Michipicoten River

CanadaOntarioLake Superior basin
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Rob Viejou
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
150 km
7 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
8150 m
Longest Portage: 
4600 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Started in Lake Superior at Michipicoten Harbour
Travelled up the Michipicoten River past Scott Falls Dam, High Falls Dam, McPhail Falls Dam and Cat Falls Dam
Continued northeast through Whitefish Lake, Manitowick Lake, Dog Lake, Crooked Lake and Missinaibi Lake to Barclay Bay Campgrounds of Missinaibi Provincial Park

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Day 1 - June 29, 2013
started at the beach north of Naturally Superior Adventures in Michpicoten Harbour - paddled around Rock Island and started up the Michipicoten River - scenic and decent paddling until the Highway 17 crossing where the current was significant - from there it ranged from difficult paddling to difficult lining due to current and high water (shoreline generally inaccessable) - finished the day at Scott Falls portage (decent trail & road) - 17.2 km
Day 2 - late start - finished Scott portage, portaged High Falls (650m road) and McPhail Falls (200m road) dams, passed Thunder Mountain and camped about 3 km. from the end of the resevoir/lake - 14.0 km
Day 3 - decent start until we passed the ACR crossing, then formidable current forced us to portage to Highway 101 on the east side of the river, cross the river on the highway bridge and portage to Cat Falls dam on the road west of the river (4.6 km portage total) - paddled 1.5 km north on Whitefish Lake to a very decent camping area on the west shore - 10.5 km
Day 4 - paddled north on Whitefish Lake, through the narrows and past the (submerged) dam to Manitowick Lake and continued almost to the end of Manitowick - very few campsites on this waterway and no beaches available due to high water - camped in a small bay on the north side of Manitowick Lake near an outpost camp - 31.5 km
Day 6 - good paddle to Stoney Creek and completed both portages to Dog Lake (650 m overgrown with a modest campsite and 175 m good trail with a large camping meadow near Dog Lake dam) - favourable winds allowed us to paddle to to the Village of Missanabie where we camped at Ernie's Campground (warm showers, screened cooking & dining shelter and open lawn for a breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay) - 23.1 km.
Day 6 - excellent paddle through Dog Lake, under the CPR and highway bridges - easy 300 m 'height of land' portage into Crooked Lake - camped on island in Crooked Lake near old trail crossing - 23.8 km
Day 7 - paddled remainder of Crooked Lake and an easy 350 m portage to Mssinaibi Lake - challenging winds/waves getting around Fairy Point but were favourable into Barclay Bay so we made it to the park campgrounds - finished July 5 - 30.3 km

Campsites and portages improved significantly after the Dog Lake dam, particularly once we entered Missinaibi Provincial Park - bodes well for next year's intended trip from the park to Mattice - the hard part is done and it's all downhill from here to Moosenee in year 3

Special Comments: 

Strongly recommend going downriver from Cat Falls Dam rather than upriver (easy one night trip) - lots of strong current especially near highway and railway crossings, dams and several other locations

- avoid upstream travel during high water (no access to shore for lining)

- very few campsites on river and Whitefish/Manitowick Lakes