South Woodland Caribou Loop

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Additional Route Information
64 km
5 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
3365 m
Longest Portage: 
425 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Drive 51 miles from Ear Falls (in Western Ontario) on Hwy 804(gravel) to the Leano Lake entrance of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.

A 60 M portage leads to Leano Lake.

Head south thru Leano to the first portages leading to the Kilburn chain.

Proceed south thru the Kilburn chain and turn R (northwesterly) to enter Middle and Upper Kilburn.

Paddle and portage thru 3 unnamed lakes to Paull Lake.

Good campsites in the north bay opposite and NW of portage.

Head northeasterly up long arm of Paull Lake where 3 portages and paddles thru beaver ponds will bring you to Jake Lake.

Good camping on islands and rock outcrops throughout Jake.

Paddle northeast up Jake Lake to 40m portage leading to the Lunch Lake chain.

Paddle south east thru the chain following creek, portaging past waterfalls, to Bunny Lake.

Proceed east through Bunny Lake to Leano Lake and exit.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

My son and I spent 8 days in Woodland Caribou on this trip. It could be done in 4-5 by strong trippers. My son donated a kidney to me on September 29, 1999. I planned this trip as a wilderness romp to celebrate our successful one year outcome. We took our time (neither one of us were in tip top shape, paddled on good days and stayed in camp on rainy ones. We fished, joked, and thoroughly enjoyed the Canadian wilderness. The Park (1.5 million acres) is a veritable "sponge" of interconnected lakes and portages. It is possible to extend or shorten this trip as you see fit. The Gammon and Bloodvein Rivers (Canadian Heritage Rivers) originate here. There are several Native petroglyph sites. Woodland Caribou is truly a jewel!Jose Joven

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
52L/9 Sydney Lake 52L/10 Dowswell Lake 52L/15 Rostoul Lake 52L/16 Medicine Stone
Other Maps: 
Woodland Caribou Park Map
Special Comments: 

Superintendent, Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
PO 5003
Red Lake Ontario
(807) 727-2253
(807) 727-2861 (fax) (web site)


Post date: Mon, 10/26/2009 - 23:48


Notes as of 2009. The Ear Falls Road was questionable this summer. Heavy rains had washed it out and was perhaps impassable. That road is clay based . In better shape is the Leano Road(sand based). However that has beaver dam activity and two large areas half a meter deep that need to be navigated. High clearance vehicles are preferred.

The Leano Lake put in is now 300 meters long and has been relocated uphill and to the south of the old one. It is marked from the water with one piece of flagging tape and is hard to spot when coming off water.

This summer saw incredibly high water and portages were sometimes under half a meter or more of water in spots.

I duplicated this route but added a side trip to Aegean Lake. The series of three portages from Paull to South Aegean were in decent shape except the third (120 m) went across a temporary rapid. There is also a new 1km portage from Kilburn Lake to Upper Kilburn Lake.

Other notes: 2 campsites on Paull on the south shore, about 1 km east of the 270 from Upper Kilburn. Campsites on South Aegean seemed to be plentiful on the south and east parts and less on the islands at least for more than one tent.

Much of this route needs to be brushed out and has significant erosion from rains this summer.