View topic - ground access to Mistassibi Nord-est

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PostPosted: February 19th, 2004, 2:37 pm 

Joined: March 28th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 128
Location: New Hampton, New Hampshire USA
Hey, has anyone ever accessed the M. Nord-est by land, or know of anyone that has? I've heard it's possible, although I've never explored the possibility. Do you think the FCC maps for the river cover this access?

Grateful for any information,


 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 19th, 2004, 4:30 pm 
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec,Canada
GeneU replied to my saying:

You could also consider Mistassibi-NE. It can be run in 5 days - we had done that last summer.

We scouted a new route. Usually people have to spent some good money to get airlifted to lake Machisque. However there are two new roads being constructed along Mistassibi - one goes to lake Froget (west to Mistassibi, could be finished at 2005), another goes to lake Piraube (east to river, it now goes along lake Maupertuis, it is were possible this road will go all the way to the northern end of lake Piraube at the time of your trip).

You can see maps of this area at Toporama.

Lakes Froget and Piraube: ... 022l12.gif

Lake Maupertuis: ... 022l05.gif

We started our trip last July at outlet that links lakes Maupertuis and Eugrave,
some fishing outfitter already built small parking area over there and side road directly to the lake. It took day and half to get from there to the northern end of lake Piraube (including portage around waterfall that separates two big lakes).
Then we took northwestern outlet that goes from lake to Mistassibi (there is also a shorter northern outlet).

This outlet is extremely shallow at most of its length (~10km). It took 5 hours to drag our kayaks on this brook to Mistassibi (we reached river at second day evening). This brook will become extremely dangerous at higher spring water level.

Then we had run Mistassibi back to the bridge (it is a "new eastern" road bridge, there are only ~30 km from that bridge to the starting point of trip at lake Maupertuis). So, river itself adds two-tree days to the trip (a lot of good sized rapids, spectacular scenery & etc. - there are enough good words already said about Mistassibi on this forum).

Plus he send me an e-mail:

I looked back at you words and maps regarding the road acces for the
Mistassbi NE...
I see the lakes your talking about... are they located at the northernmost
access of the river, i.e near Maschisque lake?

What about the raod? Ok for nomal cars?
These lakes are about 20-30 km South-East from Machisque Lake.
The outlet, I was talking about, joins Mistassibi at 23rd km
from its source at Machisque Lake.

The road is so-so, but loggers constantly work to keep it
at shape (on our way to the start I was not able to drive
my Dodge Caravan through one muddy spot - Jeep GC and Subaru
Forester made it through, on our way back (one week after that)
I was able to drive all the way to put-in to pick up our
Jeep - the road was already repaired).

This road starts from Mistassini (small town). It is a gravel
road for all its length (127 km. to the first "old" bridge
and old loggers camp, then 30 km. to the "new" road, then
8 km. to the second "new" bridge that I mentioned in my

However, as I told before, another "western" road most likely
would be finished at 2005. This road going to cross Mistassibi
just 12 km. below lake Machisque (adds 10 km of river travel and
several good class III rapids). However, there would be no lake
and brook travel at this route .



 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 20th, 2004, 1:49 pm 

Joined: January 4th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Summit, New Jersey USA
There was another group at Mistassibi at the time of our trip - about a dozen of students from some Vermont college (Outdoor Education majors) and one local Cree guide. They started trip somewhere near big Mistassini Lake and spent whole three weeks to get to campsite at 23rd km on Mistassibi (where we had first chance to have conversation with them). I don not know how difficult their trip was - they looked like some very tough gang, but with limited WW experience - they were always able to outrun us on flat water, however they had to lined most of class III rapids that we run without any problems and mostly without scouting.

PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 2:44 pm 
We did this river last summer- there are many new logging roads and a new bridge somewhere around 20 miles downriver from Lac Machisque which should make driving in possible. I'm not sure of the source for a map- but these roads seemed pretty good. Great trip whether one flies in or drives in!

 Post subject: mitsassibi access
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 7:20 pm 
I know you can access the headwaters of the other branch of the mistassibi by water (Lac Albanel -> R. Temiscamie -> L. Couachigamau -> L. Temiscamie -> portage (about 3 km.)). L. Temiscamie is also accessable via logging roads above Cold Water Lake Stream, which would put you at the portage after about 1 day's paddle. Whether the NE branch is accessible from where this would leave you I am uncertain, but perhaps this helps. Topo maps are available in several of the towns south of L. St. Jean that have been updated by logging companies after the burn in 2002. Several new roads have been constructed since the burn that follow the Mistassini river north and branch out to the west (and possibly east). If the 2002 burn travelled far enough east, you can bet there's a road to follow.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 1st, 2004, 10:00 am 
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Joined: March 4th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 41
Location: N Central MA
I believe that the route that stc is describing is part of an old Cree Indian trapping route that once connected Lac Mistassini and Lac St. Jean.

Not sure about the overland route into the headwaters of the Mistassibi from the eastern end of Lac Temiscamie, but getting up into Lac Temiscamie from the road access on the Temiscamie R near Lac Albanel is certainly doable, if you have the time. So, even if there is no logging road access directly into the Mistassibi Nord-est or the Coldwater Lake Stream, you should have some options.

On our Temiscamie trip in '84, we flew into Lac Caouachigamau and worked up into Lac Temiscamie and ultimately up the Coldwater Lake Stream. On our way out, we paddled down the 70 miles or so of the Temiscamie R back to or vehicle near Lac Albanel.

To be honest, if you were to start at Lac Albanel, the most difficult part of getting up into Lac Temiscamie might be the two short 2 mile outlet streams coming out of Lac Caouachigamau and also Lac Temiscamie. They have some solid class 3 rapids that you need to ascend. Couldn't find any portage trails so tracking was our best option. Time permitting, don't believe you would have much trouble going up the Temiscamie R, assuming the water was low, as there really isn't much gradient.

If you care to make sense of the above ramblings, check out the following maps on the Toporama site:

32I Baie Abatagouche (250,000)
32P Lac Baudeau
32 P/2 Lac Kallio (50,000)
32 P/8 Lac Bethoulat
32 P/1 Lac Temiscamie
32 I/16 Lac De Vau


 Post subject:
PostPosted: April 21st, 2004, 6:14 pm 

Joined: April 21st, 2004, 6:09 pm
Posts: 1
There are well worn portage trails around each of those areas (the one into Couachigamau is about 2 km and goes through a boulderfield, which can be a bit treacherous). The Couachigamau portage is on the right at a campsite before the inlet up a steep bank. The portage into Temiscamie is more difficult to find (the lake itself is pretty confusing), but is to the right of the first whitewater you would have to ascend.

 Post subject: Look at the free map
PostPosted: April 28th, 2004, 2:37 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 146
Location: Montreal, Quebec Canada
I put a free map of the Mistassibi NE on in section Canot-Cartes. The map and text are in French, sorry about that.

On the same website + section, you have a document at the bottom named "Hydravions" (float planes) that gives, basically, about everything you need to know about flaot planes, typical prices, details of access to some rivers including Mistassibi NE, etc.

Hope this helps


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