows to Lac Racine
South through Lac Racine
South through narrows
South into Lac Nizard
South, then east through Lac Nizard
P355 into Lac Tambour
South through Lac Tambour
P 65m
South through Lac de la Table
P 820m
South through Lac Cabanac
South through Lac St-Crepin
South through Lac Byrd
West through Baie McLaurin
Northwest through Baie McLaurin
West into Lac du Noyer
West through Lac Paget
West, then North through Lac Nicolas
West through Lac Nichcotea
West up River Coulonge
North through Grand Lac

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

From the LaDomaine base, you take 117 north to gravel road 28 on the left, travel approximately 9 km., turn at junction "Hunting 38" and take the first road on the left to Lac au Barrage. The put in is at a small camp area, there where a few campers and power boats there when I arrived in May of 1998.

I paddled down a narrows out into the large Grand Lac, and was quickly overtaken by a pretty good sized fishing boat. Did I drive this far to Canoe Camp on a popular fishing route loaded with boats? My route, #33 quickly split off to the left into another small narrows towards Lac Echallon, with a small portage before the lake. I was never so happy to see a portage!

From Echallon I entered Lac Racine, which had 2 campsites , one at either end, but I had my eyes on a nice island site in the upcoming Lac Nizard. Lac Nizard is also part of Circuit 34 and from the Canoe Routes booklet it shows only 5 portages, some nice small lakes and only 44 km. long. The island site was open, but there where campers at 2 of the other sites on the lake . It was early so I continued on across Lac Nizard to the 355m. portage into Lac Tambour. As I was paddling down the narrows that leaves Lac Tambour, a cow moose and small calf appeared out of the bush to my left, swam the narrows and walked the bank for a while. I stumbled with my water proofed camera, and by the time I was ready, they where long gone. I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone else. Well, I got to moan and groan about my missed chance over what was supposed to be a 65m. portage but turned out to be a uphill and wet put-in 200m. portage.

I think the next paddle was "65m." across small Lac de la Table to a 820m. portage into Lac Cabanac. Cabanac is small also, and has a 2 tent site on it but I continued on down a narrows to Lac Byrd, with only a 130 portage before getting out onto "big Byrd". Although Byrd has a road into it and one of those parking area/camp sites, there was no one there and I had this nice lake to myself. I headed straight over to a point that showed a 2 tent site. On the map it is located right across the lake from the narrows you just paddled down. This was a great campsite, probably one of the nicer ones I have seen in the park. It had a nice swimming area, a table and real pretty areas to put your tents.

This year I was trying something new. I had only bought a 3 day non resident license and 3 days of park fishing permits($14.50 a day) to match up with the license dates. I planned the dates for when I would begin to enter what appeared to be good fishing areas and hopefully I would save some money. This time it paid off, tomorrow was my first day to fish and Lac Byrd looked pretty good. I spent the next day in a steady rain fishing my way down the lake, I caught some walleye and pike and released them, planning on catching my diner later. As luck would have it, I got too hungry before I was to catch my next fish. I passed many nice campsites on Byrd, but kept paddling hopping to catch my dinner before I stopped. Finally, I rounded the bottom of Lac Byrd and entered Baie McLaurin. I found a nice 3 tent campsite, it must have been a logging camp at one time, there was boards and metal junk back in the bush, and it had a nice grass carpet to set up the tent. It also had some bear scat, so I set up the tent, dumped my #3 duluth pack inside and paddled over to a small island for dinner. I cooked a quick dinner of rice and the last of some frozen kielbasa, then left my gear on another island and paddled back to the tent for my fishing gear.

By that time the mosquitoes had come out in droves, I got my stuff and was back in the canoe in a flash. I ended up catching a bunch of walleyes just before dark, better late than never. After a breakfast on the island, I paddled down the narrows that leads out of Baie McLaurin and towards Lac Du Noyer. There where 2 small 40m. portages, but for the most part this was an easy and interesting slack water river that lead into du Noyer. Lac Du Noyer was shallow and with the reeds covering the shore lines. I dropped my line in and was quickly rewarded with a nice size pike. A few more and it ended as quickly as it started. The portage into Paget is 1100m. in and 620 out and this was the only time they ever put contour lines on a circuit map that I remembered. It was a climb up to Lac Paget, and after a day of rain my wood canvas Chestnut felt pretty heavy. I promised myself that next year I would bring something lighter.

On the first leg of the portage, I was clearing brush and small blowdowns, no doubt I was the first one up here this year. Along the trail I came across some wolf tracks in the mud, along with some moose tracks. Lac Paget is a very pretty lake. It has 2 nice sites on it, one a sheltered island site and the other an open 4 tent site. I took the big site, it`s south of the put in from the 1100m. portage. That night I enjoyed a nice pike dinner, then an evening paddle. I love to paddle my canoe empty after setting up camp, go fishing, explore. I`m not much on wasting time cooking meals, I only have a week and I eat good at home. An empty canoe after a day of paddling loaded is like a baseball player swinging 2 bats while waiting to get up. They are so light and responsive when you are used to the extra weight.

The next morning I portaged the 620m. down to Lac Nicolas. This portage goes thru a large stand of mature cedar trees, dark and quiet. By the time I put in the black flies where just beginning to swarm, I paddled out into Lac Nicolas quickly and was rewarded with a sunny bug free paddle down to Lac Nichotea. Lac Nicolas has no campsites on it, although you could use the spot at the put in for one tent. It has also been flooded, I`m not sure why, something to do with the dams in the area I think and for the whole length of it down to Lac Nichotea, the cedar trees are dead for the first 10 feet in from shore. It is only an 8km. paddle to Nichotea, so this passes quickly.

When you arrive at Lac Nichotea, you pass a spot where three lakes meet, Lac Nicolas, Lac Nichotea, and Lac Desty. This is also where 3 different circuits meet, #`s 30,33,and 35. There are 2 nice campsites here, one for 2 tents and one for 1. I stayed at the smaller site, it is a very pretty site, with a great view of Lac Nichotea. I did see a small fishing boat here, but it was mid week and by the weekend you might see more. Also, because 3 circuits come together here, all the sites I saw on this lake (3) showed more use than most in the park I have seen, but they where clean. I spent the better part of the day fishing, it was sunny and calm, but didn`t have much luck till dusk, then only a couple of small walleye.

The next morning I got a late start and ended up paying for it with a strong headwind. I needed to get across Lac Nichotea and head up the River Coulonge to Grand Lac. I was not in a hurry so I hugged the south shoreline and worked my way around the lake to the spot where the river entered the lake, doing my best to stay out of the wind. Once inside the river, the wind became manageable and I used the points and curves to make better time. Even when I entered the big Grand Lac I was able to continue my leap frogging from island to island, and make pretty good headway. Grand Lac is very pretty, lots of island and shoreline campsites, along with some nice sandy beaches. It is also probably busy with powerboats on weekends, so that must be taken into consideration. It has a large bay with islands that would be off the power boat route, this might be a good place to find a quiet spot if you take this route and need to camp in the area.

Before long I was entering the narrows that would lead to my original put in at Grand Barrage. Robin Lauer

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 N/2 Lac Jean Pere 31 N/3 Lac Nichcotea
Special Comments: 

I did this route in May 1998, solo. I used the Circuit Map for routes 30,33 and 34. This map shows all the campsites and their size. You do not need topo`s, these maps are sold at the Le Domaine base in the park or over the internet via the Fed. Quebec Canoe camp web site The full Park map is also worth the price to find roads and plan
trips. Le Domaine is where you buy your camping permits, fishing permits, and fishing license. They sell maps, rent gear and canoes, and have free camping and showers for trippers coming and going. There is a nice cafeteria style restaurant, a gas station and a little store to buy fishing gear,food,beer etc. across the street. They are very nice folks here and do their best to please. In spite of the powerboats on Grand Lac, I would recommend this circuit. I should have spent more time on Lacs Nizard and Byrd, both have alot of nooks and cranes that probably rarely see a boat. I don`t consider myself to be a great fisherman, so don`t judge the fishing by my performance.


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


je voudrais avoir des informatonns sur vos site sur le lac byrd et vos prix sur vos forfait . merci