This is a report of a four day trip, a variation on Hap Wilson Number 9, the Turner Lake Loop. In his guide, Hap describes it as a bit of a work trip but well worth the slugging over the portages. So the question you have to be asking yourself is, "Well? Is it?"
It's the fourth annual Martin and Chris Trip™ where two fathers of young kids get to go do something fun for four days with the grace, permission and kindness of our loving partners. We try to go somewhere fairly remote, somewhere neither of us has been before, something with a loop and some physical challenge. Hap's route looked promising but a bit short. And his write-up presumes you start at Red Squirrel road which can be hard on a normal city car (especially if you take it all the way to Sandy Inlet). So I planned to put in at Anima Nipissing to allow us to see some more of one of the more scenic lakes in the area.
The trip relies heavily on Wilson's guide, but all the mistakes and misdirections in this narrative are mine. I hasten to add that though events have rendered some of Hap's descriptions inaccurate (which is unavoidable) they were still very helpful. Or would have been if I had read them more carefully.
I also used the Chrismar Map for Northeastern Temagami, which is an excellent tool. I found and point out a couple of discrepancies between what's out there on the ground and what's on the paper that I hope you will find helpful. I'm not meaning to diss the map's creators.
The Reader's Digest Version
- Day 1:
- wherein we get up excruciatingly early, drive to Temagami and grit our teeth against rain from the boat launch at the end of Anima-Nipissing Lake Road to Red Squirrel Lake.
- Day 2:
- wherein we wind ferry across Ferguson Bay and claw our way up the North Arm of Lake Temgami to Turner Lake.
- Day 3:
- wherein we face a long march, punctuated by the occasional bit of paddling, through the Eagle lakes and back to Anima-Nipissing.
- Day 4:
- wherein we make our way to the car, put the canoe on the roof and head back to Ottawa, with the canoe having some other plans.
Warning: death or serious bodily harm could result
I'm not an expert. I am not dispensing advice here. And there's a lot of problems you could encounter on one of these trips. The kind you don't recover from. And while I manage to babble on a lot about canoe tripping and this route in particular, it's far from everything you need to know to do this sort of thing and it may not be accurate or even safe. So please - hire a guide, join an outing club or take a course or courses.