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Our Temagami and Obabika Lakes canoe trip is one of Ontario’s classic Canadian Shield Wilderness Canoe Camping Trips. This route is ideal for the novice paddler, as well as for anyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of the Temagami forests. The trip passes through some of the most scenic spots in Ontario, accessible only by canoe. You will travel into the “Wakimika Triangle” and hike through one of Ontario’s last remaining stands of old growth red and white pine.
(Note: this is a suggested itinerary only. Conditions on each trip may vary)
Suggested meeting at the Wanapitei CANOE outfitting centre at the Wanaptei Chateau on Lake Temagami by 8:30a.m. After introductions and orientation, you will head out at 9:30a.m., across Sandy Inlet to Pickerel Bay and on to the first portage. Wind, weather & time permitting we could make a stop at one of the beautiful waterside cliffs along the way, or stop at one of the beautiful open rock campsites for a quick swim. You will make your way across the 400m Pickerel Bay Portage into Whitefish Bay (no doubt a swim will be in order here). We’ll likely have lunch at the portage end or at a nearby campsite. After lunch, you will negotiate the narrows leading into Sharp Rock Inlet, a very beautiful rocky rocky passage with clear waters and lovely campsites on each side. This is followed by a paddle across this island-studded inlet. You will then carry the 100m portage into Diamond Lake, on which you can still see the ruins of a once operational logging jackladder. Camp will be set up on one of the many beautiful island campsites on this Lake. There should be time for swimming, fishing or relaxation before dinner.
: After paddling down the narrows at the west end of Diamond Lake the you will take two short portages to enter Wakimika Lake. En route you will cross the controversial Red Squirrel Road Extension between Pencil and Straight Lakes. You will enter into Wakimika Lake at a beautiful beach, the location of the 1989 Temagami Wilderness Society Road Block campsite. From here it is a 10 minute walk to the road and site of the environmentalist blockade and arrests. Much of this area (the townships of Shelburne, Canton, Delhi and Acadia) was protected from cutting in 1990 after this and other protests. We may camp here at the beach, or continue on across the lake. At the south end of Wakimika Lake you will paddle down the meandering Wakimika Creek. As you approach Obabika Lake you will cross the Goulard Road extension, at another controversial site during demonstrations in 1988. You can make camp for the evening on Obabika Lake
: This is a suggested day of hiking and exploring the Old Growth Pine Forest and the mystical Shishkong Lake, with lunch near the conjuring rock as well as a walk on the old growth trails off this lake.
(alternately if the day before you don’t make it all the way to Obabika, camp can be set up on an island in Wakimika. In the morning you would paddle the several hrs down the creek and then spend the afternoon hiking the Old Growth)
: You will begin this day with a lake paddle down Obabika toward the exit portage. Just after lunch, a 900m portage will take you into Obabika Inlet. Along this inlet you will paddle through a young forest which is just developing after a large fire in the late 1970’s. You can camp here for the night.
: A short paddle will bring you to your first portage of the day, and last of the trip, a 600m carry, through the burn into Devils Bay of Lake Temagami. You will stop for lunch below Devil’s Mountain. After a short hike up to the lookout, you will paddle the final two hours to the Wanapitei Chateau.
* Please note: It’s the nature of remote northern travel that uncontrollable factors like poor weather, pilot judgment, forest fires, and mechanical problems can affect our schedules and cause delays. We regret these situations but cannot accept responsibility for hotels, flight rebookings, and other costs you may incur.
Directions to Wanapitei
Travel north on Highway 11 past the town of Temagami.
10 km north of Temagami turn left (west) onto the Red Squirrel Road. This is marked by a small green Ministry of Transportation sign. Set your odometer to 0 as you turn off Hwy 11. (Note the following km directions are approximate )
At 8.0 km keep right at the sign.
At 11.5 km keep left at the fork.
At 14.9 keep right at the fork.
At 20.2 km keep left at the fork.
At 22 km there is a gravel pit as a landmark.
At 26.4 keep left at the fork.
At 28.1 km turn left at the Wanapitei sign.
You will immediately come to a T junction.
Jackpine Trail (left at T junction)
(The Jackpine trail route is a longer walk but the parking is more private and it does not involve a rought road) Turn left at T junction, proceed 100m and park cars. You will see the Jackpine Trail that heads off right (south) from the small sideroad. Proceed down this trail 800m. The trail brings you into the back of Camp Wanapitei behind the camp office. You must walk through the camp property (east) to the far end and across the footbridge over the Red Squirrel River. At this location you will find Wanapitei CANOE and the Wanapitei Chateau.
Option #2 – Ferguson Bay-Sandy Inlet (right at T junction).
Turn right at T junction, proceed 100m turn left. Proceed down this dirt road for 400m (Note- this final 400m of the road can be very bad, do not attempt unless you have a vehicle with high clearance, ie SUV or Tuck). Park Vehicles. Walk 300m down main path from end of parking area. This brings you to the beach on Lake Temagami. You can see Camp Wanapitei off to the left about 600m along the shore. Walk down the shore, walk through the camp property (east) to the far end and across the footbridge over the Red Squirrel River. At this location you will find Wanapitei CANOE and the Wanapitei Chateau. (If you are renting a canoe for a canoe trip we suggest you might want to walk in along the beach route and then paddling back to get your gear with the Canoe, this saves carrying the gear except for the 300m)