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Canadian Canoe Routes

Wabakimi western access
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Author:  Redridge [ August 12th, 2019, 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Wabakimi western access

Looking for help on a trip this fall. Plan to paddle the crown land between Wabakimi and St Raphael. Specifically Fitchie lake- Elwood- Jabez.

The Wabakimi project maps (Volume two) show a high level route from Jabez- Joshua Lake to the Pashkokogan River, but the detailed maps (my version 1.1) do not show this route. Is this a viable route, and are there any details for this portage?

Author:  rtallent [ August 14th, 2019, 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wabakimi western access

I was with the Project for a number of years, but no experience of that particular area. The route details in the Project maps (book 2) indicate that the route was followed, cleared and measured. Problem is, with little travel, those portages can fill in fairly quickly, so may take more time to traverse (see Stajanleaf's comments on Collins River route). Maybe someone at Friends of Wabakimi facebook page will have more details...

Author:  Redridge [ August 16th, 2019, 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wabakimi western access

Thank you. I’m curious, my Wabakimi project maps (very old- I purchased as they initially published) do not show the portage at all, except on the high level map. Do the newer / updated project maps reflect this path/ portage? I think I can find and clear an old route, if it ever existed.

Author:  rtallent [ August 16th, 2019, 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wabakimi western access

Oh, I think I found what you are referring to: Book 2 does show a portage from Jabez to Joshua, with continued route down McCrea Creek to McCrea Lake. I could not, however, find any detail of a portage west out of Joshua to the Pashkokogan River, even though a portage/ route is indicated on the "high level" overview map. The latter routes are also indicated on the Wabakimi trip planning map that Phil Cotton and others worked so long and hard on. What that likely means is, Phil had some evidence of a route through there (and he got his evidence from researching many sources, including some pretty old maps), but it was never ground-checked, cleared and measured by the Project. That could mean it may be a real challenge to relocate and travel, or it may be virtually gone. There are a few segments of routes on the trip planning map that still needed vetting, and some that have been checked and found to be pretty gnarly (e.g., Ballast Creek down to the railway). Anything on the detail maps, we did check, measure, and clear as needed.
To stir the stew further, there are routes in the Wabakimi area that are not indicated on the trip planning map. Phil suspected some of these, and he suggested we go and look, but apparently he didn't want these on there until there was more evidence... We have since visited one of these routes and found them travelable (following old blazes and, in places, the tread), but often with some challenge from blowdowns, etc. Tread from traditional portages seems to last a fairly long time.

Author:  Redridge [ August 17th, 2019, 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wabakimi western access

Awesome! Thank you for the great info. Maybe we can provide some input on this piece of the wilderness this fall.

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