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 Post subject: Is this possible?
PostPosted: January 26th, 2019, 3:47 pm 

Joined: January 21st, 2019, 8:47 pm
Posts: 6
A friend of mine said to me that he could paddle between the St. John River in Maine and the St. Lawrence River. The only way I would think this would be possible would be to go up the St. Francis, but then I'd get lost. Another long shot would be to go up the Green to McDonald Brook to the Rimouski via a small tributary. Is this possible?

 Post subject: Re: Is this possible?
PostPosted: January 27th, 2019, 5:54 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3091
Location: Milton
There are some ancient canoe routes in NB and these guys could help you on your way with the info.

Edit I know MIke Ranta on his cross Canada came across Riviere-du-loup to Edmunston and the St. John.

Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho

 Post subject: Re: Is this possible?
PostPosted: January 27th, 2019, 10:07 pm 
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Joined: January 23rd, 2013, 9:15 pm
Posts: 4
From Rivière-du-Loup, the traditionnal way to reach Atlantic was the Grand portage. Looking at the map from his 2014 trip, it looks like Ranta took the same path -- up to Témiscouata lake, then on the Madawaska river, and down to St. John River.

Mike Ranta's path vs Grand portage.

Being from RdL, my guess is that Ranta must have hauled his canoe on wheels for quite a while before hitting water.

Edit: the french Wikipedia page for the Grand portage mentions a book titled Portage paths (1903) by Archer Butler Hulbert. It hints at a few old portages:

Touladi—Trois Pistoles Portage

This was one of the principal routes from the St. John to Quebec. It led through Lake Temiscouata by the Touladi River to Lac des Aigles, thence to Lac des Islets, thence by a short portage path to the Bois-bouscache River and down the Trois Pistoles. This route is described in Bailey and McInnes’ Geological Report of 1888, M, pages 26, 28, 29, where it is called “one of the main highways ... between the St. John River and the St. Lawrence.”

Ashberish—Trois Pistoles Portage

Another route from Temiscouata to Trois Pistoles was by way of the Ashberish River. This portage is marked on Bouchette, 1831, and is mentioned by him in[Pg 105] his Topographical Dictionary, and by Bailey in his ‘St. John River’ (page 48). It was by either this or the last-mentioned route that Captain Pote was taken to Quebec in 1745, as he describes in his Journal, but the description is not clear as to which route was followed. The compass directions and the portages and lakes mentioned by him would rather indicate the Ashberish route, though the editor of the Journal sends him by the Lac des Aigles. This route is shown on the Franquelin-DeMeulles Map of 1686, with the continuous line used on that map for portage routes, and it is probably this route that is marked on Bellin of 1744, and on many following him.

Temiscouta—Rivière du Loup Portage

As early as 1746 a portage path was projected along this route where now runs the highway road. A document of 1746 (Quebec MS. IV., 311) reads, “Nous donnons les ordres nécessaires pour faire pratiquer un chemin ou sentier d’environ 3 pieds dans le portage depuis la Rivière du Loup à 40 lieues audessous de Québec jusques au Lac Témisquata d’ou l’on va en canot par la[Pg 106] rivière St. Jean jusqu’à Beaubassin, et ce pour faciliter la communication avec l’Escadre et pour y faire passer quelques détachement de françois et sauvages s’il est nécessaire.” Whether or not this path was made we do not know. In 1761 this route was examined by Captain Peach (as a map in the Public Record Office shows), and about 1785, a road was cut along it as a part of the post route from Quebec to Nova Scotia. From that time to the present it has been much travelled, and is often referred to in documents and books.

St. Francis—Rivière du Loup Portage

The exact course of this portage I have not been able to locate, but it probably ran from Lake Pohenegamook to some of the lakes on the La Fourche branch of the Rivière du Loup. The Indian name of the St. Francis, Peech-un-ee-gan-uk means the Long Portage (Peech, long, oo-ne-gun, a portage, uk, locative). The first recorded use of this portage is in Le Clercq in his “Établissement de la Foi.” He states that about 1624, Rècollet missionaries came to Acadia from Acquitaine, and thence went[Pg 107] to Quebec in canoes by the River Loup with two Frenchmen and five Indians. It is first shown roughly on a manuscript map of 1688, very clearly on Bellin, of 1744, and on several others following him, and on Bouchette of 1815. It is mentioned in a document of 1700 (Quebec MS. V. 348) as four leagues in length. It was by this route St. Valier came from Quebec to Acadia in 1686 or 1687, and a very detailed account of the difficulties of the voyage is given in his narrative. He states that he travelled a short distance on the Rivière du Loup and Rivière des Branches and a long distance on the St. Francis. This route he describes as shorter but harder than that ordinarily used.

On the unpublished DeRozier map of 1699 two portages are shown in this region, one from some branch of what is apparently the St. Francis to the Trois Pistoles, and one from another river to the westward of the St. Francis, perhaps from Lac de l’Est, to the Rivière du Loup, but they are given too inaccurately to admit of identification.

Between the Temiscouata and St. Francis[Pg 108] basins are several portages; one from Long Lake at the head of the Cabano to the St. Francis, and another from Long Lake to Baker Lake; and there are other minor ones, all marked on the Geological Survey map.

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