South River

CanadaOntarioAlgonquin
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Shiellb
Trip Date : 
Mon, Sep 20, 2010
Route Author: 
Shiellb
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
50 km
Duration: 
4 days
Loop Trip: 
Yes
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
16
Total Portage Distance: 
8355 m
Longest Portage: 
2000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Intermediate
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Portaging: 
Not applicable
Remoteness: 
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Low
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Start at Algonquin Park gate on Kawawaymog L
P135m on Amable du Fond R
P255m into North Tea Lake
P1470m into Cayuga Lake
P1235m into Jeepi Lake
P630m into Charr Lake
P230 into small unnamed lake
P560m into Pishnecka Lake
P155m into small unnamed lake & paddle into Craig Lake
P90m into Nahma Lake
P200m into South River
L-O into Twentyseven L
P400m into Denis Lake
P400m into Pot Lake
P50m into Maryjane Lake
P2000 back into Kawawaymog Lake

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

South River – September 20 to 24 2010
Bob and Neil
Trip day 1 – September 20
arrived at the Algonquin Park South River entrance about 11:30 am on September 20
we purchased our permit, unloaded the canoe, gear, had lunch and were on the water about 12:30 PM
paddled North Tea Lake and by 4:30 PM we were on our camp site on Cayuga Lake
the P 1470m consisted of some small hills, other then that, it was an easy walk
the campsite was spacious, clean, contained firewood and used very little
had a fire and in the tent by 9 PM
rain started about midnight

Trip day 2
rain stopped about 8:30 AM
breakfast of oatmeal, cranberries, brown sugar and cut up cooked bacon (not bacon bits)
on the water by 11 AM
initially decided to paddle out and drive to the York River
as we paddled past the P 1235m into Jeepi L, we turned right and decided to complete our trip
this portage was used less then the portage into Cayuga Lake
there was some wet trail to walk through and more hills then the first portage
still an enjoyable walk in the park
a five minute paddle and started the P 630m into Charr Lake
although not used as often as the other 2 portages, was another easy walk in the park
the P 230m into a small unnamed lake was across relatively flat ground
this small lake was really beautiful to paddle across
a P 560m into Pishnecka Lake was another flat crossing
a very short P 155m portage into another very small lake was very easy to complete
the creek was just a little wider the Neil's canoe and meandered a little
by 4 PM we were in Craig Lake and looking for a camp site
we missed the campsite on the lake and ended up paddling the length of the lake
by 5:30 PM we were set up on the portage between Craig Lake and Nahma Lake
we were to tired to paddle out of the park that day
just after we set up the tent and had a cup of soup and famous Algonquin thunder storm cam upon us
we just made it into our tent before the rains lashed out
one bolt of lightening made the ground shudder, the sound and light arrive all at the same time
about 2 hours later, we emerged and continued cooking our supper of pre-cooked rice and curry
had another early night

Trip day 3
up before the sun, had the tea and breakfast over by 7:30 AM
on the water by 8:30 AM
completed the P 90m into Nahma Lake and paddled it's length
the P 200m into the South River was over flat ground and was very easy
South River was about 5m wide at this point
paddled across the river and started a true “lost canoe route” portage of 200m around a series of rapids and a small waterfall
the trail was very difficult to locate and almost over grown
had some interesting negotiating with the canoe and several trees
loaded the canoe just below the falls and paddled about 30m before we had to walk the canoe down a small riffle
South River then became very narrow (about 3m wide) and almost totally overgrown with what I know as tag alder ( a very soft short tree favoured by beaver)
for the next several kilometres we were hunched over attempting to slide under the sweepers, while keeping the canoe moving with the current
the current was moving about 5 or 6 km/h
by noon we were drying our feet and having lunch at the logging road bridge just downstream from where Craig Creek empties into the South River
the river was now about 10m across
it meandered across the valley for about the next 12 km
memories of the Boland River were floating in my mind's eye
we had to portage around the logjam mentioned in Kevin Callan's “Lost Canoe Routes” book
which bye-the-bye is our bible on our trips
after a false start, we located the creek to Twentyseven Lake, completed the L-O into it and paddled it's length
the P 400m into Denis Lake is no longer in existence
the area between the 2 lakes has been logged over about 10 years ago
we could not locate the creek between Denis and Twentyseven Lakes
we had to carry our gear and canoe through the waist high raspberry canes, with poplar, maple and birch saplings over our heads
hidden in the raspberry bushes was the slash left from the logging
it was a rather interesting walk up a bit of a valley between the hills
this is probably were the portage was
it ended at the trail crossing between the 2 lakes and beside a hunt camp
we set up camp close to the water and in front of the hunt camp
supper was late again (6:30 to 7 PM)
we had garlic and herb instant potatoes with Parmesan cheese and venison pepperettes
by about 7:20 PM the sun was below the horizon and the dishes were washed
watched the moon followed by Saturn raise above the trees
managed to stay until 9 PM

Trip day 4
woke and watched the sky turn pick as the sun climbed over the tree tops
unfortunately the clouds came in and turned the sky steely grey
we had breakfast, packed up and headed across Denis Lake to our 3rd last portage
according the our bible it was a P 400m to Pot Lake
the logging activity in the area did something to the drainage pattern
Pot Lake appeared to have flooded the surround bush – please see note below
with the wet land not supporting our weight, the trees and vegetation too close to let our canoe through and the water too shallow to float the canoe we began to look at alternatives
we studied the map and decided to portage to Maryjane Lake
after 1.5 hours of attempting to find and/or clear a trail, we returned to our canoe
more map study revealed another alternative, walk out
we decided to walk about 10 km of logging road back to our vehicle
the walk out was really interesting, the trees had fantastic colour, the road was easy walking and we could see Maryjane Lake through the trees
about 2.5 hours later we let the park ranger know we were out of the park and were headed back down the logging road to retrieve our gear and canoe
we drove as far as we could and had about 1 km to carry (portage) our our equipment
just as it started to rain, the final knots were completed tying the canoe to the car
it rained all the way to Barrie on the trip home
it was a really good trip

Shiellb – September 2010

P.S. I was retracing the route on mapper.acme. I have figured out we were at the wrong lake. We were looking at a very tiny lake just south of Pot Lake. Both of us did not realize we were at the wrong lake. And then acted on bad information. Boy do I feel dumb! The portages to Pot Lake and Maryjane may be there.

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 E/14<br />
Other
Special Comments: 

Logging has made the portage between Twentyseven and Denis Lakes difficult
Active logging around Maryjane Lake