Round Island - McKaskill loop

CanadaOntarioAlgonquin
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Maria Ovtcharenko
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Maria Ovtcharenko
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
53 km
Duration: 
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Yes
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
18
Total Portage Distance: 
20910 m
Longest Portage: 
4985 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Novice
Portaging: 
Moderate
Remoteness: 
Intermediate
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Low
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Overall total: Portage - 20910. Lake - 30800.

Day 1 - Farm lake to Round Island. Total portage - 5255. Total lake - 12200
L3600 - Farm lake
P90 - Farm to Kitty
L1200 - Kitty lake
P550 - Kitty to Booth
L3600 - Booth lake
P1975 - Booth to Chipmunk
L1300 - Chipmunk lake
P610 - Chipmunk to Presto
L400 - Presto lake
P730 - Presto to Marshy
L700 - Marshy lake
P620 - Marshy to Mountain
L500 - Mountain lake
P680 - Mountatin to Round Island
L900 - Round Island lake

Day 2 - Round Island to MacKaskill. Total portage - 10920. Total lake - 9800.
L900 - Round Island lake
P4895 - Round Island to Dickson
L3900 - Dickson lake
P1220 - Dickson to Animosh
L1300 - Animosh lake
P2825 - Animosh to Fairy
L700 - Fairy lake
P1550 - Fairy to Hidden
L1000 - Hidden lake
P430 - Hidden to McKaskill
L2000 - McKaskill lake

Day 3 - McKaskill to Crotch. Total portage - 4735. Total lake - 880
L1800 - McKaskill lake
P40 - McKaskill to Dove
L500 - Dove lake
P2355 - Dove to Shrew
L700 - Shrew lake
P545 - Shrew to Big Red
L400 - Big Red lake
P230 - Big Red to Ryan
L1500 - Ryan lake
P515 - Ryan to Shirley
L1000 - Shirley lake
P1050 - Shirley to Crotch
L2900 - Crotch lake

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

First day was rainy and cold - 12 degrees Celsius when we put in. We packed warm and put on the heavy rain gear right away.
We've been on this trip before years ago, and couldn't wait to see if we can do it quicker this time.
Highlight of the fist day was Marshy lake. We knew that the portage from Presto to Marshy was a bog last time.
We hopped across the boards half-buried in swampy stinky water, and then tackled a river of rocks.
This time, the swampy section was completely covered in water - we actually had to put in the canoe in order to cross the portage.
The rocks were still there and covered in moss - treacherous when wet.
Marshy lake was still stinky and tough to put in - shallow, eely, and full of huge logs. When we got paddling, the rain really started to pour.
We got to Round Island wet and cold, as the winds and subsequent waves were starting to pick up.
As per plan, I started on the hot & spicy soup as soon as we embarked on the camp site, while my dad jumped to setting up the tarp.
The fire seemed exceptionally warm and cozy on this night.

Day two - this is the test we've been waiting for. The night was quite chilly, so we didn't sleep past 6am. We were well rested because we went to bed early.
The 5K was challenging, but not gruelling. It was interesting to see how much the landscape has changed over the years - the portage wass now overgrown, creeks were dried out in places, etc.
The remainder of the portages are now a blur - all were mediocre in difficulty. The 1220 was a bit more challenging than the 2 that followed in terms of ascents and terrain.
Got to McKasill at 4pm - beating all expectations. Great site with all amenities, and the sun was finally out.
We took our time to eat, rest, make fire, and stare at the tent ceiling because we didn't bring any books because we thought we would be on the road all day.
We felt better for not taking the fishing gear when the wind picked up and it started raining again... probably wouldn't have gone anyways :)

Day three - ready, set, go. Again, we woke up early. This night was much warmer than the last - quite comfortable.
Got moving by about 9am. Tried to find a lift-over beside the P40 - no success. Looks like the lakes don't connect - they're just really close together.
Dove to Shrew is a goody... wow. This 2355m is probably the most memorable of all of the portages on this trip. It's going up almost the whole way.
The park was 'fully booked', so we expected to see lots of people, but everything looked empty. We guessed that the weather scared them off.
The first remnants of human activity were observed on the Shirley to Crotch portage - they were taking a break beside their cart and 2 canoes...
The next encounter was with a loon - absolutely breathtaking. We practically ran over it with the canoe - it dove under at the last second.
We speculated that the babies must've been nearby. We would've never gotten that close otherwise.
And so the trip was finished. Victory was ours.

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
Map of Algonquin.<br />