Marten River

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
35 km
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
2425 m
Longest Portage: 
2250 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Long, overgrown portage (over 2 km in length)

Technical Guide: 

Hwy 11 about 50 km north of North Bay - south on Hwy 64 to Marten Lake Prov.Park
South on Marten River
East through Little Marten Lake
P 175 m around dam into Wickstead Lake (along road)
Northeast through Wickstead Lake (into channel heading east)
P 2250 m southeast to Bruce Lake
West through Bruce Lake to Big Marten Lake
Southwest through Big Marten Lake to Little Marten Lake
North on Marten River to finish at Provincial Park

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 L/12 Marten Lake 31 L/13 Ingall Lake
Other Maps: 
Tomiko 31 L/NW (Provincial Series Map)
Special Comments: 

Some additional information emailed to me in early 1999 by a park staff member regarding the 2250 m portage from Wickstead to Bruce Lake...
"I work in the summer at the provincial park that is used for a home base to that route. We are also the only group that is responsible for clearing the portages. The clearing (brushing, wind fall) was done in the past quite often, but we all know how things have changed. The portage hasn`t been cleared at least for 8 years. This doesn`t mean that the route in impassable. But it does mean that a lot of extra scouting time needs to be spent.

There was one camper who told me that he spent an hour and got nowhere. He also had his 4 year old with him though. This paddler was quite accomplished and said if he had been by himself it wouldn`t have been too bad.

When I give the story above i must also tell you that there were several others, on different occasions did make it through. But these people also took an opportunity to complain.

So what can you do? Call the park office at (705)892-2200, ask if any work has been done on the portage or not.. Ask about the condition, we should be able to tell you. The park superintendent has wanted to clear out the portage for the last 4 years, but the park doesn`t have the staff to support such an endeavor."


Post date: Sun, 07/26/2009 - 22:31


Just Off Wickstead you can book a cabin at Placid Bay Lodge on Boyce Lake Great Fishing There

Post date: Tue, 08/19/2008 - 01:17


where is the nice site on wickstead?

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


First of all. Etienne! Can't believe you posted on this. LOL.
He's right. The portage is not passable...unless you have a chainsaw and a couple hours to spare. The trees had a good 3-4 inch diameter and we were fore warned by the ranger.
On the plus side: the ranger let us park in the maintanence section for free and there is a great (absolutely beautiful) campsite on Wickstead. Its a little out of the way so you'll enjoy privacy.

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


I have been to the bruce lake - Wicksteed lake portage and would like to say that it is quite impassable, scouting or not. I had a saw with me and cleared the first couple of hundred feet but was forced to stop due to the large amount of black flies. This was in 2000 I believe. I also belive that it is important to notice that the wind on Big Marten Lake and Wicksteed lake can cause the lakes to be very chopy and quite difficult to travel. I have traveled on this route twice, the first time encoutered choppy waters, but nothing too serious. The second time, we encoutered very high winds, and with our lite Kevlar canoe, were making very slow progress... we were eventually offered a tow by some friendly fishermen, and its a good thing because it would have made our day very long and tiring.

Post date: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 08:39


2008-FEB-17: WOW! i imagine conditions here have been declining since 1989...doesn't take long, EH?