Tecumseh, Cedar, Radiant, Allan, North River Lakes - Access 26

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Mike Links
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
58 km
6 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
11000 m
Longest Portage: 
2190 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Tecumseh Lake, Gilmour Lake, Brent Lake, Gilmour Creek, Cedar Lake, Petawawa River, Radiant Lake, Shoal Lake, Clamshell Lake, North River, North Depot Lake, Allan Lake, North River Lake

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Sunday, August 25, 1996
After dropping off the canoe and gear, Ed drove the car to the Access Point 26 parking lot and then hiked the 6 km back to the trail. After he left, I began portaging the canoe to Tecumseh Lake (1105 m). I was glad the initial part of the trail was mostly downhill. At about the halfway point, I saw a moving black blur at the corner of my vision and was surprised at how quickly the canoe made it to the ground. The movement was not a bear, but was a huge cow moose luckily without calf. I watched until she was out of sight before I decided to rest my shoulders for a bit and go back for some gear. After retrieving my pack, the food storage bag, and fishing rods, I hiked to the lake and then returned for the canoe. My timing could not have been better for as I reached the canoe, there was Ed with the rest of the gear. He took the canoe while I took his pack and the paddles to the lake. We paddled about 2 km to the portage (485 m) into Gilmour Lake. The trail was wide, flat, and sandy. We camped at the site near the trail's end because of very windy conditions that caused white caps on the lake. There were the remnants of a couple of old cabins near the site and plenty of moose and wolf tracks on the beach. I was impressed by the absolute silence and solitude of Gilmour Lake.

We broke camp at 8:30 am, paddled across the lake, and paddled/waded up the 200 m long stream to Brent Lake. After a short paddle and another portage (200 m), we were on Gilmour Creek. This section was somewhat difficult because the water was shallow in spots. At times we were paddling through more muck than water. Ed stuck his paddle in once and did not hit a firm bottom so we did not want to get out of the canoe. We reached the portage (2190 m) to Cedar Lake at 11:00 am and were across the portage by 1:30 pm which included a short break for lunch. With only a slight breeze on Cedar Lake, we paddled along the north shore, past Brent, to the large islands before looking for a campsite. We finally found an unoccupied site on the the tip of a small island relatively near the portage to the Petawawa River. We paddled about 17 km.

We decided to have a rest day. We swam, paddled, fished, and even had a couple of bass for dinner. The campsite was excellent except for the lack of dead wood. We paddled to the main shore to collect firewood.

After a short paddle, we portaged (960 m) to the river. There is a nice pool here and Ed proceed to lose two lures and two fish before finally landing a large white fish. It was a beautiful paddle to the next portage (685 m) because we were escorted most of the way by a great blue heron. We found a very old grave site on the north shore about 50 m upstream from the portage trail. Ed considered running the rapids in the unloaded canoe, but changed his mind when we saw an wrecked aluminum canoe trapped on the rocks. After completing the portage and lunch, we paddled to the third portage (860 m) at the railroad bridge. From a previous trip, we knew this trail was rocky, hilly, and best avoided. Instead we followed a path straight up the hill on the right side of the bridge and then followed the right of way to where the portage trail crossed over the tracks. We made our way back to the river and paddled to Radiant Lake where we easily found a campsite. We paddled about 8 km for the day.

We paddled north and then waded over the beaver dam into Shoal Lake thus
avoiding the portage (20 m). There was a party of five breaking camp and we ran into them a couple of times throughout the day. We portaged (135 m) into Clamshell and then paddled and portaged (310 m, 230 m, 230 m) the North River. We portaged (770 m) into North Depot Lake where the party of five took the first island campsite. From previous experience, we waded through the stream instead of taking the portage (255 m) into Allan Lake. We camped on the small island close to our next days portage. After 11 km of paddling for the day, we were pleased to have the lake to ourselves. There were numerous bear and deer tracks on the beach by our campsite.

The first (660 m) of the three portages for the day was steep in the beginning. The second portage (1830 m) was tough and there were plenty of bear and moose droppings along the trail to keep the mind occupied. The paddle through the winding stream was sometimes difficult because of thick aquatic grasses. It looked like great moose habitat except for the lack of moose. We did, however, see a beaver. The last portage (75 m) into North River Lake was around an old logging dam. Only the campsite on the north shore at mid lake was taken. We camped at the far western site on the point of the southern shore. We probably paddled 15 km for the day.

We canoed across the lake to the North River inlet. The name is a misnomer because it is very narrow with many turns and lots of overhanging trees. It took about an hour and a half to paddle the 5 km and reached the access 26 parking lot.

Special Comments: 

After dropping off the canoes and gear at the portage to Tecumseh Lake, one person drives to the Access Point 26 parking lot and then hikes 6 km back to the portage trail to make this canoe route a loop trip.


Post date: Sat, 07/03/2010 - 12:37


did you see and beach at North River Lake?

Post date: Tue, 02/03/2009 - 11:49


The total length of all 17 portages is 11,000 m not 11 m.