McCrae Lake Loop

CanadaOntarioGeorgian Bay basin
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
29 km
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
900 m
Longest Portage: 
250 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Hwy 69 about 50 km south of Parry Sound
West on Georgian Bay Road to McDonald Lake access
P 200 m into MacDonald Lake
West through MacDonald Lake
P 250 m into McCrae Lake
West through McCrae Lake
Northwest through Musquash Channel
East on Gibson River
P 25 m around rapid
East on Gibson River to Three Rock Chute
Return via same route

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 D/13 Penetanguishene
Special Comments: 

This is a short 3.5 km loop into McCrae Lake, where a "base camp" can be set up. The day trip up to Three Rock Chutes on the Gibson River is 11 km each way and could be shortened if desired.


Post date: Sat, 08/25/2018 - 00:35



Next week we (me and my husband) are going on our first ever canoe trip to McCrae lake. Probably will go this coming Wednesday August 29.

I am a little nervous LOL. Any dangerous areas (rapids etc.) to be on a look out for? I hope that everything there is well marked and we are not going to capsize.

I hear that it can get there busy on weekends. What about during the week?

Where would be the best place to rent a canoe from? We are in Etobicoke (Bloor and Islington). I have 2 places in mind or Any other suggestions?

Any tips regarding the trip would be greatly appreciated.




Post date: Fri, 09/23/2016 - 18:04


Depending on when you are there and how hard you are prepared to fish, bass and pike can be had. Walleye and lake trout are rumoured. One spring a friend caught a chinook salmon. 

As noted above unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid in high summer and long weekends.

Post date: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:31


does anyone know how good the fishing is on this lake and what types of fish are being caught.



Post date: Tue, 05/27/2008 - 10:46


Noted as above, good for party goers. Also good if you feel like picking up trash from ignorant campers leaving broken glass, cans, various items incl. Batteries & harmful chemicals.. Sad real sad.. Also noted that there is a huge increase in motoboat fishing on lake.

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


This is a very nice trip if you can do it during the week. As, I've mentioned before, this is a very beautiful trip and can be very relaxing. A good novice trip.

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


The Gibson River is a nicer paddle. McCrae lake can be very busy with weekend partying. I stayed one night on May long weekend and was kept awake till 5:00am because of the sterios and yelling. The parking lot at the access is also now to have break-ins.

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


Hwy 69 is now Hwy 400 at the access point. The highway exit is marked Georgian Bay Road and the parking lot and portage to MacDonald Lake and McCrae Lake is located directly off the ramp that exits from the 400.

Post date: Tue, 07/13/2010 - 16:04


There is no fishing on the lake. We'll, you can cast a line but don't expect anything.

Post date: Thu, 07/22/2010 - 00:48


Did this route in 2008, parking on weekend was super busy, got in and was almost blocked in when got back. Garbage everywhere in parking lot, and trail in to water. As previously mentioned would be great for weekday trip. Lake is awesome but overused on weekends

Post date: Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:47


There is great climbing on this lake. The rock is granite, and there are top anchors for all routes. There are 2-3 sport routes with stainless steel bolts, but tough grade 5.11-12

Climbing Topos can be found at