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Trethewey to Makobe
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Author:  kuuk [ September 23rd, 2019, 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Trethewey to Makobe

Date: September 18 to September 21 (4 days, 3 nights)
Distance: 15 kilometers one-way. About 6 hours of travel.
Route: Trethewey Trail to Trethewey Lake, north to Makobe Lake via LeFebvre Lake, Marko Lake, Schmalz Lake, and Cranberry Creek. Came out the same way.
Weather: Mixed, with strong winds on Day 1 and moderate to no wind for the remainder of the trip. Mostly sunny with some overcast.

Key Take-aways:
Beautiful and rugged area, clearly not traveled on a regular basis. Good campsites.

The impact of the Makobe Lake forest fire of 2018 (NB 072) was awesome – in the truest meaning of the word – but also devastating and sad. Notes on overall impacts for the purpose of route planning are provided below.

Beauty Lake Road and New Liskeard Lumber Road – the two roads required for access to Trethewey Lake and Makobe Lake – are in good shape and passable for most vehicles. Caution should be taken on the last stretch of the New Liskeard Lumber Road approaching the Trethewey Trail Head.

All portages were in good shape and easily traversed. Some low water conditions required lining or extended portaging on the chain of lakes leading to Cranberry Creek. But overall, not a big deal.

Blueberries in September – and LOTS of them!!!

Bugs were still out, but not in full force.

Lots of wildlife – a swimming bear (at a safe distance), bald eagle, moose, and some lake trout.

Day 1:
Left North Bay at 6AM, arrived at the Trethewey Trail Head at 10AM. Trethewey Trail to the small lake south of Trethewey Lake was in good condition and took about 20 minutes to portage. Paddled north on Trethewey Lake and took the northern route - a small chain of lakes - to Makobe Lake. All portages were in good condition and clearly signed. Cranberry Creek had lots of water and was easily paddled. For planning purposes, the route from Trethewey Trail to Makobe Lake is about 15 kms total, and took about 6 hours with moderate head winds.

Camped at the only designated camp site in the North Arm of Makobe Lake. Great campsite with a fantastic view, good swimming rocks, good firepit, and a new privy. Only drawback is that it faces north, but overall a very nice site. 4/5 stars!

Day 2:
Explored Banks Lake. Took the 400m portage connecting the North Arm of Makobe Lake and Banks Lake. Portage was clearly signed and in very good condition. Banks is an absolutely beautiful lake, but the fire had major impacts to all campsites and the eastern shoreline – all have been absolutely scorched. However, clearly park staff (or Rangers) had been through and have re-signed everything. I would only use these campsites with absolute caution as winds can easily blow down the burnt trees. It’s also not the most scenic with the impacts of the forest fire leaving nothing but burned trees and exposed, barren rocks.

We also scouted the first set of rapids/waterfalls running north out of Banks Lake into the Makobe River. This area was untouched by the fire, and if staying on Banks, would highly recommend camping here. It’s an absolutely beautiful spot and would act as a good base camp for exploration of the area or starting point if paddling down the Makobe River. I believe it is a designated campsite.

Day 3:
Paddled to the main body of Makobe Lake on a zero wind day and full sun – the kind of day tripping is made for! Beautiful scenery with a mix of spruce and old-growth pines, and a great vista of Maple Mountain. Did a counter clockwise loop up from Makobe Lake to Banks lake, and then back to our campsite in the North Arm. All island sites on the eastern portion of Makobe Lake were untouched and campsites fully intact. However, the eastern shoreline was hit hard by the forest fire, but it seems that in some paces about 50% of the trees survived. Did not have time to explore the Southern Arm, but others have noted the eastern shoreline was also scorched.

Day 4:
Up at 6:45 and back to the vehicle the same way as we came in. Home to North Bay by 8:30.

Route Resources:
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/heartland10.htm
Hap Wilson Temagami Canoe Routes

PM or post for more info - happy to chat and discuss!

Author:  Eddy Turn [ September 23rd, 2019, 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trethewey to Makobe

Thank you fro the info!

Author:  kinguq [ September 24th, 2019, 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trethewey to Makobe

Thanks for the info! My plan this summer was to descend the Lady Evelyn then go up Grays River to Banks and Makobe, then out the way you came in. However I changed my mind when I saw the burn maps. It seems likely that the trip up Grays E of Makobe would be impassible or at least very unpleasant, and may remain so for a few years. Too bad...

Kinguq.

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